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Section 3A baseball: Adrian reaches title game

DAILY GLOBE MILROY -- The Adrian Dragons returned to their ace Tuesday in their Section 3A baseball showdown with Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, and with their 8-1 win they'll play for a berth at state Thursday against Canby.The Dragons, behind the s...

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TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE Adrian pitcher Logan Rogers throws a pitch against Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Tuesday at the Section 3A baseball tournament in Milroy.

DAILY GLOBE

MILROY - The Adrian Dragons returned to their ace Tuesday in their Section 3A baseball showdown with Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, and with their 8-1 win they’ll play for a berth at state Thursday against Canby.
The Dragons, behind the superb pitching of right-handed senior Logan Rogers, trimmed the Fighting Saints 8-1. Rogers allowed just two hits and one run in six and two-thirds innings.
Thursday’s section finale will begin at 5 p.m. in Milroy. If the Dragons win that game, they’ll have to beat KMS (which is undefeated in the tournament) again at 7 p.m. to get a state trip.
“We’re not sitting too bad. (Canby) has been sitting for a week, so they’re really set,” said AHS head coach Kevin Nowotny, looking ahead.
Two of Adrian’s starting pitchers - Alex Loosbrock and Landon Rogers - will be fresh on Thursday. Logan Rogers has about seven innings of pitching availability before Minnesota State High School League rules stipulate he can pitch no more in the tournament. So Nowotny has a decision to make. He can start his ace in the 5 p.m. game on Thursday and take him out to use later, or keep him in.
In any case, Nowotny remains wary of the Lancers, who he says are quick, are proficient at stealing bases, and possess three good pitchers.
“If somehow we could get ‘em shook. We’ll have to win that first game to do it,” said the veteran coach.
On Tuesday, the Dragons led throughout against the Fighting Saints and their starter, Ryan Torkelson.
“The kids were very confident with Logan on the mound. And we had 10 hits - the kids really hit the ball,” Nowotny said.
They scored a single run in the top of the first inning after Michael Preuss led off with a double, was bunted to third, and scored on a Logan Rogers sacrifice fly to leftfield.
Two more runs came home in the second inning with two outs. Both runs came home on an errant throw on a slow roller from Preuss’ bat.
A Zach Hendel double with two out in the seventh inning scored the Dragons’ final two runs. Adrian had four consecutive hits and two walks in the five-run inning.
After the Dragons scored their five runs in the seventh to put daylight between them and the Saints, Nowotny used a relief pitcher to allow Rogers a well-earned rest. But after the reliever issued three walks, Rogers returned to finish the game - striking out the last two hitters.
He struck out 13 batters in all, walking three.
Handel and Mitchell Wagner both had a pair of hits in the game.
Nowotny said the Dragons are playing good baseball now, but they hadn’t been playing on all cylinders for the entire section tournament. The key, he believes, was the team’s 1-0 win over Wabasso on June 2.
“I think that’s when the light went on,” he said.
R H E
Adrian 120 000 5 - 8 10 1
KMS 000 010 0 - 1 2 3

 

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TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE Dragons Landon Rogers (23) reaches third base and teammate Zach Hendel (14) pulls into second in Adrian’s Section 3A tournament game Tuesday.

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