RAYMOND - Jed Nelson knocked in the eventual winning run with a ground out in the seventh inning as Raymond rallied to post a 4-3 win over Willmar in the Cornbelt League Wednesday. Zach Nelson had tied the game at 3-3 earlier in the seventh before Jed Nelson knocked in pinch-runner Tyler Steen with the go-ahead run. Nate Hebrink worked all nine innings to pick up the win, striking out 11 along the way.
Prep Softball CLASS AAA STATE TOURNAMENT At North Mankato Willmar vs. Minnetonka, 11 a.m. (Willmar will play again at 5 p.m. regardless how it does in the first round) Prep Baseball SECTION 3AA Championship At Granite Falls Lac qui Parle Valley vs. Pipestone, 5 p.m. (second game to follow if necessary) SECTION 5AA Championship At Joe Faber Field, St. Cloud Litchfield vs. Paynesville, 5 p.m. (second game to follow if necessary) SECTION 6AA Championship At Dick Putz Field, St. Cloud Morris vs. St. Cloud Cathedral, 5 p.m.
BURNSVILLE - Peter Zender, at 2-singles for Litchfield, won a three-set match Tuesday to help the Dragons slip by Marshall School, Duluth, 4-3 in a Class A state boys tennis quarterfinal tilt Tuesday. Zender rallied from a 2-6 loss in the first set to grab the second and third sets 6-4, 6-2. Litchfield won three points at singles and another at 3-doubles. The Dragons will meet the defending state champions, Mounds View Academy, at 8 a.m. today back at the Northwest Athletic Club in Burnsville. The St. Paul private school, ranked No. 1 by the Coaches Association, dispatched No. 2 St.
ST. CLOUD - Sparked by another solid performance from John Hemingson on the mound, Paynesville is one step closer to repeating as Class AA champions as the Bulldogs upended Delano 10-1 Tuesday to advance to the Section 5AA championship. Paynesville (18-4) will now take on Litchfield at 5 p.m. Thursday on Joe Faber Field in the final. A second game would follow if Litchfield can beat the Bulldogs. Paynesville beat Litchfield 4-3 in the Section 5AA-20 final last Wednesday. Hemingson gave up only four hits and no earned runs while issuing just two walks in his complete-game win.
ST. CLOUD -- Chase Rambow tossed a three-hit shutout with seven strikeouts to help Morris advance to the Section 6AA final after blanking Pierz 6-0 Tuesday at Dick Putz Field. The Tigers (11-11) will take on St. Cloud Cathedral Thurday at 5 p.m. back on Dick Putz Field. A second game would follow if the Crusaders beat Morris. Rambow scored what proved to be the only run he would need in the first inning on an error.
MARSHALL - Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg took an early 9-4 lead and held on to oust Wabasso 10-9 Tuesday in Section 3A baseball elimination-bracket game. The Fighting Saints (16-4) will play Southwest United at 5 p.m. Thursday at Legion Park in Marshall.
MARSHALL - Lac qui Parle Valley rallied from a 7-1 deficit to defeat BOLD 9-8 in eight innings in a Section 3AA elimination game Tuesday. The loss eliminates BOLD and sends the Eagles to the championship where they'll need to beat Pipestone twice, starting 5 p.m. Thursday in Granite Falls. BOLD lost for the fourth time to LQPV and for the second time in the playoffs. BOLD vaulted to the lead in the fourth.
ST. CLOUD - Chris Sundmark pitched both wins as Litchfield emerged from the Section 5AA loser's bracket Tuesday in St. Cloud to reach the championship round where they will meet defending state champion Paynesville. The Dragons knocked off Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop 11-8 behind an 18-hit attack in the first game and then banished Delano 4-3 on only three hits. Sunmark went the last four innings of the first game and all seven of the nightcap at Faber Field. Litchfield plays Paynesville at 5 p.m. Thursday in St. Cloud, needing two wins to advance to the state tournament.
WILLMAR - The Willmar VFW baseball team opened its season with a 12-0 win over Starbuck at Bill Taunton Stadium on Tuesday. Mike Dunham tripled and singled and drove in a run for Willmar. Ben Ruter drove in two runs on two hits. Mike Dunham, Jordan J. Smith and Jordan R. Smith also had two hits each. Winning pitcher George Jacobson threw four innings, allowing only one hit. He walked none and struck out seven.
COON RAPIDS - Willmar senior Derek Hilding shot 39-44-83 Tuesday on Day 1 of the Class AA state meet at Bunker Hills Golf Course. Hilding is tied for 69th place with four others in an original field of 87 players. In his first state tournament, Hilding struggled on his first nine - the West Course holes 10-18 - starting with consecutive bogeys. But he found his form on his second nine (the East Course) and shot a 39, which included two birdies. "Derek struggled with his putting in the front nine," said Willmar coach Dave Ellwood. "He missed four putts inside three feet.