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Prep baseball: Morken, Eagles down Springfield

Tribune photo by Tom Larson Lac qui Parle Valley’s Ben Morken delivers a knuckleball against Springfield on Tuesday in Granite Falls. The Eagles won 2-1.

GRANITE FALLS — Before Tuesday’s game, Lac qui Parle Valley head coach Bart Hill said if he’d be happy to get three innings out of starter Ben Morken, who was recovering from the flu and working on just two days rest.

Four innings, Hill said, would be gravy.

So what Morken eventually delivered could be considered cheesecake, dessert wine and coffee.

Morken worked a complete game, allowing just an unearned run while striking out eight in the Eagles’ 2-1 win over Springfield on Tuesday in the Section 3A winners’ bracket game at Richter Field.

“I didn’t know how it would go but when I was out there my arm was feeling pretty good and I was pitching pretty good,” Morken said.

“That was one heck of a performance,” Hill said. “We were hoping to get three innings. I never imagined we’d get seven. That’s the thing sometimes with 18-year-old kids: they don’t know any better.”

The Eagles play Windom, the other undefeated section team, at noon Saturday at Granite Falls’ Richter Field.

Windom defeated MACCRAY on a walk-off home run in the eighth inning on Tuesday at Richter Field.

With Morken cruising along, the Eagles scored two in the second inning. Morken had a hand in that, too, doubling and later scoring the game’s first run on Brandon Hill’s single. Nick Burkleo drove in Hill with a sacrifice fly.

Springfield, a 17-5 team, finally broke through with a run in the sixth, but Morken worked out of a mini-jam in the seventh to seal up the win.

Morken kept Springfield off balance with a knuckleball.

“I started throwing it when I was about six years old and I’ve kind of mastered it,” Morken said. “It moves and I can throw it for strikes.”

LQPV 2, Springfield 1

Springfield          000 001 0 — 1 4 3 

LQPV    020 000 x — 2 4 2 

HITTING – Springfield: Jacob Menage 1-3 2b r … LQPV: Garrett Olson 1-2, Ben Morken 1-3 2b r, Brandon Hill 1-3 rbi r, Jalen Baldwin 1-3, Nick Burkleo 0-2 rbi sf

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Springfield: LP-Isaac Kirschstein 6-4-2-1-3-4 … LQPV: WP-Morken 7-4-1-0-2-8

Tom Larson

Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.

(320) 214-4372