By PATRICK SLACK
Little Falls finally solved Jeff Fasching, but by the time it did, it was too late.
For the third time this year, the ace of top-ranked St. Cloud Cathedral’s staff dealt the Flyers a defeat, as the Crusaders earned a 7-2 win in the Section 6AA championship at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud, Friday.
After a couple of scoreless innings, Cathedral busted the game open with a two-out, four-run rally in the third, then built its lead up to 7-0 with two more runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.
With Fasching tiring, Little Falls plated two runs in the bottom of the sixth, the first runs allowed in the tournament by Fasching after back-to-back shutouts.
Senior Collin Eckman reached with a one-out single, followed by a walk by senior Spencer Fenske.
After a fly out, junior Alec Zack drilled a run-scoring double down the right-field line, then Fenske dashed home to score on a wild pitch.
The Flyers stranded two runners to end the inning, though, and Fasching rebounded with a perfect seventh to clinch the title for Cathedral.
Senior Josh Wenzel added a double in the third inning and senior Nate Backowski and junior Kyle Boser singled in the fourth for the Flyers.
The two-time defending state finalist Crusaders will now enter the state tournament as the No. 1 seed and favorite to win a second title in three years.
The Flyers finished the season with a record of 17-5.
Seniors on this year’s team included Gabe Ploof, Collin Eckman, Josh Wenzel, Nathan Masog, Matt Stumpf, Nate Backowski and Spencer Fenske.