Cardinals slay Dragons, 8-3
LUVERNE -- Micah Boomgaarden's first career home run highlighted an eight-run third inning for Luverne Monday, propelling the Southwest Conference-champion Cardinals to an 8-3 baseball victory over the Red Rock Conference-champion Adrian Dragons at Redbird Field.
Boomgaarden blasted a three-run homer to cap the scoring for the Cardinals (15-3) in the third inning, and the Luverne pitching trio of Andrew DeBoer (three innings pitched), Marc Boelman (two IP) and Caleb Bruynes (two IP) combined to strike out seven Dragons -- allowing just six hits, two walks and two hit batsmen.
"It was nice to break through with a big third inning," Luverne head coach Mike Wenninger said following the game. "Our pitchers also did a nice job of throwing strikes and letting the defense make plays. It is great to end the regular season by beating a very good ballclub in Adrian."
Brandon Diekmann (two-plus IP), Will Lutmer (2/3 IP), Cody Kontz (1 1/3 IP), Adam Diekmann (one IP) and Jordan Kontz (one IP) shared the pitching duties for the Dragons (17-2).
Luverne had chances to score in the first two innings against Brandon Diekmann, but the Dragons worked out of both frames without allowing a run.
Leadoff man Jake Clark drew a walk to begin the first, and after two outs were recorded, Tyler Reisch (fielder's choice) and Andrew DeBoer (infield single) reached base to load the bases. However, Diekmann fanned Jeremy Hoff to end the inning.
In the second, Seth Goembel (3-for-4, two RBIs) smashed a leadoff double to the fence in left-center. He was left stranded there, though, as the next three hitters all popped out.
Meanwhile, DeBoer was pitching two perfect innings. He struck out four of the first six batters he faced, including all three in the second frame.
Adrian scored the first run of the ballgame in the third, as senior catcher Tyler Vaske lined a first-pitch fastball over the left-field fence for a leadoff home run. Brett Nowotny followed with an infield single and moved to second on a throwing error before Matt Gades advanced him to third with a nice sacrifice bunt.
The Dragons couldn't bring Nowotny in, as Cody Kontz flied out to shallow right field, and Adam Diekmann struck out to end the inning.
Boomgaarden led off the bottom half of the inning by coaxing a four-pitch walk. Lutmer then came on in relief, and the Luverne bats came alive.
Phil Paquette (3-for-4) smashed a single up the middle, advancing Boomgaarden to third with no outs.
After Reisch popped out, DeBoer tied the game with a soft single to left-center. Hoff then walked to load the bases.
Goembel came through by ripping a two-run single to left, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 advantage.
Three batters later -- with the bases loaded again and two outs -- Clark drove a ball down the left-field line. Gades dove and got a glove on the ball, but two runs came in to score on the double, and Luverne led 5-1.
With two runners still on, Boomgaarden belted his home run on a 1-1 pitch, increasing the Cardinals' bulge to 8-1. Paquette followed with a triple to left, but was left stranded.
"The ball was carrying to left today, as the wind was really blowing that way," Wenninger said. "It is about 340 feet to the river behind the fence, so Micah hit that ball pretty well."
Luverne would crack out four more hits and advance three runners to third in the next three innings, but couldn't get any more key two-out hits to extend its lead.
Adrian, meanwhile, was attempting to chip into the lead. Gades came around to score in the fifth inning, as he was hit by a pitch and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Jordan Kontz to make it 8-2.
Glen Kruger made it 8-3 in the sixth, as he led off with an infield single and later scored on an RBI groundout from Reid Strand.
Cody Kontz led off the seventh with a single to right, but Adam Diekmann bounced into a 6-3 double play (Clark to Reisch) and Lutmer later popped out, as Bruynes and the Cardinals sealed the victory.
R H E
Adrian 001 011 0 -- 3 6 0
Luverne 008 000 x -- 8 12 2
MCC 11, Edgerton 0
EDGERTON -- Paul Counter continued his fine season on the mound, as he fired a one-hit shutout to pitch the Murray County Central Rebels to a victory over Edgerton.
Counter struck out 10 and walked four in hurling a complete game. He allowed just one hit, a sixth-inning single to Trey Manitz.
Manitz took the loss for Edgerton, pitching the first five innings. Alex Elgersma pitched the final two innings for the Flying Dutchmen (1-9, 2-10).
Derik Johnson was 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs, while Tom Spartz clubbed a two-run home run for the Rebels (6-4, 10-7).
Edgerton visits Worthington today.
R H E
MCC 012 122 3 -- 11 7 0
Edgerton 000 000 0 -- 0 1 2