WILLMAR - The Willmar Cardinals scored four runs in the fifth inning to spark a late comeback and top St. Cloud Apollo 5-4 in their regular season finale Thursday afternoon at Bill Taunton Stadium.
The Cardinals earned to No. 2 seed in Section 6AAA and will play host to Dassel-Cokato at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Taunton.
St. Cloud Apollo put a pair of runs on the board in the first inning following a Willmar error to take an early 2-0 lead. Pitcher Caleb Ditmarson pulled one back in the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run over the left-centerfield fence but the Cardinal bats broke out in the fifth inning.
The Cardinals racked up five hits in the inning, including a two-run double from first baseman Jack Baumgart to take the 3-2 lead. Drey Dirksen followed that up with a two-run single to push the game to 5-2. That fifth run, scored by Baumgart, proved to be vital.
St. Cloud Apollo responded by scoring a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning but Zak Madsen came in to close things out from the mound, getting one out in the sixth before tossing a perfect seventh inning to secure the win.
Willmar 5, SC Apollo 4
SC Apollo 200 002 0-4 4 1
Willmar 010 040 x-5 9 2
Hitting - St. Cloud Apollo: Tanner Blommer 2-2 sb rbi r... Willmar: Caleb Owens 2-3 2b r, Jack Baumgart 1-3 2b rbi-2 r, Drey Dirksen 1-3 rbi-2, Caleb Ditmarson 2-3 hr rbi r, Kaden Kessler-Gross 1-1, Jayden Dierenfeld 2-3 r
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - St. Cloud Apollo: Blommer (L) 5.2-9-5-2-2-8, Lukas Theisen 0.1-0-0-0-0-0 ... Willmar: Caleb Ditmarson 4-2-2-0-1-2, Bryan Weidemann (W) 1.2-2-2-2-3-4, Zak Madsen (Sv) 1.1-0-0-0-0-2
Osakis 4, Minnewaska 3
Osakis pulled one run back to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning to top Minnewaska in a pitching duel.
Carter Rost, who scored two runs for the Silverstreaks, pitched six innings of two-hit ball and struck out 10 batters.
Colin Weidauer had one of the two Laker hits, a two-run double in the third inning.
Minnewaska 002 100 0-3 2 0
Osakis 021 001 x-4 6 1
Hitting - Minnewaska: Colin Weidauer 1-3 2b rbi-2, Darion Alexander 1-2 rbi r ... Osakis: Carter Rost 2-3 sb r-2
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Minnewaska: Ryan Christenson 2-3-2-2-1-3, Sean Kelling 2-1-1-1-0-2, Luke Barkheim (L) 2-2-1-1-0-3 ... Osakis: Rost (W) 6-2-3-1-3-10, Luke Imdieke (Sv) 1-0-0-0-1-2
Paynesville 3, Foley 0
Three Paynesville pitchers combined on a two-hitter as the Bulldogs ended the regular season with a win over Foley on Thursday in Litchfield.
Sam Hopfer started and pitched three perfect innings, Grady Fuchs got the win with two scoreless middle innings and Carter Wessel notched the save pitching hitless ball in the sixth and seventh innings.
Luke Johnson and Levi Bast both had hits and drove in runs.
The Bulldogs are host to the opening round of the Section 3AA playoffs on Saturday. Benson and Paynesville play at 11 a.m., followed by Montevideo's game against Morris/Chokio-Alberta at 1:30 p.m. The winners of those games play at 3:30 p.m.
Foley 000 000 0-0 2 3
Paynesvilles 000 300 x-3 5 0
Hitting - Foley: Wyatt Ziwicki 1-2, Drew Beier 1-2 ... Paynesville: Zach Osendorf 1-3, Luke Johnson 1-2 2b rbi, Levi Bast 1-1 rbi, Lucas Holtz 1-1, Zack Schroeder 1-2
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Foley: Tyler Mattson (L) 6-5-3-2-3-2 ... Paynesville: Sam Hopfer 3-0-0-0-0-2, Grady Fuchs (W) 2-2-0-0-0-1, Carter Wessel (Sv) 2-0-0-0-0-2
KMS 5, RTR 4
KMS held off a late rally from Russell-Tyler-Ruthton to move to 16-2 on the season.
