We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Amateur baseball roundup: Willmar Rails live to see another day

Amateur baseball report for Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in west central Minnesota. Willmar needs 13 innings to beat Paynesville Pirates and stave off elimination in 4C

Baseball roundup
The Willmar Rails' Ashton Gregory, 22, celebrates at home with his teammates after hitting a three-run home run in the 13th inning to put Willmar up for good during a Region 4C elimination game against the Paynesville Pirates on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022 at Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
We are part of The Trust Project.

SPICER — The Willmar Rails were looking to wrap up a victory in the Region 4C tournament in a brisk 20 minutes.

Willmar led the Paynesville Pirates 7-6 going into the bottom of the eighth inning on Sunday before rain suspended play to Monday. All the Rails needed were six outs.

“I was definitely expecting a fresh (Christian) Lessman to shut them down, get six outs, get out of here in 20 minutes and drink some beer,” manager Dustin Overcash admitted.

“But that didn’t happen.”

Instead, Willmar and Paynesville needed 13 innings to decide a winner.

ADVERTISEMENT

A pair of home runs in the top of the 13th extended the Rails’ season with a 12-7 victory at Green Lake Diamonds.

Willmar Rails third baseman Zach Reierson makes a throw to first base for an out during a Region 4C elimination game against the Paynesville Pirates on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022 at Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer.
Willmar Rails third baseman Zach Reierson makes a throw to first base for an out during a Region 4C elimination game against the Paynesville Pirates on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022 at Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

With the win, Willmar plays Atwater at 11 a.m. Saturday at Spicer in another elimination game.

“Unbelievable, that’s all I really got to say,” Overcash said.

Willmar was one out away from sealing the win in nine innings before a heads-up play by the Pirates’ Grayson Fuchs sent the game into extras. On a 2-2 count, a close pitch was called for a ball, extending the count and leading to a slow throw back to the mound. Fuchs took off for the plate and stole home for the game-tying run.

“That one’s definitely on me,” said Willmar catcher Ashton Gregory. “I need to be checking third and I didn’t. My bad.”

Four innings later, Gregory redeemed himself.

Caleb Owens led the 13th off with a single, then got to second on a sacrifice bunt from Zach Reierson. Christian Lessman hit a single that seemed destined to bring in a run before Owens slipped in the grass around third, keeping him on the base as Gregory stepped into the batter’s box.

Home runs by Gregory, Koosman keep Rails' season alive in Region 4C playoffs

“We still got the runner on first and the risk of a double play is always in the back of your mind,” Gregory said. “But you got to stick to your guns and go up there confident.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Gregory, a 2020 Willmar High School grad, drove a pitch by Paynesville’s Luke Johnson down the third-base line for a three-run home run to put the Rails ahead 10-7.

“He just gave me a fastball middle-in, just how I like it,” Gregory said. Combined with Sunday’s efforts, he finished the game 3-for-6 with two home runs and four RBIs.

Two batters later, Ian Koosman put another ball over the wall with a two-run shot to left-center. He was 3-for-6 with three runs and two RBIs.

Paynesville Pirates pitcher Luke Johnson throws off the mound during a Region 4C elimination game against the Willmar Rails on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022 at Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer.
Paynesville Pirates pitcher Luke Johnson throws off the mound during a Region 4C elimination game against the Willmar Rails on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022 at Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

“We rarely get a home run and we got three in this one,” Overcash said. “We’ll need those bats this week when we play Atwater and probably Josh Kingery.”

Patrick Courtney threw four scoreless innings of relief to get the win. He struck out two with four hits and no walks allowed.

“We just kept fighting,” Overcash said. “We kept getting the outs that we needed and no matter what the circumstances were, we kept playing hard.

“Just a good all-around effort by the guys to get the win.”

