In the days leading up to the Class 4A, Section 4 final, Woodbury baseball coach Kevin McDermott remembers watching the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen implode.
In a three-game series against the Houston Astros on May 29-31, Twins relievers surrendered an astounding 26 earned runs.
That paved the way for second-guessing, as far as McDermott was concerned.
“I saw what was happening at the highest level,” McDermott said. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about ever having to take out our No. 1 pitcher and go to our bullpen.”
McDermott, however, already had a plan to throw ace Max Meyer in the June 3 opener of a best-of-three-game series against No. 1-ranked Stillwater, then pull him before he eclipsed the 75-pitch mark no matter what. That pitch count was critical because if Meyer had thrown more than 75 pitches, he would have to rest for three days per Minnesota State High School League rules, and be unavailable on June 6 for the second game against the powerful Ponies.
“That was the plan,” McDermott said. “Still, it’s always tough to take a guy like that out.”
It made it even tougher that Meyer allowed just two hits over 5 2/3 innings when the time came to take him out.
“I mean, when I’m starting I never want to come out,” Meyer said. “I knew it’s the best thing for our team, though.”
McDermott replaced Meyer with Nolan Glunz, who pitched 1 1/3 innings to secure the win. Three days later, Jack Horman started Game 2 against Stillwater, and once Woodbury grabbed the lead midway through the game, Meyer came in to finish the job.
“Sure, Max Meyer was huge for us in…
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