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Adrian shuts out Luverne

ADRIAN -- Behind a four-hit shutout from starting pitcher John Archer, the Adrian American Legion baseball team defeated Luverne 8-0 Friday in Adrian.

"Luverne's always been a tough team for us," Archer said. "I came in thinking that it was going to be a good game anyway. Greg (Kruger) came and told me to mix it up, and that was about all we had to do."

Adrian head coach Greg Kruger said the key to subduing the Luverne offense was changing speeds of pitches.

"Against the Southwest Conference teams, you have to mix it up," Kruger said. "I don't know what it is, but they sit on the fastball all the time."

Archer scattered the four hits, while striking out four and walking no one.

"Our pitching and hitting since Jackson has been terrific," Greg Kruger said. "It just makes it easier, it's easier to coach."

For Luverne, the normally high-powered offense was unable to get anything going.

"We just couldn't get runners on base," Luverne head coach Taylor Graphenteen said. "Their pitcher had a nice game, they threw strikes and made us work for it, and we couldn't do it."

Caleb Bruynes was the only player for Luverne to have multiple hits, as he had two, and was one of only three runners to advance to scoring position.

Adrian's offense got on the board right away in the bottom of the first. Adam Diekmann struck out, but advanced to first on a dropped third strike. Glen Kruger hit an RBI double, as Adrian took a 1-0 lead.

Glen Kruger once again provided offensive sparks in the third inning. With two runners on base, he drove a pitch over the fence for a three-run home run. Archer also scored in the inning, as Adrian took a 5-1 lead.

"We started out a little slow, but then we got the bats going," Archer said. "We pitched strikes, and that's all we really needed to do to get the win."

The Adrian offense was not through yet however. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Tanner Loosbrock singled and stole second. Cody Kontz doubled to drive home Loosbrock as Adrian took a 6-0 lead. Ben Suedkamp pinch ran for Cody Kontz, and Jordan Kontz followed with a single.

Glen Kruger drove in his fifth run of the night with a single, as Adrian eventually went on to an 8-0 win.

"The way we've been hitting lately, I wasn't surprised," Greg Kruger said of his offense. "We scored a few of those on errors, but we made it happen with base running."

While Luverne made two errors and allowed Adrian to score unearned runs, Graphenteen said he was pleased overall with the defense.

"It was pretty good," Graphenteen said of his defense. "They hit the ball well, but we walked a few guys, and that came back to hurt us. The score didn't show it, but it felt closer than it was."

Greg Kruger said that he was very pleased with his defense as well.

"Our defense has been good for four years," Kruger said. "They are just good defensively."

Glen Kruger led the way with three hits, and was just a triple away from the cycle. He also drove in five runs and scored once. Jordan Kontz had two hits and scored twice, while Brandon Diekmann had two hits for Adrian.

Luverne is now 6-4 overall and will host Worthington on Thursday.

Adrian improves to 13-3 on the season, and 6-1 in league play. Adrian will travel to Parkston, S.D. to face a team that won the Class B state tournament.


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