Redwood Falls-Morton put together cinderella run to State back in 1988
Thirty years ago the Redwood Falls-Morton baseball team put together one of the most memorable Cinderella runs in school history on the way to the Region 3A title.
Under the direction of Head Coach Dennis Boe, the 1988 squad entered postseason tournament play as an unlikely group of heroes, going just 6-10 overall in the regular season and 5-7 in SWC play.
Despite being underdogs, the Cardinals took out Springfield/CM/Comfrey 3-1 in their opening round District 10 match-up, as Corey Koewler picked up the win on the hill.
In game two, the Cards had to face state-ranked Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s (15-1) – the sixth-ranked team in all of Class A. A back and forth affair would see the two teams tied at four heading into the top of the 11th where a huge three-run double off the bat of Dennis Kammerer helped the Cards pull of a stunning 9-4 win. Paul Hagert had three RBI, and with the victory the team would advance to face rival Sanborn-Lamberton.
Entrenched in another nail-biter, this time the Cards would pull out a 5-4 win thanks to a run scored by Cory Seehausen on a squeeze bunt off the bat of catcher Todd Looney in the seventh inning. With the win, the Cards would sit just one win away from their first District title in 37 years (the 1951 team would go on to win the State Championship) and they would not disappoint.
The Cards squared off again with Sanborn-Lamberton (who had topped SESM 1-0), and this time would win easily 6-1 as Jon McCorkell pitched a complete game five-hitter for the victory. At the time, the win gave the Cards a .500 record of 10-10 and moved them into Regional action against KMS.
A two-run home run by Koewler helped spring the Cards to a 7-3 lead over the Saints. Koewler would pick up the win on the hill, and McCorkell pitched well in relief, staving off a late rally to earn the save and give the Cards a 7-6 win. The cinderella Cards then moved into the Region 3A title match-up against Montevideo-Maynard. In the title game, the Cards would jump out to an 8-0 lead and rolled to an 11-3 victory to cap off the amazing postseason run. McCorkell picked up the win, and Hagert was 3-for-4 with a two-run triple as the Cards moved on to State for the first time in nearly four decades.
At state, the Cards ran into a powerhouse in St. Cloud Cathedral, losing 8-1, as a solo bomb off the bat of Hagert was the only run the Cards would score.
Cathedral would go on to win the Class A State title.
The Cards had a nice mixture of senior leadership in seniors Chuck Beauzay, Brian Brau, Hagert, Chris Hillier, Seehausen and Andy Frank. Juniors Looney, Jared Boe, Koewler and Warren Willcox and sophomores McCorkell and Sean Thoreson all played key roles.
Hagert led a solid offensive attack batting .506 with 40 hits (four doubles, two triples and three home runs), 22 RBI and 79 runs scored. Willcox batted .324, Looney batted .310 with 18 hits and 14 RBI, Koewler hit .297 with 19 hits (three home runs) and 19 RBI and Thoreson batted .293 with 12 hits.
The magic run for the Cardinal baseball program in ’88 was the last time the Cardinals have been to the state tournament.