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Amateur baseball: Milroy tops Bird Island

BIRD ISLAND — A two-run first inning was enough for Josh Hadley and the Milroy Yankees Friday as the No. 4-seed in the Cornbelt League playoffs outlasted No. 2 Bird Island 3-1 to advance to the championship game.

Already having clinched a spot in the Region 11C playoffs by beating Granite Falls last Sunday and Raymond on Wednesday, the Yankees have a week off until hosting the winner of the loser’s bracket next Friday at 7:30 p.m.

No. 2 Bird Island, which also secured a spot in the region playoffs by beating Sacred Heart Wednesday, hosts either top-seeded Raymond (20-8), No. 3 Sacred Heart or No. 6 Willmar this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the loser’s bracket final. The top four teams advance to the region playoffs.

Jesse Bjur struck out nine in a complete-game performance for the Bullfrogs, but a rough start put the home team in an early hole. Colton Peterson led off the game by drawing a walk and Micah Gronli followed with a single, but an error allowed Peterson and Gronli to move up a base. Matt Bauer then singled in Peterson and Eric Dolan grounded out, allowing Gronli to score and give Milroy a 2-0 lead.

Bjur wouldn’t give another run until the ninth when Brian Dolan singled in David Schmidt, but the Bullfrogs managed only one run in between, allowing Bjur to get tagged with the hard-luck loss.

Bird Island’s Tyler Seehusen got hit by a pitch in the eighth to reach and Elliot Serbus followed with an RBI double, but Nathan Duetz came in to relieve Hadley and responded by striking out five of the six batters he faced to collect a save. Hadley took a no-hitter into the seventh before giving up a one-out single to Tyler Hebrink and Serbus’ double in the eighth. Those were the only two hits the Bullfrogs could manage as they struck out 12 times.

Milroy (14-11) and Bird Island (19-8) split a pair of one-run games during the regular season.

Milroy 3, Bird Island 1

Milroy...................200 000 001 — 3 9 0

Bird Island...........000 000 010 — 1 2 2

HITTING – Milroy: Micah Gronli 1-3 run, Matt Bauer 2-3 2b rbi, David Schmidt 1-4 run, Andy Schmidt 1-3, Brian Dolan 3-4 rbi, Darrick Allpress 1-3 … Bird Island: Tyler Hebrink 1-4, Elliot Serbus 1-3 rbi

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Milroy: Josh Hadley (W) 7.1-2-1-1-3-7, Nathan Duetz (S) 1.2-0-0-0-1-5 … Bird Island: Jesse Bjur (L) 9-9-3-3-3-9