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VFW Baseball: Willmar I tips Benson 9-6 in season opener

WILLMAR -- Tyler Stegeman legged out two triples to knock in three runs and Adam Nibaur went 3-for-3 while also picking up the win on the mound to help Willmar I outlast Benson 9-6 in a VFW baseball game Tuesday.

In the opener for both squads, the two teams traded four-run second innings before Willmar pulled ahead with a three-run fourth.

Benson recorded two quick outs to open the home half of the fourth before Austin Smith drew a walk for Willmar. Carter Sack then singled before Stegeman tripled in Smith and Sack. Stegeman, who also singled in the first, scored on the play after Benson committed an infield error.

Benson pulled within one in the fifth behind Tanner Mikkelson's RBI single and Jacob Connelly's ground out. But Willmar made it a three-run game again in the sixth when Stegeman tripled in Brett Swanson and later scored on Tony McCleary's double.

Nibaur gave up five hits, four runs -- three earned -- and no walks while fanning three in four innings of work. Stegeman pitched the fifth and sixth before Cole Christensen shook off surrendering two base runners in the seventh to earn a save.

Aaron Ahrndt and Cody Hammerschmidt both went 2-for-4 for Benson.

Willmar returns to action on Friday when it plays at noon to open a two-day, 16-team tournament in the Cold Spring area.

Willmar 9, Benson 6

Benson 040 020 0 -- 6 9 1

Willmar 040 302 x -- 9 10 5

HITTING - Benson: Aaron Ahrndt 2-for-4, run, rbi; Cody Hammerschmidt 2-for-4; Tanner Mikkelson 1-for-4, run, rbi; Jacob Connelly 1-for-3, run, rbi; Devin Fugleberg 1-for-4, run; Logan Flegel 1-for-1, run, rbi; Trevor Berreau 1-for-3, run, rbi ... Willmar: Carter Sack 1-for-4, run, rbi; Tyler Stegeman 3-for-4, 2 3b's, 2 runs, 3 rbi; Tony McCleary 1-for-4, 2b, rbi; Adam Nibaur 3-for-3, run; Cole Hagen 1-for-3, run; Brett Swanson 1-for-2, 2 runs, rbi

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Benson: Mikkelson (L) 4-7-7-6-3-2, Chad Schwarz 2-3-2-2-1-3 ... Willmar: Nibaur (W) 4-5-4-3-0-3, Stegeman 2-3-2-2-1-1, Cole Christensen (S) 1-1-0-0-0-1