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Amateur Baseball: Raymond, Sacred Heart to meet next Saturday in 11C with spot in state tournament at stake

(Tribune photo by Rand Middleton) Raymond Rockets starting pitcher Jordan Smith delivers against the Bird Island Bullfrogs in the third inning Sunday in Eden Valley. The junior at Minnesota-Duluth gave up a lead-off homer to Mark Neubauer but nothing more.

EDEN VALLEY -- The Raymond Rockets are one win away from the state tournament after whipping Bird Island 9-1 on Sunday in the Region 11C winners' bracket.

Both teams move on to play again on Saturday.

The Rockets (19-9) have now won two straight against their Cornbelt League foe after the Bullfrogs won the first three meetings.

The teams matched first-inning solo home runs -- by the Rockets' Jordan Smith and the Frogs' Mark Neubauer, off Smith, leading off the lower half of the first.

But the game took its final shape in the second inning when the Rockets scored four times to drive starter Andy Stevens off the hill.

Kyle Knott blasted a two-run homer to right-center to highlight the outburst. Knott also singled twice and ended up driving in three runs.

The Rockets continued to pull away while amassing 11 hits to seven for the Frogs, a youthful team with a bright future if it stays together.

Jason Meyer added a two-run homer in the top of the eighth off Brad Gass, who had been pitching since the second.

Smith went eight innings, allowing all seven hits but no walks with four strike outs. Draftee Tyler Kanten (Granite Falls) threw a scoreless ninth.

Shawn Dollershell, who had the big hit in Saturday's win over the Cold Spring Rockies, had two hits for the Frogs.

Raymond 9, Bird Island 1

Raymond 140 011 020 -- 9 11 0

Bird Island 100 000 000 -- 1 7 4

HITTING - Raymond: Jordan Smith 1-for-5, solo HR; Mike Jeseritz 1-for-5, 2b, rbi; Kyle Knott 3-for-5, 2-run HR, 3 rbi; Jason Meyer 2-for-4, 2-run HR; Jed Nelson 1-for-4, Justin Koenen 1-for-3, Brandon Madsen 2-for-4 ... Bird Island: Mark Neubauer 2-for-4, solo HR; Dillon Gass 1-for-3, Shawn Dollerschell 2-for-4, Jesse Bjur 1-for-4, Ben Maiers 1-for-3

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Raymond: Jordan Smith (W) 8-7-1-1-0-4, Tyler Kanten 1-0-0-0-1-1 ... Bird Island: Andy Stevens (L) 1-2-4-4-2-0, Brad Gass 61/3-8-5-3-2-3, Dillon Gass 12/3-1-0-0-0-0

EDEN VALLEY -- Sacred Heart moved one step closer to returning to the Class C State Amateur Baseball Tournament by beating the Kimball Cubs 7-4 Sunday in the semifinals of the Region 11C winner's bracket.

The Saints (25-5) were crowned the Region 9C champions last year and a win over Cornbelt League rival Raymond next Saturday would secure a spot in the state tournament. The loser would have to win an elimination game next Sunday to qualify for the state tournament.

Sacred Heart beat Raymond in last year's 9C final.

Jeremy Hinderks went the distance against the Cubs, who committed seven errors, to earn the complete-game win. Hinderks sent the Cubs down 1-2-3 in the ninth after they manufactured three runs off him an inning earlier.

Sacred Heart never trailed after scoring three times in the top half of the first. The Saints would be held scoreless for the next six innings before coming up with four runs in the eighth.

Ryan Hebrink led the Saints with three hits in five at bats.

Complete results were not available.

Saturday's games

Bird Island 6, Cold Spring Rockies 5

The Bullfrogs knocked off the Central Valley North's No. 1 seed in dramatic fashion. Down 5-3 through six innings, the Frogs scored twice in the top of the eight to even the score at 5-5 and then Shawn Dollerschell hit a two-out, solo homer over the high wall at Hawks Field to put the Cornbelt's No. 4 seed ahead.

Cody Fruin, the Granite Falls' draftee, who took over for Jesse Bjur in the third with two outs, made the one-run lead stand. He allowed three hits over 61/3 innings, walked none and fanned eight.

