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Amateur baseball roundup: Bird Island locks up 4C title

Amateur baseball report for Aug. 13-14, 2022, in west central Minnesota. Bullfrogs get first-round bye at state after 8-4 win over Raymond

Baseball roundup
Kit Grode / Tribune graphic
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SPICER — With its second win in three days over the Raymond Rockets, the Bird Island Bullfrogs won the Region 4C championship with an 8-4 victory Sunday at Green Lake Diamonds.

On Friday, the Bullfrogs earned their place in the finals with a 7-2 victory over the Rockets.

Collecting 18 hits on Sunday, every player in Bird Island’s batting order got a hit.

Braeden Tersteeg was 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Jared Dettmann, the No. 9 hitter in the lineup, hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning. He finished the afternoon 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs. Trent Athmann also had three hits, going 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI.

Casey Lewandowski got the win after tossing the first 7-1/3 innings. He struck out two with eight hits and four walks allowed.


Mike Jeseritz and Brady Kienitz were both 2-for-5 for Raymond. Jeseritz had two RBIs and a run while Kienitz scored a run in the loss. Eli Nelson was hit with the loss after allowing six runs (four earned) on nine hits over two innings.

With the win, Bird Island is the No. 1 seed from Region 4C and gets a first-round bye in the Class C state tournament. The Bullfrogs will play at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28 against the winner of the Loretto Larks and Waterville Indians.

The Rockets are the No. 2 seed. The Willmar Rails are the No. 3 seed and will play at state for the first time since 2003.

Raymond opens state against the Wanamingo Jacks at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21 in Faribault. The winner takes on the Nisswa Lightning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 in Faribault.

Willmar faces the Clinton Cards at 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 21 in Miesville. The winner of that game will face the Delano Athletics at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 in Dundas.

Following the region tournament, the following players were drafted for the state tournament:

  • Bird Island: Josh Kingery, Atwater; Kobe Holtz, Atwater; and Adam Schrader, New London-Spicer. 
  • Raymond: Austin Deutz, Milroy; Hunter Magnuson, New London-Spicer; and Isaac Schmidt, Milroy.
  • Willmar: Matt Gruber, Starbuck; Nathan Deutz, Milroy; and Bennett Knapper, Granite Falls. 

Region 4C

Bird Island 8, Raymond 4

Raymond     010   000   030-4   8   1
Bird Island   150   000   02x-8   18   3
Hitting - Raymond: Paxton Nelson 1-5, Brady Kienitz 2-5 r, Tyler Steen 1-4 r-2 bb, Mike Jeseritz 2-5 2b r rbi-2, John Sawatzky 1-4 2b rbi, Caleb Ditmarson 1-4, Tanner Bauman 0-3 rbi bb … Bird Island: Braeden Tersteeg 4-5 r-2 rbi, Trent Athmann 3-5 r rbi, Shawn Dollerschell 1-4 rbi, Logan Swann 1-4, Tyler Hebrink 1-4 rbi-2, Aidan Elfering 1-4 r, Dylan Gass 3-4 r, Zeke Walton 1-3 2b r hbp sb, Jared Dettmann 3-4 hr 2b r-2 rbi-3
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Raymond: Eli Nelson (L) 2-9-6-4-0-0, Zach Nelson 4-6-0-0-0-2, Herman Solomon 2-3-2-2-0-3 … Bird Island: Casey Lewandoski (W) 7.1-8-4-2-4-2, Dettmann 1.2-0-0-0-0-2 

Region 15C

Watkins 10, Elrosa 0

The Elrosa Saints placed third in Region 15C tournament after being shut out by the Watkins Clippers in Meire Grove.


On Friday, Elrosa played for the region championship, losing 5-0 to St. Martin.

Dustin Kramer threw a complete-game shutout for Watkins, striking out two with seven hits and four walks allowed. He was also 1-for-2 with two runs and an RBI. Nolan Geislinger finished 4-for-5 with six RBIs for the Clippers.

Gavin Kampsen was 2-for-3 to lead the Saints’ offense.

With four teams from 15C heading to state, Elrosa is back in the tournament for the first time since 2018.

