Luverne, Pipestone see title runs end
MARSHALL -- Losing a pair of games over the weekend, both the Luverne and Pipestone VFW baseball teams had their seasons come to an end at the District 3 Final Four Tournament at Legion Field.
Pipestone, the second seed from the South, lost its opening-round game Saturday by a score of 2-1 to the North's top seed, Redwood Falls.
Pipestone was eliminated later in the day, as Luverne, the top seed from the South, posted a 10-4 victory.
Luverne had earlier fell 11-1 in five innings to the North's second seed, Marshall Blue.
Redwood Falls beat Marshall Blue 2-1 in Saturday's final game, which set up a rematch between Luverne and Marshall Blue Sunday.
Marshall Blue eliminated Luverne with an 8-3 victory before handing Redwood Falls its first loss with a 9-3 win in the championship round.
With one loss apiece, Marshall Blue and Redwood Falls will play for the District 3 championship tonight at 6:30 in Marshall.
Redwood Falls 2, Pipestone 1
Christopher Eichten outdueled Pipestone's Greg Quist, and Luke Bohn drove in two runs to key Redwood Falls to an opening-round victory Saturday.
Eichten fanned 10 batters in seven innings of work and received just enough run support to defeat Pipestone and Quist, who struck out six in a complete-game effort.
Pipestone struck first with a run in the top of the third. Brandon Alfson led off with a single to center and moved to second when Austin Kelley walked.
Doug Mead then drove a ball to deep left-center that was just out of left fielder Zach Raddatz's reach. Alfson scored on the single, and Pipestone looked poised for a big inning with the middle of its order coming up.
After Jon Schelhaas moved Kelley and Mead to second and third, respectively, with a sacrifice bunt, Sammy Schneider ripped a ball to third baseman Brandon Soupir, who caught the liner and stepped on the bag for a double play to end the inning.
Redwood Falls tied the game with a run in the bottom of the fourth, as Mahlon Zimmerman drew a walk to start the frame. He then moved to third as Quist's pick-off attempt was wild.
After Soupir walked, pinch-runner Micah Gronli was caught stealing second, as Mead gunned him down with a cannon to shortstop Schneider.
Quist then fanned Kevin Pendleton, and it appeared Pipestone might walk away with the lead. However, Bohn slapped a 3-2 pitch into left field, plating Zimmerman to tie the game at 1-all.
Redwood Falls then scored the eventual game-winning run in the sixth, as Zimmerman and Soupir led off with back-to-back sharp singles to left.
With runners at first and third and no outs, Quist retired Pendleton on strikes before Bohn drilled a ball up the middle.
Pipestone second baseman Adam Bullerman made a fantastic diving snag to rob Bohn of a hit and get a force out at second, but Zimmerman scored on the play to put Redwood Falls up 2-1.
Pipestone came right back in the top of the seventh with a lead-off single from Chris Dougherty, followed by a walk to Alfson. Kelley then attempted to move the runners up with a sacrifice bunt, but the bunt was too hard, and Eichten threw to third to get the lead runner.
With two on and one out, Eichten retired Mead and Schelhaas on a popout and a strikeout, respectively, to seal the victory for Redwood Falls.
"We left a lot of runners on base," Pipestone head coach Rick Zollner said. "We couldn't get key hits when we needed them, but Greg pitched well and the defense was solid behind him."
R H E
Pipestone 001 000 0 -- 1 7 1
Redwood 000 101 x -- 2 5 1
Marshall Blue 11,
Luverne 1 (5)
Keyed by an eight-run fourth inning, Marshall Blue defeated Luverne in a five-inning first-round contest Saturday.
Andy Ogdahl silenced Luverne's bats, allowing just two hits and one run in earning the complete-game victory.
Luverne's Brent Dinger, who started the game strong, suffered the loss in 3 1/3 innings of work. Adam Ossenfoort and Jeremy Hoff pitched in relief for Luverne.
Dinger started the game by fanning the first two batters he faced. After Austin Louwagie singled, Ogdahl lofted a ball into shallow right-center field, where right fielder Zack Clark made an outstanding diving catch to end the first inning.
Dinger then retired the side in order in the second, but Marshall Blue plated a trio of runs (a two-run single by Louwagie, and a sacrifice fly by Ogdahl) in the third frame.
Marshall Blue then erupted for eight runs in the fourth to go up 11-0, as 12 batters used four singles, three bases on balls, a hit batter and two Luverne errors to bust the game open.
Luverne came back with a run in the bottom of the fourth, as Phil Paquette walked and scored on a flyout and a pair of wild pitches.
"Marshall did a real nice job against us," Luverne head coach Mike Wenninger said. "They outplayed us all the way around and deserved to win the game."
R H E
Marshall 003 80 -- 11 9 0
Luverne 000 10 -- 1 2 2
Luverne 10, Pipestone 4
Scoring four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Luverne increased its 6-4 lead to 10-4 to pull away for victory, ending Pipestone's season in an elimination game Saturday.
Zach Olson hurled a complete game for Luverne, fanning five batters and working out of several jams to earn the victory. He also scored two runs and went 4-for-4 with three extra-base hits at the plate.
Sammy Schneider, Sam Bauer and Bryce Beyers shared the pitching chores for Pipestone.
Pipestone scored three runs in the top of the first, as Doug Mead and Schneider ripped consecutive singles to right field to open the frame.
After Greg Quist was retired, Jon Schelhaas plated Mead with a single to right.
Schneider then scored on Brandon Alfson's two-out single to left, and Schelhaas came home on a passed ball to make it 3-0.
"We got out to that nice 3-0 lead, but we couldn't really add any more runs as the game wore on," Zollner said. "Luverne's pitcher was tough, and we made some mistakes we normally don't make."
Luverne answered with two runs in the bottom of the first, as Derek VanSanten reached base on a one-out error and moved to third on a two-out single to right by Olson.
VanSanten and courtesy runner Phil Altman both scored when Brent Dinger's fly ball was misplayed in right field, making it 3-2 Pipestone after the first.
Luverne tied the game in the second, as VanSanten drove in Zack Clark, who was hit by a pitch, with a single to left.
Olson then launched a triple to deep center to start the third inning for Luverne. He later scored on a passed ball to make it 4-3 Luverne, a lead it would not relinquish.
Luverne scored two more runs in the fourth to go up 6-3, as Jeremy Hoff singled home Clark, who walked to begin the inning, and Olson plated Hoff with a double to left-center.
Pipestone made it a 6-4 game in the fifth inning, as Quist bombed a home run well over the left-field fence to open the frame.
However, Olson retired the next three batters in order, and Luverne continued to stay hot at the plate in the bottom half of the inning.
Chris DenHoed, Clark, Hoff and VanSanten all crossed the plate for Luverne, with VanSanten (two), Phil Paquette and Olson driving in runs.
"We did a lot of good things in this game," Wenninger said. "Zach did a good job of throwing strikes, and we got a lot of key hits, especially with two outs."
R H E
Pipestone 300 010 0 -- 4 7 5
Luverne 211 240 x -- 10 10 2
Marshall Blue 8, Luverne 3
Luverne was eliminated with its second loss of the tournament Sunday, as Marshall Blue won the rematch to remain in contention for the title.
Phil Paquette, Jeremy Hoff and Adam Ossenfoort handled the pitching duties for Luverne.
R H E
Marshall 031 202 0 -- 8 13 2
Luverne 000 300 0 -- 3 10 2