Wilmont, Luverne adavance; face off in next round
WORTHINGTON - The Wilmont Cardinals completed a two-game sweep of the Worthington Cubs Saturday to advance to the Region 13C Region semifinals, where they will face off with the Luverne Redbirds, who swept the Heron Lake Lakers Saturday.
Luverne, the Region's No. 3 seed, will now tangle with second-seeded Wilmont in the best-of-three matchup. That series begins Wednesday (7:30 p.m.) at Butts Probst Field in Wilmont.
Game 2 is at Redbird Field in Luverne Friday, also at 7:30 p.m.
Game 3, if necessary, is back at Wilmont Sunday (2 p.m.).
Wilmont jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after scoring two runs in the first inning. The Cardinals added two more runs in the fourth increase their lead to four after four innings.
Worthington got on the board with a run in the eighth, but Wilmont tacked on another three runs in the top of the ninth to go up 7-1.
The Cubs were able to push one more run across in the bottom of the ninth, but it was not enough to make a comeback.
Ryan Rasche (the Cardinals draftee from Jackson) pitched a complete game to get the win while striking out six Cubs batters. Mitch Jensen also pitched a complete game, striking out seven while allowing just four earned runs on 15 hits.
Three batters had three hits in the game for Wilmont, including Joe Krivarchka, Stuart Rogers and Nick Ahrens. Rogers picked up two RBIs in the game, while Krivarchka scored two runs to go along with an RBI.
Joey Kinley (2-for-4) knocked in one of Worthington's two runs with Josh Wasmund scoring the other on a solo home run. Joe Joswiak and Tommy Hayenga each had two hits in the game.
Worthington finishes the season with an 8-15 record, while Wilmont advances to the semifinals to play a best-of-three series with the Luverne Redbirds beginning on Wednesday.
R H E
Wil 200 200 003 - 7 15 0
Wor 000 000 011 - 2 8 2
Luverne 9, Heron Lake 2
HERON LAKE -- A two-run double by Alex Meyer in the bottom of the first inning Saturday gave the Heron Lake Lakers a quick 2-0 lead in its best-of-three Region 13C quarterfinal series against the Luverne Redbirds.
But the Redbirds (17-7), who had held off the Lakers in a 7-5 Game 1 victory at Luverne July 24, cracked 16 hits in Game 2 and advanced to the semifinals with a 9-2 win.
Andrew DeBoer pitched all nine innings -- eight scoreless -- for Luverne Saturday, scattering seven hits, while striking out seven and walking just three.
Connor Fitzer (4-for-5) had a huge day at the plate for the Redbirds, including a two-run single in their four-run seventh.
Jared Pick (3-for-5) delivered a two-run double for Luverne in the top of the fifth inning.
Phil Paquette (3-for-5), Brian Beuning (2-for-4) and Codie Zeutenhorst (2-for-5, double, RBI single) also each had multiple-hit days for the Redbirds, while James Fisher and Tanner Skattum both delivered RBI singles to aid Luverne's balanced attack.
Beuning, Fitzer and Pick each scored two runs for the Redbirds.
Ben Scheevel, who pitched the first six-and-one third innings for the Lakers (12 hits, seven runs, two strikeouts, two walks), was 3-for-4 at the plate and also stole a base.
Eric Milbrath (2-for-5) singled to leadoff the game and moved to second when Kirk McBreen reached on a catcher's interference call.
Lucas Knutson advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt before Meyer's blast plated both Milbrath and McBreen.
Lon Eichenberger (1-for-3 with a walk) had Heron Lake's only other hit.
The Lakers finish their season with an 11-15 record.
R H E
Luverne 021 020 400 - 9 16 1
H.L. 200 000 000 -- 2 7 1