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Sacred Heart loses state heartbreaker

GAYLORD -- Derrick Jenning won a pitching duel with Sacred Hearts' Jeremy Hinderks and Lamberton eliminated the Saints in the first round of the Class C amateur state tournament Saturday 2-0.

Hinderks allowed only six hits, but one of those was a game-winning solo homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie.

Landon Erickson homered to left-center leading off Lamberton's home half of the inning.

The Saints never got anything going against Jenning, who tossed a three-hitter. He faced only two batters over the minimum in a game that lasted only 1:41.

The Saints didn't advance a runner beyond first base.

Jenning walked none and fanned three.

"We just didn't hit the ball," said manager Andy Davis. "He threw strikes and didn't give us any extra opportunities."

Sacred Heart's clean-up hitter Ryan Hebrink singled leading off the second but Hinderks hit into a double play.

The Saints' No. 9 hitterJosh Hebrink tried to get something going in the sixth. But his two-out single was followed by Tyler Kleinhuizen's fly to right for the third out.

With the game still scoreless after seventh, catcher Jordan Smith, a draftee from Raymond, singled leading off. But Jenning got Mike Kuschel swinging, got Ryan Hebrink on an infield fly ball and then fanned his pitching adversary Hinderks for the third out.

Erickson's long solo shot later in the inning turned out to be enough but Lamberton made it 2-0 in the bottom of the eighth on Cody Pack's RBI double.

In the Saints' last gasp, Jenning put down the Saints in order.

Hinderks didn't walk a batter, though he hit one, and fanned five.

"Jeremy pitched a great game with just that homer and a double about all they did," said Davis. "We were solid in the field but I think the guys came in this year with higher expectations and were pretty disappointed in the outcome."

It was the Saints' second close call at state. A year ago -- their first state trip -- they fell 5-3 to Blue Earth in the first round.

The Cornbelt South club will try to make it three in a row in 2010 when the tournament will be co-hosted by the Cornbelt teams Willmar and Bird Island.

Lamberton 2, Sacred Heart 0

Sacred Heart 000 000 000 -- 0 3 1

Lamberton 000 000 11x -- 2 6 0

HITTING - Sacred Heart: Jordan Smith 1-for-4, Ryan Hebrink 1-for-3, Josh Hebrink 1-for-3 ... Lamberton: Don Strand 1-for-3, Colby Pack 1-for-4, 2b, rbi; Landon Erickson 1-for-3, solo HR, rbi; Andy Cook 1-for-3, John Pistulka 2-for-3, 2b

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Sacred Heart: Jeremy Hinderks (L) 8-6-2-2-0-5 ... Lamberton: Derrick Jenning (W) 9-3-0-0-0-3