WILLMAR — The Willmar Rails moved into the winners’ bracket of the Corn Belt League playoffs with a 12-4 win over the Granite Falls Kilowatts on Friday.

Willmar pounded out 13 hits and played errorless ball behind starting pitcher Jayden Dierenfeld, who struck out 10 in 7-1/3 innings. He allowed four hits and three earned runs, walking three.

Leading the offense was Jack Baumgart. He went 5-for-5 with a double and five RBI.

Lead-off hitter Adam Herman also had a big game for the Rails. He was 2-for-3 with a double, scoring four runs. Ashton Gregory was 2-for-5 with a double and a run.

Amateur Baseball Notebook: Rails focus on playoffs

For Granite Falls, Craig Listul was 2-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch.

Granite Falls plays at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart in a losers’ bracket game. The Kilowatts play the loser of Friday’s Wabasso/Sacred Heart game.

Willmar plays at 4 p.m. Saturday in Sacred Heart in the winners’ bracket. The Rails play the Wabasso/Sacred Heart winner.

The 1:30 p.m. winner plays the 4 p.m. loser at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The championship bracket is 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Willmar third baseman Christian Lessman fires across the diamond during Friday's playoff game against Granite Falls from Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. 

Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune
Willmar third baseman Christian Lessman fires across the diamond during Friday's playoff game against Granite Falls from Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. Patrick Bernadeau / West Central Tribune

The top four teams in the Corn Belt (Milroy, Raymond, Marshall and Bird Island) have already qualified for the Region 4C tournament that begins Aug. 7 in Starbuck.

Corn Belt

Willmar 12,

Granite Falls 4

Granite Falls 200 020 000-4 4 2
Willmar 110 620 20x-12 13 0
Hitting - Granite Falls: Kyle TeBeest 1-4 r, Brandon Grund 0-3 r rbi hbp, Jordan Odegard 0-2 r hbp, Craig Listul 2-2 2b hbp, Tyler Dammann 0-3 rbi, Cole Richter 1-4 r 2b … Willmar: Adam Herman 2-3 r-4 2b, Jordan Steffer 0-3 r-2 rbi sf, Jack Baumgart 5-5 r rbi-4 2b, Zak Madsen 1-3 r rbi-2 hbp, Jayden Dierenfeld 1-5 r rbi-2 2b sb, Gunnar Banks 1-3 r rbi hbp-2 sb, Ashton Gregory 2-5 r 2b, Christian Lessman 0-3 r, Caleb Owens 1-3 rbi sac.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Granite Falls: Colton Vien (L) 3.1-5-5-5-2-0, Christian Kanten 0.2-5-3-3-0-0, Ty Schulte 4-3-4-4-3-2 … Willmar: Dierenfeld (W) 7.1-4-4-3-3-10, Baumgart 1.2-0-0-0-0-2.

County Line

Starbuck 9,

Norway Lake 5

Scoreless through the first four innings, Starbuck posted three runs in the fifth and six more in the sixth en route to a home victory against Norway Lake in the County Line League playoffs.

That offensive surge was more than enough support for Austin Ver Steeg, who struck out 10 and allowed three hits through six innings to earn the victory.

Ver Steeg scored the first run in the game after a Mike Andreas sacrifice fly in the fifth. Three batters later, Aaron Ver Steeg delivered a two-run double. In the next inning, Aaron Ver Steeg, who finished 2-for-3 with a team-high three RBI, drove home another run with a single.

Jackson Hendrickson and Darion Alexander each added RBI singles in the sixth. Alexander finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

Both teams advance in the double-elimination format with the goal of earning a Region 4C berth.

Norway Lake-Sunburg plays an elimination game at 11 a.m. Sunday at a site to be determined, either Regal or Spicer depending on the outcome of the Eagles’ and Twins’ game Saturday.

Starbuck plays at 4 p.m. Sunday.



Norway Lake-Sunburg 000 000 221-5 7 2
Starbuck 000 036 00x-9 9 1
Hitting - Norway Lake-Sunburg: Justin Johnson 0-3 bb-2, Regan Carlson 1-4 bb rbi r, Josh Peterson 0-3 bb-2 r-2, Aaron Zimmer 2-4 r, Levi Sweere 1-1, Brandon Rasmusson 1-4 rbi-2, Brandon Dahl 2-4 rbi-2 r … Starbuck: Michael Gruber 1-4 bb, Darion Alexander 1-4 rbi-2 r sb, Matt Gruber 0-3 bb r, Austin Ver Steeg 1-4 2b r-2, Mike Kragenbring 1-4 r, Mike Andreas 0-2 rbi-2 sf-2, Jackson Hendrickson 2-3 rbi r-2, Grant Jensen 0-0 bb, Andrew Toop 1-3 r, Aaron Ver Steeg 2-3 2b rbi-3 r, Dylan Jergenson 0-0 bb
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Norway Lake-Sunburg: Brandon Rasmusson (L) 5-5-5-3-1-1, Justin Johnson 3-4-4-0-3-3 … Starbuck: Austin Ver Steeg (W) 6-3-0-0-2-10, Brian Gruber 3-4-3-2-3-1

Non-league

Bird Island 3,

Howard Lake 1

Bird Island rallied from an early 1-0 deficit to beat the Howard Lake Orphans at Howard Lake.

After Howard Lake’s Steve Boger homered in the third inning, Bird Island scored two in the sixth and one in the seventh.

Trent Athmann went 2-for-4 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base for the Bullfrogs, who had seven hits.

Brad Gass got the win in relief of Jared Dettmann, going four innings. Aidan Elfering went the final three innings for the save.

Bird Island 000 002 100-3 7 2
Howard Lake 001 000 000-1 5 3
Hitting - Bird Island: James Woelfel 1-4, Jordan Sagedahl 1-4 sb, Tyler Hebrink 1-3 sb, Logan Swann 1-4, Trent Athmann 2-4 r rbi sb, Shawn Dollerschell 1-4 rbi, Trevor Nissen 0-4 r sb … Howard Lake: Steve Boger 1-3 r rbi hr, Brad Bickmann 1-2, Sam Kittock 1-2, Noah Bush 1-2 2b, Alex Baumann 0-3 hbp.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Bird Island: Jared Dettmann 2-1-0-0-1-5, Brad Gass (W) 4-3-1-1-1-1, Aidan Elfering (Sv) 3-1-0-0-0-5 … Howard Lake: Jared Koch 4-3-0-0-0-3, Zach Kuefler (L) 2-3-2-2-1-1, Bush 1-0-1-0-1-1, Tyler Hannan 1-1-0-0-1-1, Mike Dockendrof 1-0-0-0-0-2