WILLMAR — Although St. Cloud Apollo is at the bottom of the Central Lakes Conference standings, the Eagles gave Willmar a scare on Thursday.
Apollo put up five runs combined in the first and second innings and led the third-ranked Cardinals 5-2 through three innings.
But, Willmar didn’t waver. And thanks to a six-run bottom of the fourth, the Cardinals moved to 10-0 on the season with an 11-6 victory at Bill Taunton Stadium.
“They got off to a good start,” said Willmar head coach Tom DeBoer. “We handed out some free bases and honestly, they hit a lot of balls where we weren’t.”
DeBoer added, “It was good for us to play from behind. We haven’t done much of that this year. … It was good to see they were in a situation where they felt some pressure and came through when it counts.”
The bottom of the fourth started with three straight Cardinals getting on base, with a base hit by Chase Dirksen and a bunt single by Cayden Hansen near the bottom of the lineup.
With the bases loaded, Jett Salonek and Sam Etterman hit back-to-back RBI singles, followed by a sacrifice fly by Hunter Magnuson. Then with two outs, Ian Koosman hit a two-run single, followed by Dirksen getting his second hit of the inning with an RBI single.
All of a sudden, the Cardinals were up 8-5 and never looked back.
“The nice thing about our team is we’re so deep one-through-nine, and that extends to our bench, too,” DeBoer said. “We got good players and we’re lucky to have as deep a lineup as we do where we don’t rely on just one or two guys.”
After two rough innings to start the game, Willmar starting pitcher Dalton Ogdahl settled down and tossed five innings for the victory. He had five strikeouts, allowing five hits and three walks.
“I thought Dalton did a good job of working out of trouble,” DeBoer said. “He had good third, fourth and fifth innings. He was able to buckle down and get down to business.”
Ranked third in this week’s Class AAA state baseball poll, Willmar will play host to No. 1-ranked Bemidji for a doubleheader Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Said DeBoer, “Number one versus number three. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
St. Cloud Apollo 6
Apollo 320 010 0- 6 7 4
Willmar 200 603 x-11 11 0
Hitting - Apollo: Alex Hausmann 1-2 2b r-2, Elian Mezquita 1-3, Luke Boettcher 1-3 r-2, Hayden Schmitz 2-2 2b r rbi-2 sb, Grant Roob 2-4 rbi, Will Allenspach 0-4 rbi sb, Grant Stadther 0-0 r … Willmar: Jett Salonek 2-4 2b r-2 rbi sb, Sam Etterman 1-4 r rbi, Hunter Magnuson 1-3 2b r rbi-2 sf, Andrew Baumgart 2-3 2b r-2 rbi-2 bb, Ian Koosman 1-4 rbi-2 sb, Chase Dirksen 2-3 r rbi bb, Cayden Hansen 2-3 r rbi bb, Dylan Arndorfer 0-1 r, Alex Schramm 0-2 r, Connor Owens 0-0 r.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Apollo: Mezquita (L) 4-8-8-1-3-3, Roob 1 1/3-2-3-1-1-2, Boettcher 2/3-1-0-0-0-1 … Willmar: Dalton Ogdahl (W) 5-5-6-5-3-5, Koosman (Sv) 2-2-0-0-1-3.
Litchfield 3, GSL 2
Litchfield scored in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Glencoe-Silver Lake at Litchfield.
Caden Besemer went 3-for-3 with two doubles and Avery Liestman tossed a four-hitter, striking out four and walking three, to lead the Dragons.
GSL 000 002 0-2 4 4
Litchfield 010 100 1-3 9 0
Hitting - GSL: Carter Rushmeier 1-2 r, Beau Lepel 1-3 r rbi-2 nhr, Zachary Voelz 1-3, Caden Lang 1-3 … Litchfield: Bennett Lecher 0-3 bb, Bauer Wahl 1-4, Ben Alsleben 1-4, Avery Liestman 1-4 r-2 rbi, Christian Kelsey 1-3 rbi bb, Hunter Thiel 1-3 r 2b, Caden Besemer 3-3 rbi 2b-2, Daniel Estrada 1-3
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - GSL: Drew Hedtke 6-8-2-2-2-7, Zachary Voelz (L) 0.2-1-1-0-0-0 … Litchfield: Liestman (W) 7-4-2-2-3-4
Litchfield 5, GSL 1
Hunter Thiel tossed a three-hitter, striking out six, walking three and allowing no earned runs, to lead host Litchfield to the doubleheader sweep over Glencoe-Silver Lake at Optimist Park.
