The Willmar Stingers had a sweep within their grasp, but came away with a weekend split on the road against the St. Cloud Rox to head into the All-Star break.
Behind another impeccable start from right-hander Gus Varland on Saturday, the Stingers downed the Rox 6-2, but fell 2-1 in walk-off fashion in Sunday's finale.
Marcus Still led the way offensively with three hits and three runs over the set of games.
Willmar heads into the three-day break still one game up on Rochester for the second Wild Card spot in the North Division at 25-23 overall and 7-5 in the second half.
Joe Vranesic got the start on Sunday for Willmar, allowing just one run over six innings to lower his season ERA to 2.88.
Tied at one, St. Cloud loaded the bases with one out on right-hander Braxton Johns before Alex Reyes came on in relief and was moments away from sending the game to extra innings.
But while Reyes induced a two-out grounder to shortstop, the Stingers' Josh Bissonette committed an error and the winning run scored from third.
On Saturday, Varland threw four shutout innings and received aid in the form of Brady Shockey's three-run homer. Four Stinger pitchers combined to strike out 11 Rox and Willmar's offense took advantage of four St. Cloud errors.
St. Cloud 2, Willmar 1
Stingers 000 001 000-1 6 1
Rox 010 000 001-2 8 1
Hitting - Willmar: Marcus Still 2-4 r, Brady Shockey 1-4, Luke Becker 1-4, Alex Reyes 1-4, Caleb Ledbetter 1-3 ... St. Cloud: Keaton Kringlen 3-4 rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Joe Vranesic 6-4-1-1-2-3, Connor Jahn 1.1-2-0-0-1-0, Braxton Johns (L) 1-2-1-0-1-1, Alex Reyes 0.1-0-0-0-0-0 ... St. Cloud Robbie Palkert 5-2-0-0-0-8, Shelby Lackey 1-2-1-1-1-0, Kyle Boser 1-2-0-0-0-0, Ivan Coutinho 1-0-0-0-0-1, Brent Killam (W) 1-0-0-0-0-1
Willmar 6, St. Cloud 2
Stingers 003 030 000-6 5 0
Rox 000 002 000-2 6 4
Hitting - Willmar: Marcus Still 1-5 r-2, Brady Shockey 1-3 hr r rbi-3, Josh Bissonette 1-4, Nolan Bumstead 1-3, Tyler Reichenborn 1-3 3b r-2 ... St. Cloud: Matt Busch 2-4 rbi-2, Matt Tarantino 1-3 r
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Gus Varland 4-2-0-0-1-4, Kale Latorre (W) 2-3-2-2-2-3, Connor Herd 2-0-0-0-0-3, Calvin Coker 1-1-0-0-0-1 ... St. Cloud: Carlo Graffeo (L) 6-5-6-2-2-4,, Jackson Rose 1-0-0-0-0-1, Drew Avans 2-0-0-0-1-1
NLS 7, Litchfield 1
New London-Spicer won the Northeast District 7 Northeast Sub-District with a 7-1 victory over Litchfield on Sunday. Matt Spaulding threw a complete game for NLS while John Perkins had four hits and drove in two runs.
Paxton Nelson had two hits and drove in four runs.
NLS defeated Litchfield in the winners bracket final and Litchfield, coming back through the losers bracket, would have had to defeat NLS twice on Sunday to advance.
NLS begins a three-game series with the Northwest Sub-District's Glenwood/Lowry team on Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. in Glenwood. One or two games will then be played in Spicer on Thursday, starting at 6 p.m.
NLS 011 040 1-7 12 0
Litchfield 000 000 1-1 7 4
Hitting - New London-Spicer: John Perkins 4-4 rbi-2, Will Roguske 1-5, Wyatt White 1-3, Evan Haugen 1-3, Derek Dolezal 2-4, Josh Soine 1-3, Paxton Nelson 2-4 2b rbi-4 ... Litchfield: Andrew Loch 1-3, Sam Tibbits 1-3, Tyler Sangren 1-3 rbi, Luke Schultz 2-4, Zach Carlson 1-3, Chase Czycalla 1-3
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - New London-Spicer: Matt Spaulding (W) 7-7-1-13-5 ... Litchfield: Tyler Sangren (L) 4.2-11-6-4-2-0, Afton Kaping 2.1-1-1-1-2-1
NLS 2, Litchfield 1
Mitchell Kruger ended a pitchers' duel with a walk-off double in the 8th inning to give New London-Spicer Legion a win over Litchfield in its Sub-District semifinal
Will Roguske started for NLS and pitched well, allowing one run and striking out nine. Also fanning nine batters was Litchfield's Owen Boerema.
