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.
Willmar's Eagle Creek Golf Club saw its first hole-in-one of the season when Jon Heath used a 6-iron to ace the 163-yard No. 2 last Tuesday.
Boys Golf CLASS AA STATE TOURNAMENT At Coon Rapids Area participant: Derek Hilding, Willmar, 11:40 a.m. CLASS A STATE TOURNAMENT At Onamia Area participants: Minnewaska team (Matt Chan, Ben Henke, Ryan Kollman, Evan Peters, Pierce Peters, John Wedum); Nate Carlson, New London-Spicer; Tim Dreier, New London-Spicer; Mike Dvorak, Litchfield; Max Martin, Morris; Barry Rothwell, MACCRAY, 8:35 a.m. Girls Golf CLASS A STATE TOURNAMENT At Onamia Area participants: Minnewaska team (Lisa Blair, Courtney Boe, Chelsey Falk, Allie Ostrander, Emily Roering, Sarah Roering); Amy Banken
Senior Derek Hilding will represent Willmar at the Class AA boys golf tournament today and Wednesday at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids. The first-time state qualifier will tee off at 12:25 p.m. on the West Course. Alexandria, the Central Lakes Conference champion, ranks among the favorites with four players returning from last year's second-place team. In the girls' meet, only Woodbury returns from 2005. Eight teams and 88 individuals will contend for honors in each.
Litchfield meets Marshall School of Duluth at 8 a.m. this morning in the Class A boys tennis meet at Burnsville's Northwest Athletic Club. Defending champion Mounds Park Academy plays St. Paul Academy at 10 a.m. in a meeting of the No. 1 and 2 ranked teams. Semifinal and championship matches will be played Wednesday. Also today, Blake meets Thief River Falls and Waseca takes on Section 3A champions Luverne.
Monday's scheduled baseball games for the Section 5AA and 6AA tournaments in St. Cloud were postponed due to rain. In 5AA, Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop was leading Litchfield 5-0 in the top half of the first inning Monday before the game was called. GFW and Litchfield will resume today at 2:30 p.m. followed by Paynesville and Delano at 5 p.m. The GFW/Litchfield winner will then play the Paynesville/Delano winner at 7:30 p.m. All games are at Joe Faber Field. Breckenridge and St. Cloud Cathedral were scoreless in the first in 6AA and will start up again today at 2:30 p.m.
Prep Baseball SECTION 5AA At Joe Faber Field, St. Cloud 1. Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop vs. Litchfield, 2:30 p.m. 2. Delano vs. Paynesville, 5 p.m. 3. Winner-1 vs. Loser-2, 7:30 p.m. SECTION 6AA At Dick Putz Field, St. Cloud 1. Breckenridge vs. St. Cloud Cathedral, 2:30 p.m. 2. Morris vs. Pierz, 5 p.m. 3. Winner-1 vs. Loser-2, 7:30 p.m. SECTION 3AA At Marshall Loser's Bracket Final BOLD vs. Lac qui Parle Valley, 5 p.m. SECTION 3A At Marshall Loser's Bracket Final Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg vs.
MANKATO -- Mankato East rapped out 13 hits, including a solo home run by J.T. Miller, the No. 9 hitter in the order, to defeat Willmar 13-7 in a Section 2AAA elimination baseball game Saturday. "The big thing was that we got behind in the count too many times," said Willmar coach Brad Dean.