The Saints open the state tournament against the Montgomery Mallards at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Faribault. The winner of that game faces the New Ulm Brewers at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 in Dundas.

Elrosa drafted Trent Wendlandt (Lake Henry), Will Funk (New Munich) and Matt Imdieke (Meire Grove).

Watkins   040   201   021-10   10   2
Elrosa      000   000   000-0   7   2
Hitting - Watkins: Nolan Geislinger 4-5 3b r rbi-6 sb, Kevin Kramer 1-5 3b, Dan Berg 1-5 r, Brendan Ashton 2-4 bb, Carson Geislinger 1-4 r-2 bb sb, Dustin Kramer 1-2 r-2 rbi bb-2, Justin Tompson 0-5 rbi, Carter Block 0-4 r bb, Gavin Mathies 0-3 r-3 bb-2 sb… Elrosa: Kevin Kuefler 1-3 bb-2 sb, Will Van Beck 1-5, Derek Wiener 1-3 bb, Gavin Kampsen 2-3, Blaine Fischer 1-4, Wyatt Steffensen 1-1
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Watkins: D. Kramer (W) 9-7-0-0-4-2 … Elrosa: Steffensen (L) 2-4-4-4-2-2, Ethan Vogt 4-3-3-2-3-3, Van Beck 3-3-3-2-3-0


Region 4C

Raymond 13, Willmar 2

The Raymond Rockets locked up a top-two seed in Region 4C after beating the Willmar Rails in seven innings at Spicer.


Raymond jumped out to a 7-1 lead after the first inning. Paxton Nelson led the Rockets’ offense, going 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs. Tyler Steen hit a pair of doubles, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. Herman Solomon got the win after tossing two innings of relief.

Playing its third game of the day, Willmar had hits from Sam Etterman and Cullen Gregory. Jordan Steffer was charged with the loss.

Willmar       100   010   0-2   2   4
Raymond   700   240   x-13   13   2
Hitting - Willmar: Sam Etterman 1-4, Cullen Gregory 1-2 bb, Zach Reierson 0-2 r bb-2, Josh Tinklenberg 0-3 rbi hbp, Gunnar Banks 0-1 r bb-2 … Raymond: Mike Jeseritz 1-3 r rbi-2 bb, Paxton Nelson 3-4 2b r-3 rbi-2 sb, Tyler Steen 2-4 2b-2 r rbi-3, Brady Kienitz 1-4 r sb, Eli Nelson 2-4 r rbi-2 sb-2, Caleb Ditmarson 1-3 r-2 bb, Brett Swanson 2-4 r sb, Herman Solomon 1-1 r bb, Tanner Bauman 0-2 r sb, John Sawatzky 0-3 r bb
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Jordan Steffer (L) 4-8-9-5-2-0, Caleb Owens 1-3-4-4-2-2, Jack Baumgart 1-2-0-0-0-1 … Raymond: Bauman 3-1-1-1-2-2, Solomon (W) 2-1-1-1-1-2, Brooks Asche 2-0-0-0-3-3

Willmar 3, Starbuck 2

The Willmar Rails cemented their first state appearance in 19 years with a victory against the Starbuck Stars at Spicer.

The win sends Willmar into the state tournament for the first time since going back-to-back in 2002 and ‘03.

Jayden Dierenfeld pitched all nine innings for Willmar, tallying 11 strikeouts with six hits and three walks allowed.

Starbuck scored both of its runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and had the bases loaded with two outs as Mitch Gruber stepped to the plate. On a 3-2 count, Dierenfeld coaxed Gruber into a groundout to clinch the victory.

Sam Etterman had two of the Rails’ four hits, finishing with an RBI and a run scored. Zach Reierson scored twice, going 1-for-5 with a double.

Stars starter Austin Ver Steeg tallied 16 strikeouts over nine innings in the loss. Mitchell Gruber led Starbuck’s offense, going 2-for-4.