Weston Gjerde allowed his first runs of the season but he was a strong contributor at the plate, logging a pair of hits, two stolen bases and two runs scored. He also drove in one of the Saints' five runs.
Isaac Call scored twice for the Saints.
RTR 100 001 2-4 6 1
KMS 101 120 x-5 6 1
Hitting - Russell-Tyler-Ruthton: Jacob Fischer 1-2 2b rbi-2 ... KMS: Weston Gjerde 2-3 sb-2 rbi r-2, Caleb Collins 1-3 2b rbi, Josh Peterson 0-3 r, Ryan Torkelson 1-1, Regan Carlson 1-3 rbi, Isaac Call 1-1 2b sb r-2
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Russell-Tyler-Ruthton: Payton Hess (L) 3-2-2-1-1, Jacob Fischer 2-3-3-2-1-2, Hunter Vanlerberghe 1-1-0-0-0-3 ... KMS: Regan Carlson 3-2-1-1-2-4, Ryan Torkelson (W) 3-3-1-1-1-0, Weston Gjerde (Sv) 1-1-2-2-4-1
BBE 8, Hancock 0
Thaniel Cebulla and Jackson Peter combined for a three-shutout in a regular season match with Hancock.
The Jaguars took an early 4-0 lead through one inning and kept that going on the way to an 8-0 win. In addition to his pitching, Peter hit a pair of doubles and scored twice and Adam Jaeger went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.
BBE 430 010-8 12 1
Hancock 000 000-0 3 2
Hitting - BBE: Adam Jaeger 2-4 3b rbi-2 r, Jackson Peter 2-4 2b-2 rbi r-2, Thaniel Cebulla 1-3, Ashton Dingmann 1-3 rbi r, Evan Wiener 0-2 rbi r, Ben Schumann 1-1, Abe Peter 2-4 rbi-2 r, Gavin Kampsen 2-3, Will Vanbeck 1-2 r, Andrew Weller 0-0 r ... Hancock: Zach Flaten 1-2, Adam Shaw 1-2, Montana Molden 1-1
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - BBE: Cebulla (W) 3-2-0-0-1-3, Jackson Peter 2-1-0-0-0-2 ... Hancock: Tanner Pahl (L) 1-2-4-4-3-1, Peyton Rohloff 2-5-3-3-0-2, Molden 1.2-4-1-1-0-3, Preston Rohloff 1.1-1-0-0-0-0
Litchfield 4, Rockford 1
Litchfield head coach Jeff Wollin captured his 350th career victory as the Dragons topped Rockford 4-1 to open up the Section 5A tournament.
Owen Boerema was the ace the Dragons needed him to be, striking out 10 in his complete game performance. He allowed just one run in the opening inning before settling in. The game featured an hour lightning delay but Boerema was able to return and clsoe the door.
He added a pair of hits with two runs scored and three stolen bases, joining teammate Afton Kaping with a multi-hit game.
The Dragons will head into the double elimination portion of the bracket with a battle against Holy Family Catholic, the two-seed, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Victoria.
Rockford 100 000 0-1 6 1
Litchfield 111 010 x-4 8 1
Hitting - Rockford: Jack Hanson 2-2, Zach Beise 2-3, Kyle Calder 1-3 rbi ... Litchfield: Owen Boerema 2-3 r-2 sb-3, Afton Kaping 2-2 rbi, Andrew Loch 1-4 r, Max Tibbits 1-3 rbi-2, Dylan Schutz 1-3, Riley DeWolf 1-3 rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Rockford: JJ Strumbel (L) 6-8-4-3-1-6 ... Litchfield: Boerema (W) 7-6-1-1-2-10