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Lakefield wins pair; Redbirds top Irish

Amateur baseball roundup from the area.

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REGIONAL — The playoffs are just around the corner for southwest Minnesota’s amateur baseball teams, and squads are battling for position and home-field advantage in the first round.

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The two regular-season champions in both the Gopher and First Night League earn first-round byes in the playoffs, with the other six clubs squaring off in best-of-three series for the right to advance.

The Windom Pirates are 13-3 in league play and lead the First Night League by a game-and-a-half over the Jackson Bulls (12-5).

The Gopher League is tighter after second-place Luverne (13-2) handed the league-leading Milroy Irish a 14-2 defeat last Wednesday in Milroy. It was the first Irish loss in 13 league games this summer.

Luverne’s talented Jake Haugen was the winning pitcher against Milroy, while Derek Lundgren homered and Declan Beers smashed a pair of triples.

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Derek Smith homered for Milroy.

In other games last week involving Gopher and First Night League teams it was:

Ruthton 1, Fox Lake 0 (7)

RUTHTON — Mitchell Biever tossed a three-hitter and fanned nine as the Royals earned the victory on Sunday. Biever also walked twice, singled and scored a run. Other hits for Ruthton came from Cody Wichmann, Tylan Gylling and Brent Wier.

Hadley 16, Worthington 1

HADLEY — Veteran right-handed Sam Erickson pitched a complete game as the Buttermakers defeated the Cubs on Sunday. Erickson scattered eight hits and struck out 11.

Derek Platt energized the Hadley offense with two hits, three RBIs and three stolen bases. Joe Larson had two hits, including a triple, and knocked in a run. And Justin Benda doubled and tripled in three trips to the plate.

For the Cubs, Tyler Linder hit a double and a home run. Tate Gaul had a pair of doubles, and Logan Huisman pitched four innings.

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Lakefield 13, Pipestone 3

LAKEFIELD — Levi Lindley had three hits to lead the Frogs past Pipestone on Friday.

Dalton Henning earned the mound triumph. Dustin Pronk, Nolan Lehman and Ryan Christopher each had two hits.

Lakefield enjoyed a fine week as the Frogs also knocked off Heron Lake 15-4 last Wednesday.

Keegan Klontz pitched well, while Ryan Christopher homered, singled and knocked in four runs. Dustin Pronk had four hits and Bryce Christopher had three RBI singles.

For Heron Lake, Angel Molina had two hits.

Windom 15, Mountain Lake 0 (7)

ST. JAMES — Luke Gilbertson struck out eight in six impressive innings for the victorious Pirates last Thursday.

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Alex Fink socked a grand slam, while Braydon Kreofsky and Ross Ackerman also homered for Windom.

Fox Lake 6, Fairmont 4

FAIRMONT — Mitchell Prafke knocked in the game-winning runs in the ninth for the Foxes last Thursday. He finished with two hits and three RBIs.

Fox Lake went on the road and defeated Pipestone 9-3 on Sunday.

Jackson 3, Lamberton 2

JACKSON — Gavin Jacobsen struck out 16 in seven-plus innings to lead the Bulls to a non-conference victory last Thursday.

Hadley 4, Pipestone 2

PIPESTONE — Avery Weber pitched six strong innings and Derek Platt had three hits and an RBI as the Buttermakers won last Wednesday.

Alex Petersen and Lincoln Graven each drove in runs for Hadley. Jacob Van Dam and Max Zwart combined for three excellent innings in relief, striking out five while allowing just one hit.

Austin Evans had two hits and pitched nine solid innings for Pipestone. He struck out nine and allowed only one earned run.

Collin Moeller had an RBI double for the A’s.

STANDINGS (League games only)

Gopher League —1, Milroy Irish 12-1; 2, Luverne 13-2; 3, Hadley 10-4; 4, Adrian 5-7; 5, Ruthton 5-9; 6, Pipestone 3-11; 7, Worthington 2-12

First Nite League — 1, Windom 13-3; 2, Jackson 12-5; 3, Fairmont 7-5; 4, Fox Lake 6-8; 5, Lakefield 5-9; 6, Mountain Lake 2-8; 7, Heron Lake 2-13

SCHEDULE

Wednesday — Milroy Irish at Worthington, 7:30; Jackson at Fairmont, 7:30; Heron Lake vs. Mountain Lake in St. James, 7:30; Hadley at Adrian, 7:30; Ruthton at Luverne, 7:30

Friday — Milroy Irish at Pipestone, 7:30; Luverne at Marshall, 7:30; Fairmont at Fox Lake, 7:30; Leavenworth at Windom, 7:30; Jackson at Blue Earth, 7:30

Saturday — Mountain Lake at Hadley, 2:00; Adrian at Ruthton, 2:00; Adrian at Luverne, 5:00

Sunday — Worthington at Fox Lake, 5:00; Adrian at Mountain Lake, 2:00; Windom at Lakefield, 5:00; Milroy Irish at Hadley, 2:00; Heron Lake at Luverne, 2:00; Fairmont at Pipestone, 2:00; Fairmont at Ruthton, 5:00.

Scott Mansch, who in a crowded Viking tavern has been known to say “Go Pack Go” at times in complete disregard for his health, can be reached at smansch5rockets@gmail.com
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