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First place remains elusive

Willmar relief pitcher/designated hitter Jayson Newman zeroes in on a pitch in the sixth inning during game one of Friday's Northwoods League doubleheader against La Crosse at Bill Taunton Stadium. Joe Brown / Tribune1 / 2
Willmar's Matt Rudick looks to connect with a pitch during game one of Friday's Northwoods League doubleheader against La Crosse at Bill Taunton Stadium. Joe Brown / Tribune2 / 2

WILLMAR - Willmar was one out away from leapfrogging La Crosse in the Northwoods League North Division.

Then with a flick of the wrist, Braiden Ward managed to keep the Loggers atop the standings with a 3-2 game one seven-inning win in a doubleheader Friday at Bill Taunton Stadium.

The Stingers led the Loggers 9-2 in the top of the sixth inning of the second, seven-inning game on Friday when the Tribune went to press.

With hard-throwing Jayson Newman on the mound, Ward drove a 1-1 pitch off the right-field fence, bringing home Korey Lee and Nick Lewis for the game-winning run.

Eli Wilson gave the Stingers a glimmer of hope after leading off the bottom of the seventh with a single. But La Crosse and relief pitcher Zach Pronschinske coaxed Willmar into two straight grounders, including a game-ending double play.

Trailing 1-0 after the top of the third after La Crosse scored on an error, the Stingers were gifted a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame. Joey Ortiz drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in Wilson, then Tyler Reichenborn made it a 2-1 game after scoring on a passed ball.

Wilson led Willmar's offense, accounting for two of the team's three hits. The Stingers' offense wasn't able to capitalize on the base paths with 10 runners left on.

Starting pitcher Matt Ornelas put forth a solid outing with four strikeouts while allowing one run on two hits and three walks. La Crosse starter Lalo Porras threw three innings, with one strikeout along with two runs, two hits and seven walks surrendered.

On Saturday, Willmar begins a home-and-home series with St. Cloud, with the Rox coming to Willmar at 7:05 p.m. today. The two teams will play at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud at 4:05 p.m. Sunday.

Game 1

La Crosse 3, Willmar 2

La Crosse 001 000 2-3 3 0

Willmar 002 000 0-2 3 1

Hitting - La Crosse: Mike Rothenberg 1-3, Bryce Blaum 1-4 2b rbi, Braiden Ward 1-3 3b rbi-2 r. ... Willmar: Joey Ortiz 1-2 rbi, Eli Wilson 2-3 r.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - La Crosse: Lalo Porras 3-2-2-2-7-1, Zach Pronschinske (W) 4-1-0-0-3-6. ... Willmar: Matt Ornelas 5.1-2-1-1-3-4, Jayson Newman (L) 1.2-1-2-2-3-2.

Legion Baseball

Central Sub-District

Tri-Town 3, SH/M 1

Josh Kingery and David Kingery teamed up to allow just an unearned run on two hits in Tri-Town's Central Sub-District win over Sacred Heart/MACCRAY on Friday in Redwood Falls.

David Kingery had two hits and Josh Kinzler had a hit and drove in a run.

Tri-Town plays BOLD in a winners bracket game at 11 a.m. Saturday while Sacred Heart/MACCRAY plays a losers bracket game against Redwood Falls at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

All games are in Redwood Falls.

SH/M 000 010 0-1 2 0

Tri-Town 200 100 x-3 5 1

Hitting - Sacred Heart: Jack Howard 1-2 r, Tony Froland 1-3 ... Tri-Town: David Kingery 2-3, Josh Kinzler 1-3 rbi, Josh Kingery 1-2 r, Jaren Kaddatz 1-4 r, Eli Albrecht 0-2 r bb

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Sacred Heart: Howard (L) 6-5-3-3-5-6 ... Tri-Town: Josh Kingery (W) 4-2-1-0-0-6, David Kingery (Sv) 3-0-0-0-1-2

BOLD 11,

Redwood Falls 3

Luke Ryan had two doubles and drove in two runs and Riley Weis homered and also drove in two in BOLD's win in a Central Sub-District game on Friday in Redwood Falls.

