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Bird Island catcher Jeremy Mortenson tags out Shaun McQuire, the Fairmont pitcher, who was trying to score from second on a seventh-inning single by Adam Schmidt, the Martins' player/manager at Putz Field Saturday in St. Cloud in the third-round of the Class C state tournament.

Amateur Baseball: Fairmont ace tames Frogs, Bird Island falls 2-0 at Putz Field

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ST. CLOUD - Shaun McQuire limited Bird Island to five singles and the Fairmont Martins ended the Bird Island season 2-0 early Saturday afternoon in the third round of the Class C Minnesota State Amateur baseball tournament.

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McQuire, a big right-hander, barely outdueled Matt Geislinger, left-hand chucker drafted from Watkins.

The Martins (34-6) scored the game's only runs in the top of the seventh on a hit batter with the bases loaded and then a single to left by catcher Alex Schmidt.

The Martins got 6 hits off Geisingler, who walked 3 and fanned 9. McQuire walked one and also fanned 9.

The Bullfrogs loaded the bases in the eighth inning with one out but a fly out to left and a perfect throw by outfielder Ian Bents to Schmidt who got Dylan Gass by several strides trying to score from third.

The Bullfrogs finish 21-14 and with a young, enthusiastic team that plans to be back. Fairmont plays Avon on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the single-elim format that began with 48 teams. Avon shaded Cannon Falls on a no-hitter by Kyle Collin.

This was Bird Island's fifth trip to state and first since 1998.

Frog hits were by Dylan Gass, Shawn Dollerschell, Tyler Hebrink, Luke Kramer and Jeremy Mortenson.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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