Section 3A baseball finals: Adrian gets it done

MILROY -- After losing 4-1 to Canby in the semifinals of the Section 3A baseball tournament on June 1, Adrian head coach Kevin Nowotny carefully explained the revised situation to his ballplayers."We walked out to right field and I kind of barked...


MILROY - After losing 4-1 to Canby in the semifinals of the Section 3A baseball tournament on June 1, Adrian head coach Kevin Nowotny carefully explained the revised situation to his ballplayers.
“We walked out to right field and I kind of barked at ‘em, and I said, ‘We just went to two games to get to the state tournament to five.’ And they all put their heads down. We knew we had a monster comeback ahead of us,” he said.
Happier moments occurred Thursday night at Milroy as the Dragons completed the second of two victories against Canby to qualify for the state Class A tournament. Adrian won the 5 o’clock game 5-3, which forced a winner-take-all 7 o’clock game. Adrian won that one, too, 6-1.
The Dragons will play their first state tournament game next Thursday, against an opponent to be named later, at Chaska Athletic Park. The second round is set for June 17 with the finals slated for June 20 at 10 a.m. at Target Field.
Adrian 5, Canby 3
Adrian junior Jake Stamer was 0-for-10 heading into Thursday’s first game. There, he went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and three RBIs.
His two-run double down the right field line overcame a 3-2 Adrian deficit and put the Dragons ahead of the Lancers 4-3.
That’s the point of the game when Nowotny made a change at pitcher, inserting his fireballing ace senior, Logan Rogers, who had been a workhorse during the section tournament and a typically effective one.
“Once Stamer got that big hit and got us ahead 4-3, I thought, ‘No more messing around,’” Nowotny said.
Adrian’s starting pitcher, Landon Rogers (who went two innings) and reliever Alex Loosbrock (who went one) successfully passed the torch to Logan, who pitched the final four innings. He allowed just one hit and struck out five in blanking the Lancers the rest of the way.
Michael Press, who had an outstanding section tourney in all phases of the game, went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs. Ryan Wieneke hit an RBI single.
Adam Durfee took the loss for Canby.
Adrian 011 201 0 - 5 5 1
Canby 021 000 0 - 3 2 3
Adrian 6, Canby 1
Buoyed by their first-game win, the Dragons started fast in the true title game, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning to assume a 4-1 lead. Wieneke had the big hit, a two-out, bases-loaded triple down the left field line that the left fielder dove for and missed. The ball careened all the way to the fence and the Dragons were well on their way to state.
Adrian added a run in the fifth on a Zach Loosbrock sacrifice fly. Another came home in the sixth on a double by Zach Hendel.
Landon Rogers started on the mound, going four innings and allowing one run on five hits. Logan Rogers pitched the rest of the way, holding the Lancers hitless and striking out two.
Jamison Hunt started and took the loss for Canby.
Loosbrock finished with two hits, as did Preuss.
Nowotny singled out Logan Rogers and Preuss for special praise Thursday. Logan’s tired arm held up nicely, as it always seems to do.
“I don’t really ask him if his arm’s sore. I just kind of give him the ball and he goes to work,” Nowotny said.
As for Preuss, the do-everything senior enjoyed a superlative section tournament. His hustle in the field was an inspiration and at the plate Nowotny estimated he reached base more than 15 times.
“He goes all out and goes to every fly ball. You can make a video of how to play baseball, and that’s what you should show your young people on how to play the game,” said the coach.
Canby 100 000 0 - 1 5 5
Adrian 400 011 x - 6 8 2

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
What To Read Next
It's been a struggle for the Minnesota West men's basketball team this winter, but coach Brian Stoebner's Bluejays keep plugging away
Former JCC sports star Rudy Voss retires from SDSU football for medical reasons
ST. CLOUD -- The Minnesota West women’s basketball team eased to victory over host St. Cloud Tech on Saturday, 93-40. But it was St. Cloud Tech getting the better of the West men’s team, 84-64.
WORTHINGTON -- Morris-Benson started well in both games, sweeping the Worthington Trojans girls and boys hockey teams on Saturday.