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VFW baseball: Bruns, Worthington impressive against Redwood County

BY AARON HAGEN The Globe WORTHINGTON -- Brock Bruns said he was in sync with his catcher all game. Bruns and battery mate Tommy Lais were able to keep the opposing hitters at bay as the Worthington VFW baseball team defeated Redwood County 8-2 Mo...

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Worthington VFW infielder Will Brandner (22) leaps high in the air to snatch a pickoff attempt Monday night in a game against Redwood County. (Doug Wolter/The Globe)

BY AARON HAGEN

The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- Brock Bruns said he was in sync with his catcher all game.

Bruns and battery mate Tommy Lais were able to keep the opposing hitters at bay as the Worthington VFW baseball team defeated Redwood County 8-2 Monday night.

“I was sticking with my catcher, Tommy,” Bruns said. “He was smart picking what pitch to call and what area to go. I kept hitting my spots. I was mixing up the pitches, fastball and curveball. And moving the curveball up and down. It helps move their eye level.”

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Bruns allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while walking three and striking out six in a complete-game effort.

“First and foremost at this league or any other, is throw strikes, don’t give them extra opportunities or free bases,” Worthington coach TD Hostikka said. “He throws strikes. But when he throws strikes, he doesn’t just throw it right down the middle, he’ll raise it up and down in the zone and in and out in the zone, so he’s always changing their eyesight.”

Post 3958 improves to 7-4 this season. It was Bruns’ fourth win this summer.

“It’s been pretty good. I think our team kind of rallies behind good pitching. It helps everyone to hit better and play better,” he said. “It was definitely one of our better games this year all around. We had a lot better baserunning than we have been. We cut down on errors.”

At the plate, Bruns helped his own cause by going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. In all, Worthington finished with eight runs on 11 hits.

“They kind of left it a lot more over the middle,” Bruns said. “That let us get easy hits. Everybody was hitting good tonight, finally. We were kind of struggling this year hitting and scoring runs.”

Hunter Boomgarden and Nathan Van Orman each had two hits, while Michael Iverson drove in four runs, including a three-run double in the fourth inning. Daniel Pavelko scored twice from the leadoff spot.

“It definitely helps to know you have some backup if you mess up once in a while,” Bruns said of his offense.

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And while the bats were coming alive, the Post 3958 defense held its own, as well. With runners on second and third in the fourth inning, RWC’s Cole Frericks singled, scoring a run. However, the throw from left field was on target, nabbing the RWC runner trying to score from second base. Frericks tried to take second, but Lais threw him out for a double play.

“It definitely helps me pitch knowing you have your defense back there and you don’t have to do it all yourself,” Bruns said. “You have your team to help you back there.”

It wasn’t the last of the night as Will Brandner started a key double play in the seventh inning.

“We had some really good defensive plays,” Hostikka said. “In the seventh inning, Will is not hitting at the plate right now and we preach to these guys that don’t take whatever slump you might be in out to the field or to the plate. He makes a really nice stop and starts a double play.”

Boomgarden drove in Iverson in the second for the game’s first run before Worthington scored three in the third as Iverson and Van Orman each had an RBI in the inning. Iverson took care of the RBIs in the fourth. With the bases loaded, he belted a bases-clearing double and that was more than enough for Post 3958 to pick up its seventh win this season.

Redwood County 000 100 1 -- 2 4 4

Worthington 014 300 x -- 8 11 3

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Dan Pavelko of the Worthington Post 5 VFW baseball team slides safely home in Monday's game with Redwood County. (Doug Wolter/The Globe)

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