Rapids makes it 8 straight titles
by TOM PETERSON staff writer
GRAND RAPIDS -- Not many high school pitchers could take being pulled during a no-hitter like Mark Sonaglia did Thursday.
But there aren't many pitchers, at least in these parts, like the lanky senior who combined with Bill Kinnunen for a one-hit, 10-0 win over Proctor in the REgion 7AA baseball championship game. The win gave [Rapids] their eighth straight region title.
Sonaglia, who fired a no-hitter and near-perfect game in the 7AA semifinals Tuesday, tossed five no-hit innings before Coach Bob Streetar opted for Kinnunen. With his team up 7-0 and his record headed toward 11-0, Sonaglia graciously retired from the mound to first base.
"You always think about being taken out during a no-hitter," Sonaglia said, "but we've got to get the other guys some work before the state tournament (next week in St. Paul)."
Did you say "always," Mark?
"It did happen to me once before," Sonaglia said, almost blushing.
Sonaglia did not allow a ball out of the infield and struck out 11, while his team chipped away at Proctor starter Ray Sandstrom. [Rapids] picked up single runs on three-hit innings in the third and fourth.
Dan Renner rapped his third home run of the season, a 320-foot, two-run shot over the left-field fence in the fifth to make it 4-0.
"With him (Sonaglia) pitching, we're pretty confident if we get a run or two," said Renner. "It's nice to open it up, though."
Sonaglia, who was still stiff from Tuesday's no-hitter, appreciated the cusion, too.
"It gives you the confidence so you can relax a bit," he said.
But even relaxing, [Rapids], who are 18-1, had too much for the Rails. They retired Sandstrom with two runners on base and no outs in the sixth and also hit reliever Steve Makitalo hard.
No. 2 hitter Tom Streetar led [Rapids] 14-hit attack with two singles and a double. Six of their runs, however, were scored by the bottom four hitters in the order.
"The bottom of the order really came through for us," [Rapids] Coach Bob Streetar said. "They were the ones who got us started."
Although it played a tight defense early, Proctor also helped [Rapids] out. Three Rails errors and three hits helped Grand Rapids take a 7-0 lead after six innings. Four hits and a sacrifice fly by Todd Cleveland allowed [Rapids], who were the visitors despite playing on their home field, to score three more in the seventh.
Kinnunen, with some help from Renner, nearly completed the no-hitter. Renner, the...right-fielder, made a lunging catch of a sinking line drive off the bat of Lee Stephenson to lead off the sixth. A high infield pop that fell between first and second base was scored an error in the seventh before Marty Running connected for a clean single with two outs.
"We've played them three times and they've beaten us three times," said Proctor Coach Rich Petersson, whose team finished at 8-10. "They were the class of the region ... and he (Sonaglia) was just overpowering today."
(Duluth News Tribune, June 8, 1984)
Rail 9 bridesmaid for third time
Three times, Proctor stood at the altar as a bridesmaid and though it kept catching the bridal bouquet, it never became a bride.
Once again, playing for the Region 7AA high school baseball championship, Proctor lost to Grand Rapids, its perennial nemesis.
The Indians won their eighth baseball championship by defeating Proctor 10 to 0 last Friday. Mark Sonaglia was just too much. He hurled a near-perfect game in the semi-finals and had a no-hitter going against Proctor when he was pulled in the fifth.
Proctor's Ray Sandstrom, who had helped Proctor get into the title game, was no match for Sonaglia. He kept the Indians from scoring more than one run an inning, but the Rails were not productive at the plate.
Grand Rapids has a record of 18-1, while Proctor ended the season 8-10. It was an achievement of sorts -- to get in the championship game on a less than .500 average.
Proctor played errorless ball in the field at the beginning, but three misplays hurt -- though the outcome was not in doubt as the Indians are far and away the class team in this part of the state.
This year, Rail supporters are not too disappointed. Playing in the championship game and bringing back a runner-up trophy isn't bad for a team that had no spectacular stars and a regular season losing record.
(Proctor Journal, June 14, 1984)
Recap for the 06/07/2010 game vs. Grand Rapids (Playoffs)
Rapids makes it 8 straight titles