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Cubs knock off A's

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Worthington second baseman Joe Kinley ranges back to catch a fly ball during Saturday's game in Worthington.1 / 2
Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Pipestone pitcher Brandan Alfson prepares to deliver a pitch during Saturday's game in Worthington.2 / 2

WORTHINGTON -- For the first time since the 1990s, the Worthington Cubs have advanced to the Amateur Baseball Regionals with a 10-8 win over the Pipestone A's in Game 2 Saturday in Worthington.

"It is exciting to be in the Regionals with the Cubs," Worthington coach Josh Wasmund said. "I've had the experience in the Regionals before, so I know that any team can beat any team in the playoffs."

All six of the opening-round series between the First Nite League and the Gopher League were two-game sweeps, as six teams advanced to join Wilmont and Luverne -- who each received byes -- in this week's Region 13C playoffs.

Seedings for the remaining eight teams will be determined tonight and action will begin on Wednesday with Game 2 on either Friday or Saturday and Game 3 -- if necessary -- on Sunday.

In addition to Worthington's sweep of Pipestone (6-0 in Game 1 at Pipestone July 17), Heron Lake won two games over Adrian (6-2, 10-0), Hadley defeated Windom twice (5-3, 5-1), Fairmont beat Tracy (15-1, 14-2), the Milroy Irish won twice over the Martin County Foxes (7-2, 8-4) and Minneota eliminated Jackson (3-2, 1-0).

The A's took an early lead in the second inning after piling up five runs on Cubs starter Mitch Jensen.

"Mitch didn't have his usual control in the game; he gave up nine hits through four innings," Wasmund said. "But it was also Mitch's first start since he hurt his finger a while back as well."

Pipestone expanded its lead to seven in the top of the fourth, but Worthington strung together four hits against relief pitcher Sam Schnider in the bottom of the inning to score two runs of its own and make it 7-2 after four innings.

"The A's pulled their starting pitcher in the third inning and we roughed him up pretty good," Wasmund said. "We put up 11 hits on him in just the two innings, which really jump started our offense."

After relief pitcher Jarred Meinders pitched a scoreless top of the fifth, the Cubs offense put together another hitting flurry, picking up seven runs on seven hits in the fifth inning to take a 9-7 lead.

Worthington scored again in the seventh inning to push its advantage to three before Pipestone picked up a run in the eighth to cut the lead to two.

Meinders shut down the Pipestone offense in the sixth and seventh innings before Ethan Duffy came in to close out the game.

Joey Kinley led the Cubs with three RBIs on a 4-for-5 day at the plate, while Meinders (2-for-4) and Tommy Hayenga each had two RBIs in the game. Adam Munkel had an RBI on two hits to go along with three hits by Joe Joswiak.

Mark Abrahamsen led the A's at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs while Danny Moffit went 3-for-5 on the day.


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Heron Lake 10, Adrian 0

HERON LAKE -- Receiving a solid seven-inning shutout pitching performance from veteran Matt Franks and stringing together a pair of four-run innings, the Heron Lake Lakers defeated Adrian, 10-0, Saturday and advanced to the Region 13C playoffs with a two-game sweep in their series against the A's.

Heron Lake (11-13) won Game 1 at Adrian Wednesday, 6-2.

In Saturday's contest, the Lakers held a slim 2-0 lead after four innings before crossing the plate four times in the bottom of the fifth and then scoring four more times in the sixth.

Franks (five strikeouts) did not issue a walk through the first six innings. He scattered five hits and worked 1-2-3 innings in both the first and fourth.

Adrian's Jason Stubbe drew a one-out walk in the top of the seventh and later stole second base, but Heron Lake's defense -- which played errorless ball -- came up with the final two outs and the game ended early via the 10-run rule.

The A's, who finished their season with a 9-13 record, did load the bases in the top of the third inning -- with one out -- on singles by Nick Meyer, Hunter Sieperda and Colin Sandbulte.

But, a fine defensive play by Lakers' first baseman Ben Scheevel to catcher Ike Rogers for a force out at the plate was followed by a flyout to left fielder Lon Eichenberger.

Alex Meyer (2-for-3) paced Heron Lake at the plate with a trio of RBI, while leadoff hitter Eric Milbrath stole three bases and scored three runs.

Scheevel smacked a two-run single for the Lakers in the fifth after Heron Lake had drawn four consecutive walks.

Luke Henkels (two runs) delivered a two-run single for Heron Lake in the bottom of the sixth and then scored the Lakers' 10th run when Meyer came through with his second RBI single of the game.

Zach Dingmann, Sandbulte and Stubbe pitched for Adrian, combining for five strikeouts and eight walks.


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