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VFW baseball: Luverne takes third at state tournament

WILLMAR -- Luverne took third place at the VFW baseball state tournament on Saturday in Willmar. After fighting its way through the loser's bracket of the double-elimination tournament, Post 2757 made it to the final four where it defeated New Ul...

WILLMAR -- Luverne took third place at the VFW baseball state tournament on Saturday in Willmar. After fighting its way through the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament, Post 2757 made it to the final four where it defeated New Ulm Gold 9-7, and then lost to Woodbury 5-1 in the semifinal. Monticello defeated Woodbury 5-0 in the championship on Sunday.

“For our kids to get to the state tournament and compete -- they went 3-2, our tenth graders and ninth graders had good chemistry,” Luverne coach Mike Wenninger said. “We had enough pitching to get through it. It’s a nice young group, they found ways to win. We might have averaged three errors a game throughout the tournament and yet we still stayed in every game.”

With its back against the wall, Luverne strung together a five-run rally to take a 9-6 lead in the top of the seventh.

New Ulm came back and scored a run in the bottom of the inning, and had runners on second and third. But, with the game-winning run at the plate for New Ulm, Luverne got the final out and advanced to the semifinal.

“They battled to keep it alive,” Wenninger said.

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Mark Sterrett drove in the only run for Luverne against Woodbury, with an RBI double.

It was the second time Luverne lost to Woodbury in the tournament, after falling 3-2 in the second round.

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