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Amateur Baseball: Raymond beats Sacred Heart twice to win Cornbelt playoffs

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SACRED HEART -- Just a week removed from a 10-run rule loss to Sacred Heart, Raymond defeated the Saints twice on Sunday to claim the Cornbelt League playoff championship and the league's top seed in next weekend's Region 11C playoffs in Eden Valley.

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Raymond won Sunday's first game 2-1 behind Jordan Smith's pitching gem, and wrapped up the title in the double-elimination league playoff with a 5-1 win in game two behind Zach Nelson's complete game.

Raymond plays St. Augusta at 1:30 p.m. next Saturday in Eden Valley. Sacred Heart, the Cornbelt's regular-season champ, plays Pearl Lake at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

In game one, Raymond's Jed Nelson and Mike Jeseritz drove in runs and Smith allowed just one earned run on two hits. The Rockets' Tyler Steen had two hits.

Sacred Heart's only run came in the sixth on Ryan Hebrinks' solo home run.

In Game 2, Nelson and the Saints' Jeremy Hinderks settled into a pitchers duel that lasted six innings before the Rockets took the lead with a run in the seventh. They added three more in the eighth off Hinderks, who also worked a complete game.

Again, Hebrink produced the Saints' lone run with a solo homer in the first. Mike Johnson was 2-for-4.

For Raymond, Steen was 2-for-4 with a double and Kyle Knott doubled twice, drove in two runs and scored two.

Game 1

Raymond 2, Sacred Heart 1

Raymond 001 010 000--2 5 0

Sacred Heart 000 000 100--1 2 1

HITTING - Raymond: Tyler Steen 2-for-4; Jed Nelson 1-for-4, rbi; Mike Jeseritz 1-for-3, rbi; Jordan Smith 1-for-3 ... Sacred Heart: Ryan Hebrink 1-for-3, solo HR, rbi, Tom Lippert 1-for-1

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Raymond: Jordan Smith (W) 9-2-1-1-0-2 ... Sacred Heart: Adam Loe (L) 8-5-2-2-3-5, Nate Hebrink 1-0-0-0-1-1

Game 2

Raymond 5, Sacred Heart 1

Raymond 010 000 130--5 6 0

Sacred Heart 100 000 000--1 6 2

HITTING - Raymond: Steen 2-for-4, 2b; Jed Nelson 1-for-5; Mike Jeseritz 1-for-4; Kyle Knott 2-for-4, 2 2b's, 2 runs, 2 rbi; Jason Meyer 0-for-1, 2 sf's, 2 rbi; Brandon Madsen 0-for-2, sf rbi ... Sacred Heart: Ryan Hebrink 2-for-4, solo HR, rbi; Tyler Kleinhuizen 1-for-4; Jeremy Hinderks 1-for-2, 2 bb's; Mike Johnson 2-for-4

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Raymond: Zach Nelson (W) 9-6-1-1-4-2 ... Sacred Heart: Jeremy Hinderks (L) 9-6-5-4-2-6

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