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Willmar pounds out 15 hits to beat Granite Falls

Matt Carlson, left, of the Willmar Rails fields the ball near first base and waits for pitcher Jason Scheffler to cover against Granite Falls Wednesday in Willmar. Tribune photo by T.J. Bartelt

WILLMAR -- Sparked by Matt Seehusen's two-run homer, the Willmar Rails launched a 15-hit attack to upend Granite Falls 7-4 in the first round of the Cornbelt South playoffs Wednesday.

The No. 4-seeded Rails (9-8) will now play at top-seeded Raymond at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Granite Falls, the No. 5 seed, will host Bird Island on Friday in an elimination game.

Willmar got on the board early when Anthony Stern and Josh Dahlke hit back-to-back singles with two outs in the first inning. Seehusen then followed with another single to drive in Stern.

Willmar went up 4-0 in the second when two bunts helped John Sawatzky, Matt Carlson and Matt Odom score.

The Rails added three runs in the fifth and sixth on Seehusen's homer and when Odom scored on a double play.

That would be plenty of offensive support for Willmar starter Jason Scheffler as the right-hander held the Kilowatts scoreless for seven innings. Granite Falls scored two runs in the each of the eighth and ninth innings with the help of three Willmar errors.

Scheffler went the distance to get the win, allowing eight hits while striking out three and walking three.

Lane Kleist, Jordan Olson, Sawatzky and Odom had two hits apiece for Willmar. Phil Johnson, Jake Suter and Craig Listul had two hits apiece for Granite Falls.

Cody Fruin surrendered 10 hits and six runs -- five earned -- and struck out six without issuing a walk in five innings to get tagged with the loss.

Willmar 7, Granite Falls 4

Granite Falls 000 000 022 -- 4 8 3

Willmar 130 021 00x -- 7 15 3

HITTING - Granite Falls: Phil Johnson 2-for-5, 2 runs; Jake Suter 2-for-4; Tyler Dammann 1-for-4; Craig Listul 2-for-4, rbi; Tyler Kanten 1-for-4 ... Willmar: Lane Kleist 2-for-5; Matt Sagedahl 1-for-5, rbi; Anthony Stern 1-for-5, 2 runs; Josh Dahlke 1-for-4; Matt Seehusen 3-for-4, 2-run HR, 3 rbi; Jordan Olson 2-for-4, 2b; John Sawatzky 2-for-4; Matt Carlson 1-for-4, rbi; Matt Odom 2-for-4, 2b, 2 runs

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Granite Falls: Cody Fruin (L) 5-10-6-5-0-6, Ethan Pauling 3-5-1-1-0-1 ... Willmar: Jason Scheffler (W) 9-8-4-2-3-3