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Thomas Mueller successfully lays down a suicide squeeze during the Raptors 4-3 loss to Eastview on Saturday in Dundas. (Bulletin photo by Jace Frederick)

East Ridge legion falls to Eastview, plays in title game Sunday

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East Ridge legion falls to Eastview, plays in title game Sunday
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

East Ridge legion’s state tournament hopes rest on the left arm of Drew Molin.

The Raptors wouldn’t have it any other way.

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East Ridge fell 4-3 to Eastview on Saturday in Dundas, meaning the Raptors, who were the only unbeaten team in the sub-state prior to the loss, will battle the winner of tomorrow’s midday matchup between Eastview and top-seeded Lakeville North in a winner-take-all bout at 4 p.m. in Dundas.

The Raptors will have the advantage of having Molin, the team’s unquestioned ace, starting the game on the bump.

“Drew’s obviously has had a great spring and a great summer and a great career,” Raptors coach Tyler Welch said. “It’s nice to know he’s going to come out tomorrow and throw strikes and dominate.”

That’s exactly what he did in his only prior pitching appearance in these playoffs, when he didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning in East Ridge’s 17-1 victory over Eagan in its postseason opener Wednesday.

Molin only threw 68 pitches in that start, meaning he should be fairly rested by Sunday.

East Ridge will only have one opportunity to earn a trip to state Sunday because of Saturday’s loss.

Cal Kellner delivered a brilliant start for East Ridge. He threw six innings and allowed just one run as the Raptors built a 3-1 lead. But Eastview rallied to score runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth frames to win the game and keep its state hopes alive.

East Ridge is in good shape pitching-wise heading into Sunday’s title game. Along with Molin, the Raptors should have Sam Cobbs and Carter Stoehr available to pitch, meaning Welch will have plenty of options at his disposal.

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