Willmar      200   000   100-3   4   0
Starbuck    000   000   002-2   6   1
Hitting - Willmar: Zach Reierson 1-5 2b r-2, Sam Etterman 2-4 r rbi, Jack Baumgart 1-2 bb hbp, Christian Lessman 0-1 rbi hbp sac … Starbuck: Matt Gruber 1-3 r hbp, Mike Andreas 1-4, Jackson Hendrickson 1-4 rbi, Aaron Ver Steeg 1-3 2b rbi bb, Mitchell Gruber 2-4, Darion Alexander 0-3 r bb
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Jayden Dierenfeld (W) 9-6-2-2-3-11 … Starbuck: Austin Ver Steeg (L) 9-4-3-2-2-16

Starbuck 5, Milroy 4

Matt Gruber got the complete-game victory for the Starbucks Stars in a Region 4C elimination game against the Milroy Yankees at Spicer.

Gruber allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out four. He also was 1-for-4 with a run in the victory.

Michael Gruber hit a home run for the Stars, going 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Mike Andreas added three hits.

Dave Schmidt and Jack Hughes both had three hits for Milroy, with Hughes driving in three runs. Isaac Schmidt was hit with the loss after 4-2/3 innings.

Milroy        013   000   000-4   9   0
Starbuck   101   120   00x-5   9   2
Hitting - Milroy: Dave Schmidt 3-5 r sb, Aaron Mathiowetz 1-3 r-2 bb hbp, Brock Schultz 1-3 rbi sf, Alex Thompson 1-2 r bb hbp, Jake Hughes 3-4 2b rbi-3 … Starbuck: Michael Gruber 1-3 hr r rbi-2 bb sac, Matt Gruber 1-4 r bb, Austin Ver Steeg 2-5 sb, Mike Andreas 3-4, Jackson Hendrickson 1-3 rbi bb, Mitchell Gruber 1-4, Darion Alexander 0-3 rbi bb hbp sb, Andrew Toop 0-3 r bb, Aaron Ver Steeg 0-1 r rbi bb-2 hbp, Blake Andreas 0-0 r
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Milroy: Isaac Schmidt (L) 4.2-7-5-5-6-1, Nathan Deutz 3.1-2-0-0-1-0 … Starbuck: Ma. Gruber (W) 9-9-4-4-2-4

Willmar 5, Atwater 4

Thanks to a three-run home run from Christian Lessman in the top of the eighth inning, the Willmar Rails won an elimination game over the Atwater Chuckers in Spicer.

Lessman finished the game 2-for-5. He also got the save after recording the final out.

Ashton Gregory and Caleb Owens both were 2-for-4 for the Rails.

Patrick Courtney struck out six over seven innings to get credit for the win.

The Chuckers lost despite a strong effort from Josh Kingery. He threw all nine innings, striking out 14. He was also 5-for-6 with a pair of doubles, two RBIs and a run scored.

Willmar   000   001   031-5   10   4
Atwater   110   000   011-4   11   2
Hitting - Willmar: Zach Reierson 1-5, Sam Etterman 1-5 r, Ashton Gregory 2-4 r-2 bb, Jack Baumgart 1-4 sac, Christian Lessman 2-5 hr r rbi-3, Jayden Dierenfeld 1-3 bb, Caleb Owens 2-4 r bb hbp … Atwater: Josh Kingery 5-6 2b-2 r rbi-2, David Kingery 1-6 rbi sb, Jordan Olson 1-4 rbi bb, Jeff Peterson 2-4 r bb sb, Chris Fellows 1-4 r-2 bb, Logan Straumann 1-3 bb-2
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Patrick Courtney (W) 7-7-2-2-3-6, Adam Herman 0-2-1-1-1-0, Gregory 1.2-1-1-1-2-1, Lessman (Sv) 0.1-1-0-0-0-1 … Atwater: J. Kingery (L) 9-10-5-4-3-14

Region 9C

Clinton 4, Madison 2

The Clinton Cards sealed a berth in the Class C state tournament after beating the Madison Mallards in a Region 9C elimination game at Rosen.

Later on Saturday, the Dumont Saints secured the region’s top seed with a 9-4 victory over Clinton. Two teams from Region 9C advance to state.

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