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Amateur Baseball Roundup: Litchfield gets a big win

Blues beat fifth-ranked Buffalo Bulldogs, 7-5

071021.S.WCT.Litchfield ABase Jones Smith.jpg
Litchfield second baseman Jake Jones (right) makes a throw to first baseman Brady Smith during a North Star League game against Buffalo on Friday, July 9, 2021 at Optimist Park in Litchfield. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

LITCHFIELD — Scoring three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, the Litchfield Blues beat one of the top teams in Class C.

Litchfield emerged with a 7-5 victory over Buffalo on Friday at Optimist Park. The Bulldogs are tied for fifth in the state in the latest state poll.

Cody Klabunde led the bottom of the first off with a single, then reached home when the next batter, Andrew Loch, cracked an RBI single. Buffalo responded in the second when Josh Fussy traded places with JD O’Donnell with an RBI double.

The Bulldogs took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth as Brett Renshaw scored on a groundout, followed by a Michael Weber single that brought home Fussy.

The bottom half of the inning saw the Blues go up for good thanks to an RBI single by Avery Liestman and a two-out, two-run double by Kal Volinkaty. In the fifth, Litchfield increased its lead to 7-3. Klabunde scored on a grounder while Drew Kotzer and Liestman both hit RBI singles.

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Starting on the mound for the Blues was Joey Hyde, who had four strikeouts in seven innings. After the Bulldogs closed the gap with a two-run seventh, relievers Jack Ramthun and Dylan Koll closed the door. Ramthun threw a scoreless eighth and Koll was credited with the save after getting through the ninth unscathed.

Tallying 13 hits, Litchfield was led by Klabunde and Loch, the Nos. 1 and 2 hitters in the lineup. Both went 3-for-4. O’Donnell and Fussy both had two hits for Buffalo.

The Blues return home on Wednesday to face the Cokato Kernels. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

071021.S.WCT.Litchfield ABase Hyde.jpg
Litchfield's Joey Hyde sets to fire a pitch in a North Star League game against Buffalo on Friday, July 9, 2021 at Optimist Park in Litchfield. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Litchfield 7,
Buffalo 5

Buffalo 010 200 200-5 7 2
Litchfield 100 330 000-7 13 2
Hitting - Buffalo: Noah Christenson 1-4 bb sb, JD O’Donnell 2-5 2b r, Brett Renshaw 1-4 r bb, Josh Fussy 2-3 2b r rbi bb-2, Michael Weber 1-3 rbi bb, Colton Haight 0-2 r bb-2 hbp sb, Jake Duske 0-3 r bb-2 sb-2, Luke Brings 0-4 rbi … Litchfield: Cody Klabunde 3-4 r-2 sb, Andrew Loch 3-4 r rbi, Jake Jones 1-4 r rbi, Drew Kotzer 1-4 r rbi, Avery Liestman 2-4 r rbi-2, Gabe Lecher 1-4 r, Kal Volinkaty 1-4 2b rbi-2, Dylan Koll 1-4
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Buffalo: Michael Weber (L) 4-9-6-6-1-2, Carter Vogt 4-4-1-0-0-6 … Litchfield: Joey Hyde (W) 7-7-5-4-5-4, Jack Ramthun 1-0-0-0-3-0, Koll (Sv) 1-0-0-0-1-1

County Line
Atwater 14,
Paynesville 2

The first-place Atwater Chuckers moved to 7-2 in the County Line League after a victory against the Paynesville Pirates at Paynesville.

Both teams wrap up the regular season this weekend. Atwater will play at Norway Lake-Sunburg at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Paynesville plays host to New London-Spicer at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Exhibition
Raymond 4,
Starbuck 1

Tyler Knott and Herman Solomon combined on a one-hitter to lead the Raymond Rockets past the Starbuck Stars at Raymond.

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Knott went the first 4⅔ innings, allowing one hit. Solomon finished up, striking out three and walking one.

Tyler Steen homered for the Rockets and Caleb Ditmarson, Wylie Lottman and Asaiah Smith all had two hits.

Aaron Ver Steeg went 1-for-2 with two walks for the Stars.

Starbuck 100 000 000-1 1 1
Raymond 200 110 00x-4 8 2
Hitting - Starbuck: Aaron Ver Steeg 1-2 bb-2, Darion Alexander 0-3 rbi sb sf, Mitchell Gruber 0-3 r bb … Raymond: Paxton Nelson 1-3 r bb sb-3, Tyler Steen 1-1 hr r rbi-2 bb-3 sb-2, Caleb Ditmarson 2-3 rbi bb, Wylie Lottman 2-2, Asaiah Smith 2-3, Eric Hulterstum 0-1 r bb sb, John Sawatzky 0-3 r hbp

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Starbuck: Luke Leuasseur (L) 6-8-4-4-4-4, Ver Steeg 1-0-0-0-2-2, Alexander 1-0-0-0-0-2 … Raymond: Tyler Knott 5-1-1-1-2-1, Herman Solomon (W) 4-0-0-0-1-3

071021.S.WCT.Litchfiel ABase Loch.jpg
Litchfield shortstop Andrew Loch reaches down to snag a grounder during a North Star League game against Buffalo on Friday, July 9, 2021 at Optimist Park in Litchfield. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

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