Bird Island made five errors but outhit the Rockies 10-7. Brad Gass and Andrew Brooks each knocked in two runs.

Bird Island 300 000 210 -- 6 10 5

Cold Spring 310 001 000 -- 5 7 1

HITTING - Bird Island: Mark Neubauer 1-for-5, 2b; Dillon Gass 1-for-4; Shawn Dollerschell 2-for-5, solo HR, rbi; Tyler Hebrink 2-for-5, 2 runs, rbi; Luke Kramer 2-for-4, 2 runs; Brad Gass 1-for-4, 2 rbi; Andrew Brooks 1-for-4, 2 rbi ... Cold Spring: Rick Burtzel 2-for-4, rbi; Paul Schreiner 1-for-4, 2b; Ryan Bell 1-for-3

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Bird Island: Jesse Bjur 22/3-4-4-2-5-2, Cody Fruin (W) 61/3-3-1-0-0-8 ... Cold Spring: John Rossman 61/3-8-5-5-7-4, Chris Lardy (L) 2 2/3-2-1-1-0-1

Raymond 4, St. Augusta 1

The Rockets' big right-hander Tyler Knott went the distance on a six-hitter with one walk.

Zach Nelson's two-run homer ended a scoreless game and would prove to be enough for Knott. Tyler Steen, Kyle Knott and Jason Meyer had two hits apiece to help the Rockets outhit St. Augusta 10-6.

St. Augusta 000 000 001 -- 1 6 2

Raymond 000 002 02x -- 4 10 1

HITTING - St. Augusta: Zach Laudenbach 2-for-4 ... Raymond: Tyler Steen 2-for-4; Mike Jeseritz 1-for-4; Kyle Knott 2-for-3; Jason Meyer 2-for-3, rbi; Zach Nelson 1-for-4, 2 run HR, 2 rbi; Justin Koenen 1-for-4; Jordan Daugherty 1-for-3

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - St. Augusta: Zach Laudenbach (L) 8-10-4-3-2-8 ... Raymond: Tyler Knott (W) 9-6-1-1-1-4

Sacred Heart 5, Pearl Lake 3

Jeremy Hinderks' two-run homer put the Saints up 2-0 in the third. Pearl Lake tied it with two solo homers in the fourth, but Sacred Heart pushed across two more runs in the fifth helped by two Pearl Lake errors. Mike Kuschel added two hits and two RBI, and Tyler Kleinhuizen supplied two hits and scored twice.

Adam Loe pitched seven innings for the win. Matt Koenen and Hinderks each threw a scoreless inning of relief with Hinderks striking out two in the ninth to earn a save.

Pearl Lake 000 201 000 -- 3 10 2

Sacred Heart 002 020 01x -- 5 6 3

HITTING - Pearl Lake: Steve Loesch 2-for-5, solo HR, 2 rbi; Bryan Hennen 2-for-4, solo HR, rbi; Steve Krippner 2-for-5 ... Sacred Heart: Ryan Hebrink 1-for-4; Tyler Kleinhuizen 2-for-4, 2 runs; Jeremy Hinderks 1-for-3, 2-run HR, 2 rbi; Mike Kuschel 2-for-4, 2 rbi

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Pearl Lake: Nick Roeder (L) 51/3-3-4-2-8-7, Mike Beier 22/3-3-1-1-3-3 ... Sacred Heart: Adam Loe (W) 7-9-3-3-5-7, Matt Koenen 1-1-0-0-0-0, Jeremy Hinderks (S) 1-0-0-0-0-2

Milroy goes 1-1

The Yankees made it 4-for-4 into the second weekend for the Cornbelt League. Milroy lost to Kimball 7-4 on Saturday night, a game that withstood a cloud burst before finishing near midnight. David Schmidt's two-run homer and two-run double accounted for all the Yankee runs. Josh Hadley took the loss.

Milroy extended their season by scrubbing Prior Lake from the tournament 5-3 on Sunday at Hawks Field. Austin Duetz threw eight innings for the win.