With Litchfield beating Kerkhoven later in the day, they reached a rematch with NLS again in the championship on Sunday.
Litchfield 001 000 00-1 10 0
NLS 000 001 01-2 4 2
Hitting - Litchfield: Andrew Loch 1-3 r rbi, Sam Tibbits 1-4, Tyler Sangren 2-4, Luke Schultz 1-4, Ezra Kaping 1-4 rbi, Afton Kaping 1-2, John Kiehn 3-4 ... New London-Spicer: John Perkins 0-3 r, Mitchell Kruger 1-1 2b rbi, Wyatt White 1-3 rbi, Evan Haugen 1-3, Paxton Nelson 1-3
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Litchfield: Owen Boerema 7-3-1-1-3-9, Ezra Kaping (L) .1-1-1-1-1-0 ... New London-Spicer: Will Roguske 7.2-9-1-1-3-9, Jake Schmidt (W) .1-1-0-0-0-0
Litchfield 7, Kerkhoven 2
Litchfield advanced in the District 7 Northeast Sub-District game against Kerkhoven, thanks to a solid pitching performance from Mitch Virnig.
Virnig allowed just two runs over 5-2/3 innings as Litchfield won 7-2.
Zach Carlson hit a home run to lead the Litchfield offense, which jumped out to an early 4-0 lead before putting the game away with a three-run seventh.
Litchfield 130 000 3-7 9 1
Kerkhoven 000 020 0-2 7 1
Hitting - Litchfield: Sam Tibbits 2-4, Tyler Sangren 1-3 2b, Luke Schultz 1-4 2b rbi, Ezra Kaping 1-4 2b, Zach Carlson 1-3 hr, Max Tibbits 2-4 ... Kerkhoven: Weston Gjerde 1-4, Caleb Collins 1-4, Ryan Torkelson 1-4, Brandon Rasmussen 1-4, Regan Carlson 2-4
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -Litchfield: Mitch Virnig (W) 5.2-7-2-NA-5-1, Ezra Kaping (SV) 1.1-0-0-0-0-0 ... Kerkhoven: Jake Magaard (L) 2-4-4-NA-4-1, Rudningen 5-5-3-NA-2-2
Kerkhoven 6, Tri-Town 5
Tri-Town's late-inning comeback and Kerkhoven won the District 7 Northeast losers bracket game on Saturday.
Kerkhoven then lost to Litchfield in the loser bracket finale and was eliminated.
Kerkhoven's Caleb Collins doubled twice and drove in a run and Kyle Meyer had a hit and drove in two. Brandin Dahl and Regan Carlson both had two hits and an RBI.
Tri-Town's Eli Albrecht drove in two runs and Ethan Schultz and Noah Cunningham both had two hits and drove in runs.
Tri-Town 001 004 0-5 9 1
Kerkhoven 015 000 x-6 8 2
Hitting - Tri-Town: Josh Kinzler 1-4 rbi, Jaren Kaddatz 1-4, Payton Kinzler 1-3, Kobe Holtz 1-3, Eli Albrecht 1-2 rbi-2, Ethan Schultz 2-3 rbi 2b-2, Noah Cunningham 2-2 rbi ... Kerkhoven: Caleb Collins 2-3 2b-2 rbi, Regan Carlson 2-4 2b rbi, Brandin Dahl 2-2 rbi, Jake Magaard 1-2 rbi, Kyle Meyer 1-3 rbi-2
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Tri-Town: David Kingery (L) 4-7-6-2-3-5, Michael Dallmann 2-1-0-0-1-2 ... Kerkhoven: Ryan Torkelson (W) 6-9-5-4-2-1, Magaard (SV) 1-0-0-0-0-0
Glenwood/Lowry 9, Wheaton 7
Glenwood/Lowry brought out the offense and scored two runs in the sixth inning to defeat Wheaton in a District 7 Northwest Sub-District championship game on Sunday.
Matthew Gruber and Jake Hoffman both went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs as the team notched 14 hits.
Shawn Stumpf gave up seven runs, but picked up the win on the mound by pitching a complete game.
