Jake Schultz is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune, working his first job out of college. He graduated from St. John's University (CSB/SJU) in 2016 and is a baseball fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @StJake29.
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RAYMOND - Raymond unloaded an onslaught of extra base hits on the way to a seven-inning, 11-1 win against Granite Falls Wednesday night. The Rockets asserted their dominance early with two runs in the opening frame and five more in the second against Kilowatt starter Derrick Grund. The Rockets launched four doubles in the ballgame including a pair that hit the wall in the air.
ST. PAUL - Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd's Keiser Freetly and Montevideo's Kurt TeBeest didn't always get along. It just seems like it. "I remember when I was younger I just knew of this 'TeBeest kid' and I wasn't too happy about how fast he ran," said Freetly, a junior, who ran with TeBeest and other local athletes at the Minnesota State Track and Field Championships on Saturday at Hamline University. "That didn't last long, though," Freetly said. "I wanted to be as fast as him so he pushed me to get better. We grew up running together."
ST. PAUL - Willmar's Sophie Schmitz capped her successful high school running career as a Class AA state champion in the 800-meter run Saturday afternoon at Hamline University. Schmitz ran in a time of 2:16.26 which was more than 1.5 seconds behind her preliminary time but it was enough to take the title on a hot, windy day on Saturday. She took the lead while rounding the final turn and finished in a dead sprint just ahead of Mounds View's Emma Bangert who posted a time of 2:16.45.
People in Spicer had the chance to see a national champion on Monday. It just happened to be that national champion was a larger-than-life gopher. Goldy Gopher and a number of coaches from the University of Minnesota made their way to Johnny O'Neil's in Spicer for this year's Gopher Road Trip before spending time on Green Lake. The Gophers make 15 total stops during the trip but, according to Mike Grimm, Monday's emcee, Spicer is always circled on the calendar.
GRANITE FALLS - New London-Spicer only managed four hits in a pivotal Section 3AA semifinal matchup Saturday against Jackson County Central but they made the most of those hits on the way to a 5-2 comeback victory. The Wildcats now advance to the Section 3AA final Thursday in Granite Falls. Undefeated in tournament play, NLS will only need to win one of two games against their opponent on Thursday.
DULUTH—The Willmar Stingers rallied to tie Duluth at three in the eighth inning but were unable to take the lead and lost 4-3 in 11 innings Sunday afternoon. The Huskies started strong with two runs of Stinger starter Nick Lackney in the first inning but Lackney settled in and only allowed one more run in his six innings of work.
ST. CLOUD - Willmar's Caleb Ditmarson had a gem on his hands until a two-run double in the sixth to put St. Cloud Apollo on top for good in the Section 5AAA tournament with a 3-2 win. Ditmarson allowed one run in the second but went on a tear in the middle innings on the way to striking out seven batters in six innings. The Cardinals used back-to-back doubles by Garrit Kooistra and Zak Madsen to tie and eventually take the lead but it was Lukas Theisen who spoiled Ditmarson's day with a two-run double for the win.
ATWATER - ACGC baseball scratched out a pair of runs in the second inning and that proved to be enough for David Kingery as the Falcons closed the regular season with a 2-0 win over Benson on Tuesday at Kingery Field. Kingery scattered four hits over six innings of work with five strikeouts to earn the win and add to ACGC's resume for postseason seeding. Michael Dallmann allowed one hit in the seventh but kept the Braves from scoring to record the save and help the Falcons move to 12-8.
BOLD softball got a taste of the playoff pie last season and this year they're looking to take the whole thing.
BIRD ISLAND - BOLD started the 2017 baseball season off in style, with three pitchers combining on a no-hitter in a 5-0 victory over Lac qui Parle Valley.