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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Willmar’s Tyler Stegeman is safe on the back end of a double steal in the second inning Wednesday at Cold Spring. Late with the tag is Dassel-Cokato second baseman Marshall Wirtzfeld.

Willmar Legion pounds Dassel-Cokato

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COLD SPRING — In a free-swinging baseball game at lovely Springer Park, the Post 167 of Willmar hit the long ball while Dassel-Cokato hit only singles.

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The gap in power was so big that Willmar in its Zone 15 Division I American Legion playoff opener triumphed 13-2 despite only a tiny 11 to 10 advantage in hits.

Tyler Stegeman and Tony McCleary, the first two hitters in the Willmar order, each drove triples to the ivy, Stegeman’s stopping just to the left of the e 380-sign in center. Cole Hagen smacked an RBI double in the first and Adam Nibaur a 2-run double in the fifth. Those are the final two batters in the order.

Running the bases aggressively, Willmar led 7-1 after three innings, helped partly by D-C fumbles in the field.

Post 167 played solid defense in support of Josh Warne. Though the righty gave up those 10 singles, he didn’t mess around. He threw strikes, bless his heart, being assessed just one walk.

No. 5 seed Willmar now will face No. 1 seed Cold Spring, Post 455, whose “farm team”, the Rocori Spartans, reached the Class AAA championship final at Target Field in June before losing to Mounds View. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m. today at Cold Spring Baseball Park.

Willmar 13, Dassel-Cokato 2

Willmar                134 023 0 — 13 11 2

DC          010 100 0 — 2 10 4

HITTING – Willmar: Tyler Stegeman 2-for-4, 3b, 2 rbi; Tony McCleary 2-for-5, 3b, rbi; Patrick Courtney 0-for-4, rbi; Austin Rambow 0-for-3, 2 runs; Brandon Christenson 2-for-4, 2 runs; Josh Warne 1-for-2, 2 bb, 4 runs, 2 rbi; Evan VanDenEinde 0-for-1, sac, rbi; Cole Hagen 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2b, 3 rbi; Adam Nibaur 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2b, 2 rbi  … Dassel/Cokato: Joel Carlson 2-for-4, Tommy Halonen 3-for-4, Zach Martin 2-for-3, rbi

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Willmar: Josh Warne (W) 7-10-2-2-1-6 … Dassel/Cokato: Halonen (L) 4.1-8-10-6-2-0, Trent Thinesen 2.2-3-3-2-2-2

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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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