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Prep baseball: Trojans bounce back with twin victories

Redwood Valley first baseman Mitchell Klinker (16) takes a pickoff attempt from pitcher Jordan Opdahl as Worthington’s Logan Thuringer (right) dives back safely during the second game of the Trojans’ doubleheader sweep Monday. (DOUG WOLTER/DAILY GLOBE)

WORTHINGTON — Starting pitchers Ryan Lee and Carson Hagen were in firm control. Hitters produced in the clutch. Baserunners moved smartly around the sacks. And errors were kept at a minimum.

It all went according to plan Monday for the Worthington Trojans baseball team in a 9-2 and 12-1 doubleheader sweep of Southwest Conference opponent Redwood Valley at the middle school field. At least that’s the way head coach Stacy Sauerbrei saw it.

“This is the way I envisioned us playing the whole season. I felt that in all aspects of the game we played as well as we’re capable of,” he said.

The senior, Lee, went seven full innings in the first game, allowing just three hits while walking four and striking out five. The junior, Hagen, pitched six complete in the second game, which was called early due to the 10-run rule. Hagen gave up just three hits himself, walking two and whiffing five. After the first inning, where the Cardinals scored their only run, no Redwood Valley player got as far as second base until the sixth inning.

“They were throwing strikes. Carson had really good command of the strike zone today. That’s what it takes,” Sauerbrei said. “And we made plays behind them.”

The Trojans, in fact, committed only one error on the day. They pounded out 12 hits in the first game and nine more in the second.

Trevor Wietzema was 2-for-3 with a double in the opener and Roque Soto was 2-for-2 with a double. Soto, Logan Thuringer and Blake Fauske each drove in two runs.

In the second game, Lee, Tucker Sorenson and Nathan Braaksma had two hits apiece.

WHS started the 2014 campaign 3-0 but went into a slump during May. The Redwood Valley doubleheader brought smiles to the faces of the coaching staff and the players Monday, and although Sauerbrei didn’t go so far as to say the Trojans had turned a corner, he gave credit to all his players.

“I tell the kids to live in the moment. And I’m going to try to live in the moment myself. The kids deserve to feel good,” he said.

Worthington will get a bigger test later this week in the first round of sectional tournament action. The Trojans were seeded seventh for the tournament on Monday and learned that they will face second-seeded New Ulm at New Ulm Saturday at 11 a.m.

Moments after the final out against Redwood Valley was made, Sauerbrei gathered his ballplayers together on the field and told them that if they envision good things, good things just might happen on Saturday. Later, to a sports writer, he said, “There’s a reason why you play. And in baseball more than any other sport, you have a chance to make an upset.”


Redwood 000 002 0 — 2 3 2

Worthington 013 140 x — 912 1


Worthington 202 125 — 12 9 0

Redwood 100 000 — 1 3 3

Marshall 8, PA 1

PIPESTONE — After being held scoreless through the first two innings, Marshall finally figured out Pipestone Area starting pitcher Dominic Freese in the third inning Monday.

An early 1-0 lead for the Arrows disappeared quickly, and the Southwest Conference leading Tigers went on to take an 8-1 win.

Pipestone Area scored in the home half of the first to get out in front, but a five-run fourth for Marshall gave it plenty of breathing room.

Freese took the loss for the Arrows, allowing four runs — only one earned — on two hits and striking out three in three and one-third innings. Drew Hmielewski allowed one run on two hits in four innings to pick up the win for the Tigers.

Freese was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Brayden Baartman, Jaymes Zollner, Austin Moeller and Jacoby Hunt added one hit each.


MHS 001 520 0 — 8 6 3

PA 100 000 0 — 1 5 4

T-M-B 13, D-B 3

TRACY — It took the Tracy-Milroy-Balaton bats a while to get warmed up Monday against Dawson-Boyd; but once they did, there was no slowing down.

After falling behind 3-0, the Panthers tied it in the fifth and ended it in the sixth, scoring 10 in the latter of those two innings to complete a 13-3 run-rule win.

Taylor Carlson was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs for T-M-B. Austin Gleis added a 2-for-4 performance that included one scored and another batted in. Brady Lanoue was 2-for-3 with two runs and a double with Jordan Towne finishing 1-for-1 with two RBIs and a triple. Gavin VanMoer had the odd stat of the night as he went 0-for-0 at the plate with five walks and two runs scored.


D-B 003 000 — 3 4 3

T-M-B 000 1210 — 13 10 1

Luverne 5, Windom Area 4

LUVERNE — In a tight game between Southwest Conference rivals, Luverne broke a 4-4 tie with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to edge Windom Area.

The Eagles fought back from a 4-1 deficit after three innings, scoring three runs in the fifth to tie.

Josh Slieter allowed 10 Windom Area hits but emerged the winning pitcher. Joe Wieneke and Wyatt Stevens pitched for the Eagles, with Stevens getting the loss.

Connor Hoffman, Kendall Meyer, Gunnar Olson and Zane Hiller all had two hits for the Cardinals, who collected nine safeties in all. Olson hit a triple and Meyer doubled.

Sam Huska, Jack Mellstrom and Andrew Larson had two hits apiece for Windom Area. Huska doubled.


Windom Area 010 030 0 — 4 10 1

Luverne 202 000 1 — 5 9 1

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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