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Amateur baseball: Wilmont batters Hadley, 12-2

Les Knutson

Daily Globe

WILMONT –– Ripping 15 hits Wednesday evening at Butts Probst Field, the Wilmont Cardinals treated their fans to a 12-2 Region 13C amateur baseball victory over Hadley in Game 1 of a best-of-three series which will decide the region’s third state tournament entrant.

Fairmont and Luverne, who both will advance, battled at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont Wednesday in Game 1 of the best-of-three series to determine state tournament seedings.

Luverne defeated the Martins, 13-4, to take an early lead in that series.

Wilmont (20-7) spread its 15 hits among nine players –– with nearly all of them coming in the third and fourth innings, as the Cardinals scored a trio of runs in the third and crossed the plate eight times in the fourth.

“We hit the ball good tonight,” summed up Wilmont manager Todd Rogers. “All of the guys had good at-bats and we drove a lot of pitches the opposite way.”

Rogers’ sons –– Stuart and Blake –– each cracked a pair of extra-base hits and combined to drive in five Cardinal runs.

Left fielder Joe Krivarchka continued his torrid hitting streak as he –– for the second playoff game in a row –– enjoyed a perfect 3-for-3 night at the plate with a trio of singles, driving in a pair of runs.

“Joe’s on a hot hitting streak, that’s for sure,” declared Todd Rogers. “He’s been real consistent for us.”

Hadley, which staged a remarkable rally Saturday –– coming from a 7-2 deficit (with five runs in the seventh inning and two more in the bottom of the ninth) –– to defeat Fairmont 9-8 and force the only third game of this year’s playoffs, was unable to score through six innings Wednesday.

Working the mound for Wilmont was Cardinal ace Justin Saufley who –– after being tagged for a trio of singles in the top of the first and two more to lead off the fourth –– kept the Buttermakers off the board by getting clutch outs when he needed them.

“As usual, Justin did a great job pitching for us,” praised Todd Rogers. “Hadley had some nice hits, but Justin’s pitching and our defense kept them from scoring.”

Joe Larson, Nick Bruning (2-for-3) and Max Zwart (3-for-4) all had singles in the game’s first frame, but a pickoff at first base by Saufley and a pair of strikeouts prevented any runs.

Wilmont got on the board via a five-pitch leadoff walk to Jay Scheidt (2-for-3) who stole second and scored on Krivarcha’s RBI single to the gap in right center.

After a scoreless second, the Cardinals stroked six consecutive hits –– five singles and a booming two-run triple by Blake Rogers –– in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs to take a 4-0 lead.

The damage may have been more if not for a great throw by Zwart from right field, cutting down a sliding Scheidt at third base for the inning’s first out.

After Scheidt, Krivarchka and Steven Kremer each hit consecutive singles off Hadley starter Zach Bruns, Blake Rogers’ triple to the right center field gap plated both Krivarchka and Kremer.

A sharp RBI single by Lucas Henning scored Rogers with Wilmont’s fourth run of the game.

After a single by Saufley, the Buttemakers turned a nifty 6-4-3 double play (Nate Wieneke to James Wajer to Chris Halbur) to end the bleeding.

Zwart and Trent Carlson hit back-to-back single to open Hadley’s half of the fourth, but a pair of strikeouts by Saufley and a fine fielding play by the Wilmont pitcher stranded both runners.

Starting with an opposite field double by Stuart Rogers, the Cardinals sent 12 batters to the plate in the top of the fourth –– off of a trio of Hadley pitchers (Bruns, Paul Counter and Sam Erickson) –– and scored eight runs on seven hits, a walk and a beaned batter.

Scheidt, Krivarchka and Blake Rogers (double) each drove in a run before Joe Ahrens (2-for-4) delivered a two-run single and Stuart Rogers’ second double of the inning, plated two more runs.

Both Saufley and Erickson (three ground outs) worked 1-2-3 fifth innings before Hadley loaded the bases –– with no outs –– against Jackson draftee Ryan Rasche in the top of the sixth.

Zwart had his third single of the night and both Bruning and Carlson drew walks, but Rasche recovered with a pair of strikeouts, sandwiched around a great catch by second baseman Nick Ahrens, to escape without a run.

Hadley’s EricWieneke struck out the side in the bottom in the sixth and the Buttermakers rallied with a pair of runs off Nick Ahrens in the top of the seventh.

Nate Wieneke led off with a single and Alex Peterson later drew a one-out walk.

Wieneke scored on Bruning’s RBI single and Peterson later crossed the plate on Zwart’s RBI ground out.

Carlson drew another walk, loading the bases, but a fly ball to Scheidt ended the game early via the 10-run rule.

Hadley hosts Game 2 Saturday at 2 p.m.


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Wilmont 103 800 X –– 12 15 2