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Section 3A baseball: Another Rogers leads charge for Adrian

MILROY -- With their ace pitcher, senior Logan Rogers, due for a rest, the Adrian Dragons sent his younger brother, sophomore Landon, to the mound Saturday in a Section 3A baseball losers bracket game against Murray County Central.It was a decisi...

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TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE Adrian Dragons pitcher Landon Rogers (23) bears down on a Murray County Central batter in a Section 3A game Saturday in Milroy. Rogers and the Dragons shut out the Rebels, 4-0.

 

MILROY - With their ace pitcher, senior Logan Rogers, due for a rest, the Adrian Dragons sent his younger brother, sophomore Landon, to the mound Saturday in a Section 3A baseball losers bracket game against Murray County Central.
It was a decision that made head coach Kevin Nowotny look like a genius.
“I threw Rogers, but it was a different one. And he threw a gem,” Nowotny beamed. “The game ball has to go to Landon. We were all pretty tired. Our pitching was shot. Now we should be fresh for Tuesday.”
Landon and Logan may be brothers, but their pitching styles are nothing alike. Logan is a strikeout king and so dominant that he has allowed only one earned run this spring while logging two no-hitters. Landon doesn’t throw nearly so hard. But on Saturday in Milroy, he threw smart en route to a 4-0 complete game victory over the dangerous Rebels.
“He threw strikes. That’s his game. That’s his first complete game of the year,” said Nowotny.
The victory against MCC made Adrian one of only three teams still standing in the Section 3A tourney. The Dragons, top-seeded in the southern half of the field, will return to Milroy to play Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunberg (No. 1 in the north) at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the right to play Canby for the title on Thursday.
On Saturday, the Dragons scored all four of their runs in the third inning, highlighted by a two-out two-run home run by Zach Loosbrock over the left-centerfield fence for the third and fourth runs. Earlier in the inning, the Dragons executed a successful squeeze play with batter Jacob Stamer bunting and baserunner Michael Preuss racing in from third base.
“We’re not a squeezing team,” said Nowotny, who explained that throughout the year the Dragons have not bunted particularly well.
Before Saturday’s game, however, he talked with his team about executing the bunt better, and it was executed to perfection on the third-inning squeeze.
Rogers got himself in trouble in the fifth inning as MCC loaded the bases, but he got out of the inning without a run being scored. He finished the game with just four hits allowed. He only walked one batter (intentionally) and struck out three.
“I knew I had to pitch more than four (innings),” said a happy Landon Rogers after the game. “I try to throw strikes so my defense can help.”
The home run by Loosbrock was a high drive that appeared, at first, to be short of the fence. But it drifted over.
“First of my career,” said the junior Loosbrock. “I was surprised it went over. It just kept going and going and going.”
While Logan Rogers received rest for his arm against the Rebels, Murray County Central ace Paul Mesner gamely took the mound. He, too, is a workhorse, and on Saturday afternoon he pitched a complete game.
The stocky righthander pitched 14 innings last Tuesday in 1-0 victories over Heron Lake-Okabena and Wabasso.
He walked Adrian’s leadoff hitter, Preuss, on four pitches in the first inning on Saturday and was behind in the count 2-0 to the next hitter. He kept the Dragons off the board for the first two innings, however, before they got to him in the third.
Meanwhile, the Rebels tried their best to mount an offensive attack of their own. Justin Benda led off with a double in the third inning but was stranded at third base when Cole Bassett lined out to second. Benda and Brady Kremer hit back-to-back one-out singles in the fifth, but the sacks were left full when Garrett Johnson flew out to centerfield.
“We did have our chances,” said MCC head coach Derek Lieser, whose team finished the season 14-8. “We played well defensively. Paul pitched well. We just had that one bad inning. All you can ask is for opportunities.”
Lieser conceded Mesner might not have been at full strength. But, he added, “Even at 90 percent, or 80 percent, Paul’s a good pitcher. He said he wanted the ball. He was ready to go. And no matter what happens, he’s never one to complain.”
R H E
MCC 000 000 0 - 0 4 0
Adrian 004 000 x - 4 9 2

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TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE Murray County Central third baseman Brady Kremer puts the tag on Adrian’s Michael Preuss Saturday. Preuss was safe.

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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