Wheaton 112 030 0-7 8 1
G/L 241 002 x-9 14 0
Hitting - Wheaton: S Adleman 3-4 r-3, L Adleman 3-4 hr r-2 rbi-3 ... Glenwood/Lowry: Ryan Amundson 3-3 r-2, Shawn Stumpf 1-3 r, Matthew Gruber 3-4 2b rbi-3 r, Colin Richards 1-3 r-3 rbi, Jake Hoffman 3-4 rbi-3, Sean Kelling 1-4 rbi, Ryan Christianson 1-2 r-2
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Wheaton: S Adleman (L) 6-14-9-6-2-1 ... Glenwood/Lowry: Shawn Stumpf (W) 7-8-7-7-3-2
BOLD 4, Granite Falls 3
A walk-off error gave BOLD Legion a win to advance to the Sub-District championship over Granite Falls.
After surrendering the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh, BOLD rallied to come away with a 4-3 win. Reed Stadther allowed one earned run over seven innings to earn the complete-game victory.
Six different player each had one hit for Granite Falls, while BOLD won despite only scratching across three base knocks.
Granite Falls 000 001 2-3 6 3
BOLD 020 000 2-4 3 1
Hitting - Granite Falls: Brandon Schmidt 1-1 2b rbi, Tory Rupp 1-1 rbi, Dalton Anderson 1-4 ... BOLD: Luke Ryan 1-4, Max Buchtel 1-2, Cade Morse 0-2 rbi, Kyle Kostoryz 1-3 rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Granite Falls: Brandon Schmidt 6.1-2-3-1-6-2, Tom Lindstrom (L) 0.1-1-1-0-0-0 ... BOLD: Reed Stadther (W) 7-6-3-1-5-8
BOLD 9, Granite Falls 0
James Woelfel threw a 14-strikeout no-hitter as BOLD grabbed its sub-district championship on Sunday.
Woelfel didn't need much support on the day, but Max Buchtel drove in six runs for BOLD anyway.
Next up for BOLD is Minneota, with first game of a three-game series in Bird Island at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The series then shifts to Minneota for the final game(s) on Thursday.
Granite Falls 000 000 0-0 0 0
BOLD 313 020 x-9 14 0
Hitting - Granite Falls: N/A ... BOLD: Luke Ryan 3-3 2b rbi, Max Buchtel 3-3 rbi-6, James Woelfel 2-3 2b rbi, Kyle Kostoryz 1-1, Cade Morse 1-3 2b rbi, Sam Marks 2-2, Jordan Sagedahl 2-4
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Granite Falls: Jordan Odegaard (L) 3-9-7-7-4-3, Tom Lindstrom 3-5-2-2-2-0 ... BOLD: James Woelfel 7-0-0-0-4-14
NL-Spicer 8, Starbuck 2
New London-Spicer starter Patrick Courtney and reliever Adam Nibaur kept Starbuck at bay until the Twins offense put the game away with a four-run eighth inning on Sunday at Green Lake Diamond in Spicer.
NLS' John Perkins was 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored, and Mike Danielson, Ben Kulset, Jake Rambow, Scott Rambow and Austin Rambow all had two hits and drove in at least one run.
Courtney worked seven innings, allowing seven hits and striking out six, and Nibaur pitched the final two innings to earn the save.
Starbuck's Austin Versteeg had two hits and drove in two run but took the loss.
Starbuck 002 000 000-2 9 2
NL-Spicer 120 100 04x-8 14 1
Hitting - Starbuck: Michael Gruber 2-4 r, Austin Versteeg 2-4 2b rbi-2, Mike Kragenbring 1-4, Mike Nielson 2-4, Jackson Hendrickson 1-4, Colin Richards 1-3 r ... New London-Spicer: Ben Kulset 2-4 rbi r, Jake Rambow 2-4 rbi r, Mike Danielson 2-5 2b rbi-2 r, Scott Rambow 2-4 rbi, Austin Rambow 2-4 2b rbi, Andrew Bangen 1-4 3b r, Dalton Rambow 0-3 r-2, John Perkins 3-3 2b rbi r-2
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Starbuck: Austin Versteeg (L) 7-12-6-4-2-7, Micheal Gruber 1-2-2-2-0-0 ... New London-Spicer: Patrick Courtney (W) 7-7-2-2-0-6, Adam Nibaur (Sv) 2-2-0-0-0-0
Raymond 9, Sacred Heart 2
Justin Koenen and Kyle Knott combined to generate a sizable chunk of Raymond's offense in a Cornbelt League victory over the Saints on Sunday in Sacred Heart.
Knott had three hits, drove in three runs and scored twice, and Koene had three hits, including two doubles, and he drove in two runs.
The Rockets' Jordan Smith and Tyler Steen both had hits and RBIs.
