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VFW Baseball: Luverne, Pipestone finish 1-2 at district tourney

By Doug Wolter LUVERNE -- Tyler Reisdorfer knows the routine. "W always says the small things win games," said the Luverne VFW baseball pitcher. "W" is his coach, Mike Wenninger. "W" is what Luverne posted Sunday at Redbird Field in Luverne, allo...

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TIM MIDDAGH / Worthington VFW Post 3958's Logan Huisman steels second base as the ball comes out of the glove of Pipestone VFW Post 3814's Grant Budden (11).

By Doug Wolter

LUVERNE -- Tyler Reisdorfer knows the routine.

“W always says the small things win games,” said the Luverne VFW baseball pitcher.

“W” is his coach, Mike Wenninger. “W” is what Luverne posted Sunday at Redbird Field in Luverne, allowing Luverne to enter next weekend’s district tournament as the No. 1 seed from its south sub-district tourney.

Luverne did all the little things right in beating Worthington 9-0 in the sub-section title game. Reisdorfer pitched a complete game shutout, his defense played errorless ball behind him, and his offense took advantage of most of their many opportunities.

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In a true second game, Pipestone defeated Worthington 11-7, scoring five runs in the sixth inning to take command after falling behind 6-5.

Luverne (17-1) and Pipestone (12-6) will compete in the district VFW tournament Saturday and Sunday in Marshall.

ChampionshipLuverne 9, Worthington 0 Both Worthington and Luverne advanced to the championship game after posting solid victories on Saturday. Luverne beat Marshall Orange 10-1 and Worthington received a strong complete-game pitching performance from Tyler Linder to eclipse Pipestone 9-5.

On Sunday, Luverne continued strong to improve to 17-1 on the season. Worthington committed two first-inning errors that contributed to three Luverne runs, and the host team was never threatened.

“That first inning when we had two errors and gave ‘em five outs, you can’t give a team that,” said Worthington Post 3958 coach TD Hostikka. “They (Luverne) did what they’ve done all year long. They played good defense and their pitcher threw strikes.”

The right-handed Reisdorfer mixed his speeds well, walking just one and striking out five.

“We got a great team,” Reisdorfer said. “We’re all here. We all show up. We’ve got great chemistry.”

He was asked to rate his own performance.

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“I’d rate it a nine,” he said. “I threw more balls than I wanted to. I wish I’d have pounded the zone a little more. I was determined not to let them score.”

On that, he accomplished his goal.

Luverne scored its three first-inning runs after the first two hitters made outs against Post 3958 starter Logan Huisman. But consecutive infield errors put runners on. Will Mumme delivered an RBI single, a bases-loaded walk allowed another run to score, and a third scored on an infield hit by Ben Serie.

Luverne scored again in the second inning and added three in the third and two in the fourth by stringing more hits together, stealing bases almost at will and taking advantage of sometimes-sloppy work in the field.

Huisman, who wasn’t helped by his defense, was pulled after one and one-third innings in favor of Brayden Donkersloot, who pitched the rest of the game for Post 3958.

For Luverne, however, the game could hardly have gone better.

“When a pitcher can come out and throw strikes, get three runs right away, kind of get the daubers down on the Worthington side … That’s what we’ve been doing all year,” Wenninger said.

R H EWorthington 000 000 0 -- 0 5 5Luverne 313 200 x -- 9 10 0True SecondPipestone 11, Worthington 7 The way the true second game started, it looked for Worthington like it might be a repeat from the game before.

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Pipestone scored five runs in the first two innings against Huisman, helped by a misjudged fly ball in the outfield in the first inning and in the second inning a two-out infield error that allowed a run to score. A two-run double in the second inning by Pipestone’s Riley Langstreet made the score 5-0.

But Worthington got a run back in the bottom of the second and scored five times in the third. Two of the five runs were scored after collisions at home plate. Another came in on an RBI single by Connor Braaksma. A two-run bases-loaded double by Adam Russell that sailed over a backpedaling Pipestone center-fielder put Worthington in front, 6-5.

That’s where the score remained until Pipestone plated five in the top of the sixth. Garrett Ploeger hit an RBI single to leftfield to tie the score at 6-6. An Isaiah Bynes bloop single over second base made it 7-6. A bases-loaded wild pitch scored another run. A two-out, two-run double by Eric Lange made it 10-6.

Worthington’s Eric Heidebrink singled in a run in the bottom of the sixth, but Pipestone got it back with a Langstreet RBI single in the seventh.

Huisman gamely pitched a complete seven-inning game for a Worthington team lacking fresh pitching arms. Josh Tinklenberg, who relieved starting pitcher Brady DeKam after two and two-thirds innings, got the win.

Pipestone head coach Rick Zollner seemed relieved after the game.

“When you give up a five, it makes you a little nervous. We made just enough plays,” he said.

R H EPipestone 230 005 1 -- 11 12 0Worthington 015 001 0 -- 7 8 3

Related Topics: VFWBASEBALL
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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