Litchfield 030 000 2-5 10 1
GSL 000 001 0-1 3 2
Hitting - Litchfield: Bennett Leche 1-4 rbi, Bauer Wahl 1-4 2b, Ben Alsleben 0-3 r bb, Avery Liestman 1-3 r bb, Christian Kelsey 1-4 rbi, Hunter Thiel 2-4 r rbi, Caden Besemer 1-4 r rbi, Riley Taber 2-3, Jud Dolleschell 0-0 r … GSL: Carter Rushmeier 1-2 r bb, Beau Lepel 0-2 bb, Zachary Voelz 1-3 rbi 2b, Jordan Grack 1-1 2b.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Litchfield: Hunter Thiel (W) 7-3-1-0-3-6 … GSL: Jacob Christianson (L) 6.2-10-5-3-3-5, Voelz 0.1-0-0-0-0-0.
ACGC 10, Kimball 0
Jack Peterson struck out 11 in a complete-game shutout as Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City picked up a Game 1 victory over Central Minnesota Conference foe Kimball in Atwater.
On offense, Keegan Kessler-Gross led the Falcons, going 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Josh Kingery was 1-for-1 with a triple, three runs and a pair of RBIs, and Jaxon Behm went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, a run and a stolen base.
Kimball 000 00- 0 4 5
ACGC 104 32-10 9 0
Hitting - Kimball: Ashton Hanan 1-2 2b, Ty Gustafson 1-2, Blake Brutger 1-1, Carter Lyrek 1-2 … ACGC: Keegan Kessler-Gross 3-3 r rbi, Josh Kingery 1-1 3b r-3 rbi-2, Logan Straumann 1-2, Zach Bagley 1-3 r sb, Jaxon Behm 1-3 r rbi-2 sb, Connor Barker 1-2 r rbi, Hunter Bjur 1-3 r, Masson Hiltner 0-1 r sb.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Kimball: Austin Donnay (L) 4-6-8-7-2-4, Matt Young 1/3-3-2-2-0-0 … ACGC: Jack Peterson (W) 5-4-0-0-1-11.
ACGC 18, Kimball 3
Josh Kingery finished 3-for-3 with a home run, a double, four RBIs, three runs scored and three stolen bases as the Falcons completed the sweep of Kimball.
Jaxon Behm, Hayden Straumann and Malcolm Ludwig each had two hits for ACGC in the victory.
ACGC 628 02-18 12 2
Kimball 110 00- 3 3 0
Hitting - ACGC: Josh Kingery 3-3 hr 2b r-3 rbi-4 sb-3, Jaxon Behm 2-3 r-2 rbi-2, Hayden Straumann 2-2 r-3 rbi sb-2, Malcolm Ludwig 2-3 2b r-2 rbi, Zach Schultz 1-3 r rbi, Zach Bagley 1-1 r-3 sb-2, Connor Barker 1-2 r-2 rbi-2 … Kimball: Ashton Hanan 2-3 rbi, Cody Liether 1-2 r rbi, Carter Lyrek 0-0 r-2 bb-2.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - ACGC: Bagley (W) 3-2-2-2-2-1, Straumann 1-1-1-1-2-1, Barker 1-0-0-0-0-3 … Kimball: Lyrek (L) 1-5-6-6-4-0, Ace Meyer 2-6-10-10-3-1, Hanan 2-1-2-0-2-4.
Royalton 14, BBE 1
Royalton scored 10 runs in the top of the first inning to beat Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in five innings at Elrosa.