Sacred Heart's Dakota Freiborg had two hits and drove in a run.
Raymond 131 000 004-9 11 1
Sacred Heart 110 000 000-2 7 4
Hitting - Raymond: Mike Jeseritz 1-4 rbi r-3, Justin Koenen 3-5 2b-2 rbi-2 r, Tyler Steen 1-5 rbi r, Kyle Knott 3-5 2b rbi-3 r-2, Jordan Smith 1-4 rbi, John Sawatzky 1-4 r, Zach Nelson 1-1, Eric Hulterstrum 0-4 rbi ... Sacred Heart: Trent Novotny 1-4, Dakota Freiborg 2-3 rbi, Nate Hebrink 1-3 rbi, Jack Dykema 1-4 r, Mike Johnson 1-3, Jeff Hinderks 1-1
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Raymond: Alex Lothammer (W) 6-5-2-2-4-7, Cole Christianson 3-2-0-0-0-5 ... Sacred Heart: Ryan Fransen 8-10-9-5-0-6, Jeremy Hinderks 1-1-0-0-0-0
Cold Spring 8, Bird Island 3
Cold Spring took the lead in the fourth inning and pulled away late to defeat Bird Island 8-3 on Sunday.
Eric Loxtercamp and Justin Thompson went deep for Cold Spring, while Bird Island got multi-hit games from Trent Athmann, Shawn Dollerschell and Ben Steffel.
Cold Spring 200 300 030-8 11 1
Bird Island 012 000 000-3 9 2
Hitting - Cold Spring: Eric Loxtercamp 3-5 hr r-2 rbi-2, Brian Hansen 2-4 rbi-2 r, Justin Thompson 2-3 hr r rbi ... Bird Island: Trent Athmann 2-5, Shawn Dollerschell 2-4 r, Lane Stadther 1-4 rbi-2, Ben Steffel 2-4 r, Riley Kramer 1-4, Austin Weis 1-3 rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Cold Spring: Mathias Butala (W) 9-9-3-3-2-5 ... Bird Island: Brad Gass (L) 6-8-5-4-0-3, Luke Kramer 3-3-3-3-3-1
Milroy 13, Granite Falls 0
Austin Deutz threw a two-hit shutout as Milroy defeated Granite Falls on Sunday.
Andy Schmidt and Matt Bauer hit homers against the Kilowatts, while Derek Dyrdahl and Austin Vikander had the only hits for Granite Falls.
Milroy 032 202 4-13 9 2
Granite Falls 000 000 0-0 2 4
Hitting - Milroy: Andy Schmidt 2-4 hr r-2 rbi-2, Matt Bauer 2-4 hr r-4 rbi-2 ... Granite Falls: Derek Dyrdahl 1-2, Austin Vikander 1-2
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Milroy: Austin Deutz (W) 7-2-0-0-0-9 ... Granite Falls: Jordan Thompson (L) 4.2-8-7-5-4-8, Chase Richter 1-0-2-1-2-2, Tommy Lindstrom 1.1-1-4-3-5-1
Litchfield Men's Invitational
Troy Ryynanen came away with the Litchfield Men's Invitational championship with a score of 105 over the weekend at the Litchfield Golf Course.
He bested both Bryce Carlson and John Spreiter by two strokes. Tony Kallevig shot a 108 and Brandon Nelson a 110 to round out the top five.
Craig McKechney shot a 120 to win the Presidents group. Jim Kadelach, Joe Langemo and Chris Hauer each shot an 80 to split the senior championship. Gary Oberg's 63 won the Super Seniors flight.
Willmar U18 3, Austin 0
Willmar's U-18 team reached the State Tournament with a dominant win over Austin.
The State Tournament is July 26-29, and Willmar enters with a record of 10-1-2.
Sergio Moreno got the scoring started with a goal in the 18th minute before Jeffe Lopez scored twice in the second half.
Zach Courtney made nine saves for a clean sheet. Moreno also assisted on one of Lopez' goals.
The Willmar Boys U17 C-3 team will be in the State Tournament July 22-23. The boys U-14 C3 team will be in State Tournament July 21-23.
Willmar................. 1 2 - 3
Austin................... 0 0 - 0
FIRST HALF - W: Sergio Moreno 18th minute
SECOND HALF - W: Jeffe Lopez 52nd minute ... W: Lopez 82nd minute
SHOTS ON GOAL - Willmar 9, Austin 9
GOALIE SAVES - Austin: N/A 6 ... Willmar: Zach Courtney 9