AMATEUR BASEBALL: Windom routs Wilmont, wins Region 13C titleWILMONT — Led by left-hander Bryce Grove on the mound and at the plate Saturday night, the red-hot Windom Pirates claimed an 11-0, eight-inning victory over the Wilmont Cardinals in the Region 13C amateur baseball championship game at Butts Probst Field.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WILMONT — Led by left-hander Bryce Grove on the mound and at the plate Saturday night, the red-hot Windom Pirates claimed an 11-0, eight-inning victory over the Wilmont Cardinals in the Region 13C amateur baseball championship game at Butts Probst Field.
Both Windom and Wilmont will play in the Class C State Baseball Tournament, which begins Saturday in Arlington and Gaylord.
The Pirates and the Cardinals will take on the two Region 12C representatives (the Moorhead Miners and the Moorhead Brewers, who played for the region championship Sunday) in Arlington.
Windom (22-8), which swept its best-of-five series against Hadley with 7-1, 6-5 and 4-3 victories, will play in Arlington Saturday at 11 a.m. against the Region 12 runner-up. The Pirates took Luverne left-handed pitcher Jared Pick with their additional draft choice for the state tournament.
Wilmont (20-13), which claimed victories in Game 1 (4-0), Game 4 (12-2) and Game 5 (4-0) to defeat Jackson in its best-of-five series, will follow at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Arlington against the Region 12 champion. The Cardinals selected Minneota right-handed pitcher Pat O’Brien with their extra draft pick for the state tournament.
Grove twirls gem, leads Pirates with three hits
Grove, who struck out 10 batters and allowed seven hits and one walk in a complete-game effort in Windom’s Game 1 victory over Hadley, turned in another gem on the mound against Wilmont.
Once again fanning 10 batters, Grove (139 pitches, 84 strikes) worked around five walks and hurled a two-hit, eight-inning shutout. He also went 3-for-4 at the plate to spark the Pirates offensively.
“Bryce pitched another tremendous ballgame for us,” Windom general manager Jim Johnson said. “He located the ball well and kept our defense active by throwing strikes. And our defense came up big again by playing errorless baseball.”
Wilmont’s only hits were a one-out double by Josh Wasmund in the second and a one-out single by Jordon Kontz in the third. Grove retired nine straight batters after Kontz’s hit, as he settled into a groove with five strikeouts in that span.
Windom had a 2-0 lead after the first inning, with lead-off man Brett Dumke reaching on a soft single to right field to start things.
Brad Schlomann advanced Dumke to second with a nice sacrifice bunt before Kody Johnson (2-for-5) smashed a single to left field, giving the Pirates runners on the corners.
Johnson then stole second, and Dumke scored when the throw down went into center field. Johnson later scored on a two-out RBI single to right by Grove.
Wilmont’s Nick Ahrens (six innings, two strikeouts, one walk) kept Windom in check for the next four innings, facing just two batters over the minimum (14) in that stretch.
Ahrens worked a perfect third inning on nine pitches, picking up a pair of strikeouts sandwiched around a groundball back to the mound.
Windom’s Charlie Dunnick (2-for-4) scorched a two-out triple to center field in the fourth, and Trent Anderson drew a lead-off walk in the fifth. Ahrens, though, worked out of both situations to keep the score at 2-0.
Meanwhile, Grove was sailing along by retiring Wilmont in order in both the fourth and fifth innings. Windom then put the game out of reach during the next three frames.
Kody Johnson and younger brother Kirby Johnson led off the top of the sixth with back-to-back extra-base hits into the left-center-field gap. Kody ripped an 0-2 pitch to the fence for a lead-off double before Kirby fouled off three two-strike pitches and belted a two-run home run over the fence to put Windom up 4-0.
“We hit the ball well, and that was nice to see,” Jim Johnson said. “We also did a good job of bunting and moving runners up. We are just doing a lot of things well right now, and it sure is fun to watch.”
Grove followed with a hard-hit single to right, and Dunnick put down a bunt. Everyone was safe on the play, as a throwing error allowed Grove to race to third.
After Spencer Cardinals draftee Will Glienke (2-for-4) grounded out to first base for the first out, Grove scored on a passed ball to make it 5-0. Anderson then dropped down a bunt on a suicide-squeeze play, driving in Dunnick with Windom’s sixth run.
Windom tacked on five more runs in the eighth to go up 11-0. Grove started that surge with a booming double to center field.
Dunnick and Glienke (bunt) followed with infield singles to load the bases with no outs. Anderson and Tyler Knutson were then hit by pitches in back-to-back plate appearances, allowing Grove and Dunnick to score and increase the Pirates’ bulge to 8-0.
Dumke drove in Glienke with a groundout to second base before Schlomann cracked a two-run single to left field, plating Anderson and Knutson for an 11-0 Windom advantage.
Grove issued one-out walks to Jay Scheidt and Kontz (two walks) in the bottom of the eighth, but a strikeout and a flyout ended the inning and the game via the 10-run rule.
Brian Harberts (second) and Joe Ahrens (sixth) also drew walks off Grove, and Sam Baumgartner reached on a fielder’s choice to end the second. The Cardinals had just eight baserunners, and Wasmund (second inning) was the only one to reach third base.
Joe Ahrens tossed the final two frames for the Cardinals and struck out two of the four batters he faced in the seventh.
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Win. 200 004 05 — 11 12 0
Wil. 000 000 00 — 0 2 3