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Amateur Baseball: Rockets take out Granite Falls; Bird Island roughs up Sacred Heart

Umpire Dustin Overcash emphatically punches out Raymond’s Brandon Madsen, middle, who was trying to score from second base in the first inning on a single by Kyle Knott Friday in Raymond. Catcher Tyler Dammann holds the ball, after the receiving the relay from left fielder Aaron Zieske and third baseman Shaun Condon. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

RAYMOND — John Sawatzky pitched a three-hitter and Raymond set the tone with a six-run first inning in a 10-0 win over Granite Falls on Friday night in the Cornbelt League playoffs.

Raymond’s Mike Jeseritz had three hits, including two doubles, and drove in three runs. Tyler Steen, Kyle Knott, Caleb Hanson, Jordan Smith, Justin Koenen and Jason Meyer all drove in Rocket runs. Koenen’s RBI came on a solo home run.

Sawatzky worked seven innings, walking two and striking out two.

The Rockets play another elimination game at Milroy at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, but those two Cornbelt teams — along with Sacred Heart and Bird Island — have already qualified for the Region 11C playoffs.

Raymond 10, Granite Falls 0

Granite Falls       000 000 0 —  0   3  2 

Raymond             601 011 1 — 10 12 3 

HITTING – Granite Falls: Tyler Kanten 1-3, Shaun Condon 1-3, King Richter 1-3 … Raymond: Mike Jeseritz 3-5 2b-2 rbi-3, Brandon Madsen 1-3, Tyler Steen 1-4 rbi, Kyle Knott 2-4 2b rbi, Caleb Hanson 1-1 rbi, Jordan Smith 2-4 rbi, Justin Koenen 1-4 hr rbi, Jason Meyer 1-2 2b rbi

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Granite Falls: Cody Fruin (L) 0.2-2-6-6-4-0, Dylan Lindstrom 5.1-8-3-2-0-2, Aaron Zieske 0.1-2-1-1-0-0 … Raymond: John Sawatzky (W) 7-3-0-0-2-2

Bird Island 13, Sacred Heart 5

Three-run home runs from Elliot Serbus and Logan Swan, another homer from Mark Neubauer, and an outstanding relief performance from Dylan Gass helped propel No. 4-seed Bird Island past No. 2 Sacred Heart Friday in the Cornbelt League playoffs.

The win assures Bird Island a spot in the league championship game next Friday in Bird Island. Sacred Heart drops into the elimination bracket and will host Sunday’s Milroy/Raymond winner on Wednesday.

The Bullfrogs plated four runs in both the first and fourth innings. Swan’s homer was in the first and Serbus’ blast was in the fourth to give Bird Island an 8-5 lead.

Sacred Heart produced five runs in the previous inning behind singles from Trent Novotny, Jeremy Hinderks and Mike Kuschel, three walks and an error. Kuschel scored on the error to put the Saints up briefly at 5-4 after tying the game with a two-run single.

Gass got the final two outs in the third and finished throwing 6.2 scoreless innings in relief of starter Luke Kramer. Gass struck out nine and faced just one batter over the minimum from the fourth inning on.

Bird Island’s Tyler Hebrink was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI singles and an RBI double, while Neubauer capped the scoring with a two-run shot in the ninth.

Bird Island           400 400 203 — 13 11 1 

Sacred Heart      005 000 000 —  5   5  3

HITTING – Bird Island: Elliot Serbus 1-4, 3-run HR, 2 runs, 3 rbi; Dylan Gass 1-5, run; Tyler Hebrink 3-5, 2b, 3 runs, 3 rbi; Mark Neubauer 3-5, 2-run HR, 2 runs, 2 rbi; Logan Swan 2-5, 3-run HR, 2 runs, 4 rbi; Tyler Seehusen 1-3, 2b, run, rbi … Sacred Heart: Mitch Schwindt 1-4, run; Trent Novotny 1-3, run; Jeremy Hinderks 1-3, run, rbi; Mike Kuschel 1-4, run, 2 rbi; Nate Hebrink 1-4

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Bird Island: Luke Kramer 2.1-5-5-5-3-3, D. Gass (W) 6.2-0-0-0-2-9 … Sacred Heart: N. Hebrink (L) 3.2-6-8-8-3-2, Matt Koenen 5.1-5-5-4-1-4