BOLD's Jack Peppel had a hit and drove in three runs, Andrew Sheehan had a hit and two RBIs and Cade Morse had two hits and drove in a run.

Tri-Town plays BOLD in a winners bracket game at 11 a.m. Saturday while Sacred Heart/MACCRAY plays a losers bracket game against Redwood Falls at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

All games are in Redwood Falls.

Redwood Falls 002 010 0-3 7 5

BOLD 010 172 x-11 11 3

Hitting - Redwood Falls: Carter Geutter 3-4 rbi-2, Kyle Lechner 2-3 rbi ... BOLD: Luke Ryan 2-4 2b-2 rbi-2, Hayden Tersteeg 1-4 rbi, James Woelfel 1-4, Jordan Sagedahl 1-3, Jack Peppel 1-4 rbi-3, Riley Weis 1-4 hr rbi-2, Cade Morse 2-4 rbi, Reed Stadther 1-3, Andrew Sheehan 1-2 rbi-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Redwood Falls: Alex Louwagie 4-4-2-1-1-2, Jaden Van Hee (L) 0.2-5-7-3-1-0, TJ Crews 1.1-2-2-1-0-1 ... BOLD: Woelfel 3-3-2-0-0-6, Tersteeg (W) 2-2-1-1-1-3, Stadther 2-0-0-0-1-4

Dragons 8, EVW 1

Owen Boerema pitched a strong game and Max Tibbits had three hits, including two doubles, and drove in three runs as the Litchfield Legion team downed Eden Valley-Watkins on Friday.

Cade Marquardt had two hits and drove in a run, and Andrew Loch had two hits and scored twice.

EVW 000 000 1-1 5 2

Litchfield 320 111 x-8 9 0

Hitting - Eden Valley-Watkins: Carson Geislinger 1-3, Andrew Bautsch 1-3 ... Litchfield: Owen Boerema 1-3 rbi r, Andrew Loch 2-4 r-2, Max Tibbits 3-4 2b-2 rbi-3 r, Tyler Sangren 1-2 r, Cade Marquardt 2-3 rbi

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Eden Valley-Watkins: Bautsch (L) 6-9-8-5-3-4 ... Litchfield: Boerema (W) 6-3-0-0-2-10, Sangren 1-2-1-1-0-2

Amateur Baseball

Starbuck 5,

Atwater 3

Darion Alexander hit a three-run home run in Starbuck's game-turning, four-run seventh inning on Friday night.

The Stars trailed by two runs entering the inning but Jackson Hendrickson doubled and Colin Richards singled to reach ahead of Alexander's two-out blast.

Austin Versteeg worked eight innings, striking out 12, to get the win. Richards got the save.

Atwater's Jordan Olson had three hits, including a home run and a double, and he drove in two runs.

Atwater 200 000 100-3 10 0

Starbuck 000 100 40x-5 4 0

Hitting - Atwater: Jeff Peterson 2-4 rbi r, Jordan Olson 3-4 hr 2b rbi-2 r, Zach Cunningham 1-4, Hayden Rouser 1-4, Scott Bormann 2-4 2b, Nate Ewart 1-3 r ... Starbuck: Austin Versteeg 0-3 r, Mike Andreas 1-2 2b, Jake Heid 0-0 r, Andrew Toop 0-3 rbi, Jackson Hendrickson 1-3 rbi r, Colin Richards 1-3 r, Darion Alexander 1-2 hr rbi-3 r

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Atwater: Jeremy Elkjer (L) 7-4-5-5-2-2, Jared Elkjer 1-0-0-0-0-1 ... Starbuck: Austin Versteeg (W) 8-10-3-3-0-12, Richards (Sv) 1-0-0-0-0-3