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Panthers knock off Rebels, 9-5

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LUVERNE -- Tracy-Milroy-Balaton increased its 5-4 lead to 9-4 with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning Wednesday night, as the third-seeded Panthers eliminated fourth-seeded Murray County Central with a 9-5 victory over the Rebels in the Section 3A baseball tournament at Redbird Field.

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T-M-B (18-4) advances to play MACCRAY Saturday at 3:30 p.m., in Granite Falls, while MCC ends its season with a record of 13-8.

Isaac Dolan (four-plus innings, two strikeouts, three walks) and Anthony Dolan (three innings, five strikeouts, one walk) shared the pitching duties for T-M-B.

Paul Counter (4 1/3 innings, three strikeouts, three walks) and Justin Reinsma (1 2/3 innings, one strikeout) did the pitching for MCC.

MCC jumped out of the gates with three sharp hits in the top of the first, as Ben Clarke crushed a solo home run over the left-field fence to put the Rebels up 1-0.

Counter followed with a double to right-center, advanced to third on a throwing error on the Panthers' relay to the infield and scored on another throwing error, as Jake Sweetman flew out to shallow left field and the throw to the infield went to the backstop. Kyle DeLong blasted a double to left-center, but the Panthers got out of the inning before tying the game in the bottom half of the frame.

Taylor Hagberg led off and doubled to left-center, and Dominic Dolan reached on an infield single. Two Rebel errors allowed both Hagberg and Dolan to score and even the score at two-apiece.

T-M-B took a 3-2 lead in the second, as two more Rebel errors allowed Eric Lanoue to reach base with two outs and later score to put the Panthers in front.

The Panthers increased their advantage to 5-2 by scoring a pair of runs in the fourth, with Dominic Dolan delivering a two-out, two-run single to left -- plating both Brian Schlager (who walked) and Aaron Frisvold (who singled).

MCC trimmed the gap to 5-4 with two runs in the fifth, as Eric Wieneke and Clarke coaxed consecutive walks to begin the frame. Counter then ripped a single to left, loading the bases and prompting the Panthers to relieve Isaac Dolan with Anthony Dolan.

Sweetman was then hit by a pitch to bring Wieneke in, and Clarke later scored on a passed ball to make it a one-run game.

However, T-M-B responded with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to claim a 9-4 lead.

Isaac Dolan, Anthony Dolan, Frisvold and Lanoue each scored, as Schlager had an RBI-sacrifice fly and two more Rebel errors allowed three runs to score.

MCC rallied in the seventh, as Clarke walked to start the inning and later scored after back-to-back, one-out singles by Jase Bly and DeLong. T-M-B, though, escaped the inning by turning a slick 6-4-3 double play (David Schmidt to Dominic Dolan to Isaac Dolan).

R H E

MCC 200 020 1 -- 5 8 6

T-M-B 210 240 x -- 9 7 2

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