WILLMAR - The entire Willmar starting lineup got consecutive hits to open the game as Willmar plated 11 runs in the first inning en route to shutting out Benson 16-0 in VFW baseball Friday. Leadoff hitter Mike Dunham led off the bottom of the first with a double and George Jacobson III, batting third, also doubled as Jordan John Smith, Jordan Ray Smith, Matt Odom, Logan Birkland, Alex Malmgren, Ben Ruter, Travis Hanson and David Anderson singled. Malmgren went 4-for-4 and Jordan John Smith collected three hits to help Willmar outhit Benson 18-1.
BURNSVILLE - Litchfield junior Brian Ward finished fourth in his first-ever state tournament appearance after losing twice Friday at the Northwest Athletic Club. Ward lost 6-1, 6-1 to Marshall School of Duluth's Max Busch in the Class A semifinals before falling 6-1, 6-4 in the third-place match to David Croonquist of Mounds Park Academy.
STARBUCK - Mike Andreas' two-out infield single with the bases loaded in the last of the ninth inning plated the winning run as Starbuck rallied to defeat Regal 4-3 in a Cornbelt League game Friday. Regal scored lone runs in the top of the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to take a 3-0 lead behind Shane Radermacher, who had allowed only four hits to that point. Starbuck then loaded the bases on two walks and a single by Jim Walker.
NORTH MANKATO - Rosemount captured its second state championship in school history, and the first since 1979, by defeating Maple Grove 4-0 in the Class AAA title game. In Class AA, Winona Cotter captured its second Class AA championship in the past four years by defeating Watertown-Mayer 2-0 in the title game. And it was an ending befitting a championship game as Springfield defeated Silver Bay 7-6 in nine innings in a back-and-forth thriller in the Class A title tilt. Class AAA Rosemount pitcher Sam Sakala blanked Maple Grove on a five-hitter and struck out nine.
Saturday Track and Field CLASS AA STATE TOURNAMENT At Hamline University Finals begin at 9 a.m. CLASS A STATE TOURNAMENT At Hamline University Finals begin at 3 p.m. Amateur Baseball LAND O'DUCKS Madison at Appleton, 4 p.m. Rosen at Wheaton, 5 p.m. NON-LEAGUE Raymond at Hamburg Tournament, 1 p.m. BlueHawk Tournament At Litchfield Bird Island vs. Litchfield, 10:30 a.m. Bird Island vs. Rockford, 12:30 p.m. Fifth-place game, 3 p.m. At Eden Valley Eden Valley vs. Minnetonka, 10:30 a.m. Minnetonka vs. St.
ONAMIA - Five of the six members on the Minnewaska girls' golf team shot lower scores in the second round of the Class A State Tournament Thursday to help the Lakers win the title by four shots at Izaty's Resort. A day after being the only team to have all of its players shoot under 100, the Lakers had everyone fire rounds under 90, finishing with a two-day total 335-329-664. Eighth-grader Allie Ostrander made the biggest improvement as she carded an 82 Thursday after shooting a 94 on the first day.
ST. CLOUD - The 2005 state champions will get to defend their title next week at the Class AA state baseball tournament. The Paynesville Bulldogs used a six-run inning to vault past Litchfield 9-6 on Thursday evening at Dick Putz Field. The Dragons had come out of the loser's bracket with two wins this week to get a shot at the section title, their first in AA after playing in AAA. The Bulldogs' tournament experience showed through.
ST. CLOUD - You have to dig back to 1990 to find the last time Morris Tiger baseball visited the state tournament. A 7-11 record at the end of the regular season and a No. 5 seed gave no indication things would change this year. But the unheralded Tigers came to life in the post-season capping an amazing Section 6AA streak with a 7-3 win over St. Cloud Cathedral on Thursday at Faber Field. "We had pretty good pitching all year," said senior Andy Lembcke who had two hits, two runs and two RBI in the final.
The Atwater Karting Speedway will host an International Karting Federation event on Saturday and Sunday, in addition to its usual Friday night of racing. The IKF Region 3 Northern Tour event will start with hot laps at 4 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday with races to follow each day, according to the IKF Web site. Other Region 3 events are at Pipestone June 24-25, Blue Earth Aug. 26-27 and Glyndon Sept. 16-17.
BURNSVILLE - Brian Ward remained unbeaten during the individual postseason as the Litchfield junior won his first two matches at the Class A State Individual Tournament Thursday to advance to the semifinals. Ward (20-7) upended Peter Swanson of Waseca, which beat Litchfield in the third-place match Wednesday in the team competition, 6-3, 6-1. Ward then posted another straight-set win with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over John Wight of St. Paul Academy in the quarterfinals. "I can't recall anyone from Litchfield in the semifinals," said Litchfield coach John Carlson.