Chanhassen pitcher Miles Nablo looked ready to close out Northfield with a 5-1 lead in the ninth inning, but the Knights had other plans.
Nablo and the Redbirds escaped 5-4 in the second round Friday after a sudden rally by a Knights team that hadn’t scored since the fourth inning. Center fielder Scott Benjamin hit an RBI double, and second baseman Aldon Severson hit a two-run single to trim the lead to a run with two outs.
Redbirds Zach Hoffman ended the game by tagging out Knights first baseman Tim Maus. Nablo earned the save after two innings of work. He made quick work of the Knights in the eighth inning after fanning a couple batters and retiring the last on a groundout.
Chanhassen started building its lead with designated hitter Derek Smith stealing home in the third inning. Redbirds shortstop Brandon Arnold threatened to make it 2-0 trying to steal home but got tagged out.
The Redbirds strung together five runs over a five-inning span to advance to the next round Sunday.