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MACCRAY headed to state baseball tournament

<b>Rand Middleton</b> MACCRAY's Jordan Smith, right, is forced out at second in the first inning of the first game, but the throw by Jordan Kontz of Adrian is late for the double play. After Adrian won the first game 4-1 Thursday in Granite Falls, MACCRAY came back to win the second game.

GRANITE FALLS -- The MACCRAY Wolverines are headed to the baseball state tournament for the first time.

The Wolverines needed two games to get it done Thursday evening at Richter Field.

Adrian stayed alive by beating MACCRAY 4-1 in the first game. The second game went to the wire before the Wolverines held on for the 8-7 victory and the Section 3A title.

MACCRAY will play Browerville at 12:30 p.m. in Chaska in the state quarterfinal next Thursday.

It's the first state tournament trip for MACCRAY in baseball or any of the three towns that make up the district -- Maynard, Clara City and Raymond.

It also was the last chance for this group of seniors to get to play in a state tournament after strong senior seasons that ended short in football and basketball.

Jordan Smith, one of those seniors, went into the bottom of the seventh needing three more outs for a complete-game win.

Facing the middle of the order, he quickly got two outs -- the second when shortstop Shaun Condon dove to flag down a line drive and rob Justin Wolf of a base hit.

Ben Suedkamp, hitless until this point, singled on a 3-and-2 pitch.

As the tension mounted, Smith also went to 3-and-2 on Luke Tiesler. This time he got a strikeout to start the MACCRAY celebration.

"It's absolutely great," said MACCRAY coach Ted Perry. "These kids have had such good careers in football and basketball. Just to get over that hump is wonderful for the kids and the families."

Adrian, which has been to three state tournaments -- all in this decade, finished 24-4. MACCRAY will take a 21-3 record to state.

MACCRAY 8, Adrian 7

The final got off to a furious start.

It was the same two starters who threw Saturday in MACCRAY's 2-1 win: Smith and Jordon Kontz for Adrian.

This time, after one inning, it was 4-3, Adrian leading.

A run-scoring single by Smith was followed by a two-out, two-run single by Caleb Hanson for a 3-0 Wolverines' lead.

The Dragons answered quickly with an Adam Diekmann double leading off and then a booming home run to right by Brett Novotny that cleared both the Richter wall and the dike beyond. Two more hits and two more runs followed.

It was 5-5 after two innings.

Perry thought of taking Smith out and putting Jordan Ruter on the hill. He'd looked good throwing the last inning of the first game.

"We stuck with (Smith) believing once he started working in his change up he'd be OK," said Perry. "Our kids have a lot of confidence in him. He's a warrior out there."

The Wolverines went up with three runs in the fourth but the Dragons got two more in the sixth to pull within one.

Kontz, who three-hit MACCRAY on Saturday, took the loss pitching into the fourth inning.

Smith gave up eight hits, walked three and fanned five.

MACCRAY leadoff Brandon Madsen supplied two hits and scored three runs. Cleanup Tyler Wrede singled, doubled, had two sacrifice bunts and drove in two runs. Condon also drove in two runs and Tyler Dammann had two hits.

MACCRAY 320 300 0 -- 8 9 2

Adrian 410 002 0 -- 7 8 3

HITTING - MACCRAY: Brandon Madsen 2-for-5, 3 runs; Tyler Dammann 2-for-4, 2 runs, sb; Jordan Smith 1-for-3, 2 runs, rbi; Tyler Wrede 2-for-2, 2 sac, 2b, 2 rbi; Shaun Condon 1-for-3, 2 rbi; Caleb Hanson 1-for-3, 2 rbi ... Adrian: Adam Diekmann 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2b; Brett Nowotny 2-for-4, 2 run-HR, 2b; Jordan Kontz 1-for-2, rbi; Tanner Loosbrock 1-for-3, Tyler Hornstein 1-for-4, rbi, Ben Suedkamp 1-for-3

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- MACCRAY: Jordan Smith (W) 7-8-7-6-3-5 ... Adrian: Jordan Kontz (L) 3-6-7-5-0-4, Luke Tiesler 3-3-1-1-3-3, Adam Diekmann 1-0-0-0-0-0-1

Adrian 4, MACCRAY 1

The Wolverines got a run in the first off Adrian right-hander Luke Tiesler but wouldn't score again.

MACCRAY starter Kelly Siverhus faced the minimum over the first three innings but in the fourth the Dragons opened up.

A walk and a bunt single was followed by a Jordan Kontz's single to tie the score, 1-1. With one out, a double by Tyler Hornstein down the right field line made it 2-1. A single by Justin Wolf brought in the third run of the inning.

MACCRAY stranded five runners over the first two innings. Tyler Dammann, who was hit by a pitch, scored the lone run on a fielder's choice.

MACCRAY's Brandon Madsen made two sensational diving catches in center field. Adrian shortstop Adam Diekmann, who robbed Wolverines of several sure hits in last Saturday's game, once again showed great range and a rifle arm.

Tiesler finished with a four-hitter.

Siverhus allowed eight hits over six innings, walked only two and fanned three.

Adrian 000 310 0 -- 4 8 1

MACCRAY 100 000 0 -- 1 4 0

HITTING - Adrian: Adam Diekmann 1-for-1, sb, SF, rbi; Brett Nowotny 1-for-3, Jordon Kontz 1-for-4, rbi; Tanner Loosbrock 1-for-3, 2b; Tyler Hornstein 1-for-2, 2b, rbi; Justin Wolf 2-for-3, rbi ... MACCRAY: Jordan Smith 1-for-2, Jordan Ruter 1-for-3, Shaun Condon 1-for-3, Dylan Aeiken 1-for-3

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Adrian: Luke Tiesler (W) 7-4-1-1-1-3 ... MACCRAY: Kelly Siverhus (L) 6-8-4-4-2-3, Jordan Ruter 1-0-0-0-0-1