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Amateur baseball: Luverne, Jackson seasons end at state

MILES TRUMP/FARIBAULT DAILY NEWS Luverne’s Joey Slieter slides head-first and safely to score the Redbirds’ first run of the game in the top of the second inning against the Faribault Lakers on Sunday in Belle Plaine.

BELLE PLAINE — Luverne hit the ball well and got a strong pitching performance in its contest with Faribault Sunday night in the second round of the Minnesota Baseball Association Class C State Tournament.

But, at this point in the season, two out of three facets isn’t enough.

The Redbirds had a rough night in the field, committing five errors. One of those miscues proved to be their undoing as it allowed two Lakers to cross home plate to break a 2-all tie and eventually end Luverne’s season with a 4-2 loss.

The two squads were all tied up going into the bottom of the seventh when things unraveled for the Redbirds. Faribault had runners on second and third when Adam Kline came to the plate. He dropped down a bunt and the ensuing throw to first was off the mark. The error allowed Adam Jensen and Dylan Valentyn to score and give the Lakers a 4-2 lead. That is where it stayed for the remainder of the contest.

Until that point, things were looking pretty good for Luverne. The Lakers struck first in the home half of the first, but a two-run second gave the Redbirds a lead.

Joey Slieter got the rally going with a single and eventually moved up to second on a passed ball. He came in with the tying run on a two-out single by Tony Sandbulte, who advanced to second on the play after Faribault was guilty of its only error of the evening.

A Skyler Wenninger single gave Luverne runners on the corners for starting pitcher Brian Beuning. He helped his own cause by ripping a single that scored Sandbulte. The inning ended, however, when Wenninger was gunned down at third.

Faribault got another run in the second to set the score at 2-2, where it stuck until the fateful seventh.

Beuning took the loss for Luverne despite a strong, complete game showing. He allowed two earned runs on six hits, struck out 11 and walked just one. Matt Lane picked up the win for the Lakers as he surrendered two runs on 10 hits while fanning 11.

Slieter led the Redbirds at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Wenninger and Jared Pick both went 2-for-4 with Pick adding a double. Sandbulte was 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.

Faribault will take on Lastrup in its third-round contest.


Luverne 020 000 000 — 2 10 5

Faribault 110 000 20x — 4 6 1

St. Patrick 6, Jackson 5

JORDAN — A big comeback by Jackson fell by the wayside Saturday when its season came to a close with a tough loss to St. Patrick.

The Bulls trailed by four entering the seventh inning but came back to tie it. That didn’t matter, however, when the Irish picked up the deciding run in the top of the eighth, giving them a 6-5 victory.

The game was knotted at 1-1 for much of the contest but St. Patrick scored two in the fifth and one in both the the sixth and seventh to grab a 5-1 lead.

True to the way it has played throughout the postseason, Jackson came storming back. It plated four runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie it at 5-5.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, that didn’t hold for very long.

St. Patrick’s Seth Ambroz blasted a solo home run in the top of the eighth. The shot proved to be the difference.

Pat Boggess took the loss in relief. In one and one-third innings, he allowed one run on one hit. Lucas Henning, a draftee from Wilmont, got the start and allowed three earned runs on four hits while striking out four over five innings. Ryan Rasche and Collin Lovell, a draft pick from Windom, also got work in relief.

Blaise Jacobson had a big game at the plate. He went 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and an RBI to lead the Bulls’ offensive attack. Caleb Rossow was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI while Zach Copley went 1-for-3 with a run scored.

St. Patrick will take on Nisswa — which defeated Waseca 4-2 — in the third round.


St. Patrick 010 021 110 — 6 8 1

Jackson 010 000 400 — 5 6 1

Fairmont 6, St. Martin 1

BELLE PLAINE — With the losses by Luverne and Jackson, Fairmont’s 6-1 win over St. Martin Saturday makes the Martins the only remaining team from the First Nite and Gopher League.

For the second straight week, Fairmont got a strong outing on the hill from Taylor Nawrocki. He went all nine innings and allowed just three hits while striking out seven.

St. Martin scored its lone run in the first but a three-run third gave the Martins all the offense they’d need.

Luke Becker was 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs, two runs scored and a home run. Shaun McGuire was also 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

The Martins will next do battle with Fergus Falls at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Jordan.


Fairmont 003 001 020 — 6 9 1

St. Martin 100 000 000 — 1 3 1

Zach Hacker

Zach is the Daily Globe sports reporter. He has previously been a sports editor at both the Waseca County News in Waseca, Minn., and The Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas. He is originally from New Richland, Minn., and now lives in Worthington with his dog; a beagle-corgi mix named Homer. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, pontooning on St. Olaf Lake and watching professional and collegiate sports.

(507) 376-7335