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Amateur Baseball: Hinderks fans 19 Rails to lift Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart starter Jeremy Hinderks kicks and deals in the fifth inning against the Willmar Rails Sunday during a Cornbelt League game at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. Hinderks struck out 19 in a complete-game performance that gave the Saints a first-round bye for the league playoffs. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton.

WILLMAR -- Jeremy Hinderks struck out 19 to outduel Tyler Brower and ignite Sacred Heart to a 4-2 win over the Rails Sunday in the Cornbelt League finale.

The win gave the Saints the No. 2 seed for the league playoffs that begin Wednesday with two first-round games. No. 3 Milroy hosts No. 6 Willmar and No. 4 Bird Island hosts No. 5 Granite Falls. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.

Raymond was the top seed after finishing 9-3 in league play.

After giving up a single to Brower to open the Rails' first, Hinderks struck out the next three batters. Hinderks also struck out the side in the third and sixth and struck out two in the fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth innings.

The Saints got on the board with two unearned runs in the second. Brower got two quick outs before giving up a single to Jeff Hinderks. An infield followed before Tom Lippert and Matt Koenen hit back-to-back singles.

Brower scored an unearned run in the third for Willmar, but the Saints retook a two-run lead in the sixth when Hebrink scored after drawing a walk. The Saints added an insurance run in the ninth on Jeff Hinderks' sacrifice fly.

Willmar added another run in the seventh when Matt Stock singled in John Sawatzky, who also singled to reach base.

Brower struck out six and gave up just five hits and one earned run in 7.2 innings of work. Brower finished 3-for-5 at the plate.

Sacred Heart 4, Willmar 2

Sacred Heart 020 001 001 -- 4 6 3

Willmar 001 000 100 -- 2 7 2

HITTING - Sacred Heart: Jeremy Hinderks 1-for-2, 3 bb's; Jeff Hinderks 1-for-4, sf, rbi; Nate Hebrink 1-for-3, 2b, 2 bb's, sb; Tom Lippert 1-for-3, rbi; Matt Koenen 2-for-3, rbi ... Willmar: Tyler Brower 3-for-5; Matt Stock 1-for-5, sb, rbi; Barry Fagerstrom 1-for-4; Josh Oestreich 1-for-4, sb; John Sawatzky 1-for-2

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Sacred Heart: Jeremy Hinderks (W) 9-7-2-1-2-19 ... Willmar: Brower (L) 7.2-5-3-1-5-6, Jordan Olson 1.1-1-1-1-1-0

Final Cornbelt Standings

1. Raymond 9-3

2. Sacred Heart 7-5

3. Milroy 7-5

4. Bird Island 3-9

5. Granite Falls 2-10

6. Willmar 0-12