By PATRICK SLACK
Matching up with top-ranked St. Cloud Cathedral is a tall enough task with a full lineup.
With an injured No. 1 starting pitcher and leadoff hitter it is even more difficult.
Nevertheless, eighth-seeded Holdingford gave the host Crusaders everything they could handle in Tuesday’s Section 6AA opener, even putting the tying run on base in its final at bat, before falling 3-0.
Cathedral jumped ahead 2-0 in the top of the first inning on a two-run triple, but Holdingford senior starter Sam Butler held them their through the next three innings before departing due to an injury.
The Crusaders picked up one run after Butler left to take a 3-0 lead into the seventh, a cushion that proved key, as the Huskers loaded the bases with only one out before Cathedral set down the final two hitters.
Holdingford finished the season with a record of 7-8.
Seniors on this year’s team included Taylor Milbrandt, Cody Schwinghammer, Beau Maciej, Brent Gerads, Butler, Alex Hiltner, Logan Athman and Nick Konz.
Huskers clip Milaca 3-1
Junior Jeremy Springer hit a tie-breaking two-run single in the fourth inning as Holdingford edged host Milaca 3-1 to close the regular season, May 23.
Butler turned in a complete-game effort on the mound, fanning six batters.