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East Ridge upends top-seeded Lakeville North in legion playoffs

Luke Ringhofer went 5-for-6 at the dish for the Raptors as East Ridge knocked off Lakeville North on Thursday in legion playoff action. (Bulletin file photo)

East Ridge legion coach Tyler Welch sat his team down before this week’s playoff tournament and told his guys they were talented enough to beat anyone.

The Raptors proved it Thursday night.

No. 5 East Ridge beat top-seeded Lakeville North 7-5 in 10 innings to remain in the winner’s bracket.

The Raptors knew they had a shot heading into the tournament due to their pitching depth. That same depth was crucial in Thursday’s upset.

Drew Molin carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning for the Raptors in their playoff opening win over Eagan on Wednesday. Carter Stoehr matched him on Thursday, holding the district favorites hitless for 4 2/3 innings.

Meanwhile, East Ridge’s offense was busy building a cushion. The Raptors scored in four of the first six innings as they mounted a 5-0 lead.

But Lakeville North responded. The top seed scored three runs in the seventh and two in the eighth to knot the game at 5-5.

But East Ridge recaptured the lead in the 10th frame. Luke Ringhofer singled in Bailey Goldstein to put East Ridge back on top. The Raptors tallied an insurance run and Cal Kellner shut the door on Lakeville North in the bottom of the inning to end the game.

Ringhofer was a monster at the dish. He went 5-for-6 with three doubles and four RBI. The East Ridge offense was stellar as a whole, collecting 15 hits just one day after pounding out 19 base knocks in its win against Eagan.

East Ridge is still in good shape with its arms, as well. The Raptors head into Friday night’s matchup with Prior Lake in Dundas having used its top three arms, but both Molin and Kellner are likely to be available later in the weekend.