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Amateur baseball: Cubs trail early, then take charge

WORTHINGTON -- When the Worthington Cubs got down early against the Luverne Redbirds Wednesday night, there was just a little bit of concern. The Redbirds were getting to Cubs starter Justin Saufley, who allowed two runs in the second inning and ...

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Luverne Redbirds base runner Dominick Nibbelink slides back to second base, but too late, during Wednesday's amateur baseball game against Worthington. Cubs infielder Adam Munkel pulls off the base after making the force out. TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE

 

WORTHINGTON -- When the Worthington Cubs got down early against the Luverne Redbirds Wednesday night, there was just a little bit of concern.

The Redbirds were getting to Cubs starter Justin Saufley, who allowed two runs in the second inning and two more in the third. Saufley, one of the better pitchers in the southwest Minnesota amateur baseball ranks, doesn’t get touched up often. Luverne led 4-0 after two and a half innings.

As the game wore on, two things happened. Saufley settled down. Then the powerful Worthington bats erupted.

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The Cubs amassed 11 runs in the sixth inning and routed the Redbirds 15-5 in eight innings to improve to 10-2 on the summer season.

There was no cause for concern, after all.

Saufley went the distance, allowing 10 hits while walking one and striking out three. The Cubs produced 14 hits against two Luverne pitchers, Codie Zeutenhorst and Josh Slieter.

“As the game wore on, he locked in,” Cubs player-coach Josh Wasmund said of his pitcher, as if not surprised at all.

Wasmund also expressed no surprise that the Cubs’ bats woke up.

“The lineup we put out there, especially tonight, we had everybody out there. We have 12 guys who can do the job,” he said.

Trailing 5-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth, Worthington used that inning to pull away. There were two walks, an A.J. Hayenga two-run single, a Wasmund RBI, and -- the big blow -- a two-out bases-loaded double by Nate Jensen.

Wasmund drilled a two-run home run over the left-center field fence in the third inning to get the Cubs started offensively. He, Jensen and Ryan Lee each had a pair of hits in the game. Adam Munkel and Lucas Henning had three hits apiece.

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For Luverne, Zeutenhorst, Connor Hoffman, Andrew Verhey and Tanner Skattum each had a pair of safeties.

R H E

Luverne 022 100 00 -- 5 10 0

Worthington 002 10(11) 01 -- 15 14 3

Windom 5, Hadley 2

WINDOM -- Joel Riordan went 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI to lead the Windom Pirates past Hadley. Tyler Knutson had three hits for the winners while Nathan Adrian and Kirby Johnson each had two.

Chris Halbur hit a two-run home run for the Buttermakers in the second inning, which gave his team a short-lived 2-0 lead. But the Pirates answered with three runs in the bottom of the second.

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Nick Kulseth pitched the full nine innings for Windom, allowing six hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

Sam Erickson took the loss.

R H E

Hadley 020 000 000 -- 2 6 3

Windom 030 020 00x -- 5 13 2


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Luverne's Joey Slieter shows a look of determination as he rounds third base headed for home in Wednesday night's amateur baseball game in Worthington. TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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