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Ridgewater foiled in final

After fielding a ground ball, Ridgewater shortstop Austen Hadley (3) watches second baseman Cameron Lehner's throw attempting to complete a double play after forcing Riverland's Derek Hahn in the sixth inning in the MCAC state championship Monday at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

ST. CLOUD -- Ridgewater College baseball made great strides this spring, but that was small consolation to coach Joel Barta after losing 5-2 to Riverland College on Monday.

"I don't care for silver," said the second-year leader. "It's not my favorite color."

The gold medals went to the Blue Devils for the second year in a row. The Austin team advances to the NJCAA Division III Tournament in Tyler, Texas.

Willmar needed to win twice at Dick Putz Field, but instead fell to the Blue Devils for the second time in 24 hours.

The Warriors hit the ball much harder than the day before when they mustered only three hits in a 5-1 loss that dropped them into the elimination bracket.

This time, the Warriors were outhit 12-10 and had three runners thrown out on the basepaths.

"We had a couple of baserunning mistakes," said catcher Shane Kampsen. "We played hard, but we just weren't all together today."

Center fielder and leadoff batter Luke Frauendienst made several nice running catches and doubled twice, the only extra-base-hits by either team.

"Our goal was Texas, but we fell a little short," said the sophomore from Henderson. "The experience should only make the freshmen hungrier."

The Warriors went up 1-0 in the third when Jason Prill singled and scored on a Fraunendienst double.

The Blue Devils (36-10) scored two runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Kyal Williams and a failed squeeze that allowed Brad Winkelman to score when the Warriors' couldn't execute the rundown.

Matt Christensen pitched into the fourth inning when he was relieved by Chris Braaten, who pitched shutout ball for the next 3Zc innings. The Blue Devils added three runs on four hits off Ryan Speltz in the eighth, two of those runs scoring on a bad-hop single.

Winkelman, a freshman from Rapids City, S.D., went 7Xc innings for the win.

The Warriors (31-14) went 0-2 at state a year ago. This time they went 3-2.

Riverland 5, Ridgewater 2

Ridge. (31-14) 001 000 001 -- 2 10 2

River. (36-10) 000 200 03x -- 5 13 3

HITTING - Ridgewater: Luke Frauendienst 2-for-4, 2 2b's, rbi; Austen Hadley 1-for-4, Shane Kampsen 1-for-4, Benji Hager 2-for-4, Cody Conner 1-for-4, rbi; Jordan Prill 1-for-4, Mike Weber 1-for-2 ... Riverland: Jeff Huth 1-for-5, Kyle Young 1-for-5, rbi; Renne Araujo 3-for-5, Brad Winkelman 1-for-4, Kyal Williams 1-for-4, rbi; Dustin Fritz 2-for-4, Reece Steckler 2-for-4, Winston Smith 1-for-3, rbi

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Ridgewater: xxxxx ... Riverland: Brad Winkelman (W) 7Xc-7-1-1-1-5, Brian Voigt (S) 1Zc-2-1-0-0-1

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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