Willmar 12, Paynesville 7
Willmar          302   011   000   000   5-12   15   2
Paynesville   302   000   101   000   0-7   9   0
Hitting - Willmar: Zach Reierson 1-5 r bb sac, Christian Lessman 1-3 r-2 rbi bb hbp sb sf sac-2, Ashton Gregory 3-6 hr-2 r-3 rbi-4 bb, Jack Baumgart 2-6 r rbi-2 bb, Ian Koosman 3-6 hr 2b r-3 rbi-2 bb sb-2, Sam Etterman 3-7 2b rbi-3 sb, Caleb Owens 1-5 r-2 bb sb, Adam Herman 1-3 bb hbp … Paynesville: Grady Fuchs 2-7 rbi, Blake Vagle 1-6 2b bb, Garrett Leusink 3-6 hr r-2 rbi hbp, Grant Fuchs 1-3 r rbi, Abe Bullard 1-2 r bb-2 hbp-2, Drew Tangen 1-5 r rbi bb, Luke Johnson 0-7 r, Griffin Bjerke 0-2 rbi bb-4, Grayson Fuchs 0-3 r bb sb
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Jayden Dierenfeld 3-3-5-2-5-4, Koosman 4-2-1-1-1-7, Lessman 2-0-1-1-3-0, Patrick Courtney (W) 4-4-0-0-0-2 … Paynesville: Bjerke 5-6-6-6-4-5, Bennett Evans 3-1-1-1-3-2, Johnson (L) 5-8-5-5-0-3

ADVERTISEMENT

Milroy 11, NLS Twins 1

With the offense putting together 15 hits and pitcher Isaac Schmitt tallying 11 strikeouts, the Milroy Yankees knocked the New London-Spicer Twins out of the Region 4C playoffs in an elimination game over eight innings at Spicer.

Milroy plays Starbuck at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Spicer in another elimination game.

Alex Thompson paced Milroy’s offense, going 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Andy Schmidt, Branden Flock, Aaron Mathiowetz, Jacob Hughes and Jackson Hughes all had two hits for the Yankees.

Schmitt gave up one run on five hits and no walks to obtain the victory.

Scott Rambow drove in NLS’ lone run with an RBI single in the top of the seventh. He finished 2-for-3.

NLS      000   000   10-1   5   3
Milroy   000   600   41-11   15   0
Hitting - NLS: Jake Rambow 1-3 hbp, Adam Schrader 1-4, Hunter Magnuson 1-3 2b r, Scott Rambow 2-3 rbi … Milroy: Andy Schmidt 2-5 2b-2 r, Branden Flock 2-4 r-2 bb, Aaron Mathiowetz 2-4 r-2 hbp, Brock Schultz 1-4 rbi hbp, Alex Thompson 3-5 r-2 rbi, Jacob Hughes 2-4 r-2 rbi, Jackson Hughes 2-3 2b r rbi-2 bb, Jake Tauer 1-4 r rbi, David Schmidt 0-4 rbi-2 bb
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - NLS: Ben Kulset (L) 3.2-8-4-4-2-3, Carson McCain 2.2-5-2-2-1-1, Mike Danielson 1-2-1-0-0-0 … Milroy: Isaac Schmitt (W) 8-5-1-1-0-11

More Baseball:
Recent baseball coverage from the West Central Tribune.
Pro
Yankees slugger has 7 games remaining to attempt to break the American League home run record
Pro
Pujols becomes just the fourth player to reach the home run milestone
Current group makes up one of largest, most talented, classes in Willmar hall's history
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, formed as male ball players were being drafted into the military for World War II efforts, allowed more than 600 female players a chance to shine and get a paycheck to play their game on a national stage. It was immortalized in popular culture by the movie "A League of Their Own" and a new streaming show by the same name.
Louie Varland makes his major league debut for the Twins against the mighty Yankees
Bird Island wraps up the state Class C tournament with a 3-2 loss to Watertown after beating Red Wing 1-0 in 13 innings
Pro
Dylan Bundy pitched five scoreless innings, and Carlos Correa and Jose Miranda each drove in two runs
Pro
The infielder’s two-out single in the ninth on Saturday scotched a no-hit bid by White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease
The Bullfrogs win in 13 innings, 1-0
Red Wing beat the Bullfrogs 4-3 on July 9 at Jordan, plus the Aces manager was the official scorer in Bird Island's 21-inning win Sunday

What to read next
Blizzard goalie Kyle Abrahamson makes 34 saves to hand Willmar a 2-0 loss in its NA3HL home-opener Saturday at the Willmar Civic Center Arena
The Wildcats defeated the Dragons in the inaugural Minnesota Fallen Heroes Football Game.
Forward also chips in with an assist in 6-4 victory over the Minnesota Loons