Royalton (10)40 00-14 9 0
BBE 000 10-1 1 5
Hitting - Royalton: Grayson Suska 0-4 rbi-3, Brady Brezinka 2-4 r-3 rbi-3 2b, Carter Petron 2-4 r-2 rbi-2 2b, Brady Petron 1-4 r rbi 2b, Jacob Leibold 1-4 r, Drew Yourczek 0-2 bb, Zack Cekalla 2b 1-2 r-2 bb, Will Gorecki 2-3 r-2 rbi-2, Nathan Kolbo 0-1 r-2, Albright 0-0 r … BBE: Wyatt Steffenson 0-1 r bb, Ben Waller 1-2 rbi.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Royalton: B. Petron (W) 5-1-1-1-1-6 … BBE: Jacob Walz (L) 0.1-4-8-4-2-0, Waller 3.2-5-6-2-0-0, Jeb Jones 1-0-0-0-0-0.
Royalton 7, BBE 1
Blake Albright and Brady Petron combined on a one-hitter to lead Royalton to the sweep over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa at Elrosa.
BBE 000 010 0-1 1 2
Royalton 240 001 x-7 7 1
Hitting - BBE: Andrew Weller 1-3 r 2b sb, Blaine Fischer 0-2 rbi … Royalton: Grayson Suska 1-3 bb, Brady Brezinka 1-4 r-2 rbi-2 sb-2, Carter Petron 1-2 r-2 bb sb, Brady Petron 1-3 rbi-3 2b, Drew Yourczek 1-3, Will Gorecki 0-2 r-2bb, Nathan Kolbo 2-3 r rbi 2b
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - BBE: Talen Kampsen (L) 4-6-6-5-3-1, Tanner Shelton 2-1-1-0-0-2 … Royalton: Blake Albright 3-0-0-0-0-6, B. Petron (W) 4-1-1-1-0-5
Maple Lake 3
Grayson Fuchs, Drew Tangen, Eli Nelson and Ryan Messer each had two hits as Paynesville went off for 14 as a team in a six-inning Central Minnesota Conference Game 1 win against Maple Lake at Paynesville.
Paynesville 612 01(10)-20 14 1
Maple Lake 200 010 - 3 3 4
Hitting - Paynesville: Grayson Fuchs 2-4 2b r-2 rbi-3, Drew Tangen 2-4 r-2 rbi-2 sb, Eli Nelson 2-4 2b 3b r-2, Ryan Messer 2-5 r-3 rbi-2, Abe Bullard 1-5 2b r-2 rbi-2, Tanner Stanley 1-4 2b r-2 rbi-3, Trent Wendlandt 1-1 r-3 rbi sb, Max Athmann 1-3 r rbi sb, Cooper Bast 1-1 r rbi-2, Chase Bayer 1-1 rbi, Jevon Terres 0-3 r-2 rbi-2 … Maple Lake: Riley Hagen 2-3 2b r-2 sb, Noah Beffel 1-3 2b rbi-2.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Paynesville: Tori Olmscheid 5-3-3-2-3-6 (W), Bennett Evans 1-0-0-0-0-0 … Maple Lake: Hagen (L) 4-5-9-5-3-3, Nathan Zander 1 1/3-9-11-7-2-1, Eddy Neu 2/3-0-0-0-1-1.
Maple Lake 7
Grayson Fuchs was 3-for-5 with a double, four runs, two stolen bases and an RBI as Paynesville secured the sweep against Maple Lake.
Drew Tangen was 2-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs, two runs and two stolen bases for the Bulldogs. Abe Bullard, Tanner Stanley and Cooper Bast each added two hits in the Paynesville victory.
Maple Lake 000 025 0- 7 7 7
Paynesville 500 154 x-15 16 3
Hitting - Maple Lake: Riley Hagen 2-4 r rbi, Brady Scanlon 1-2 rbi, Noah Beffel 1-4 2b rbi-2, Nathan Zander 1-4 r, Nick Jost 1-1 r-2, Luke Goeltz 1-2 hr r rbi-2, Sam Marquarette 0-4 r rbi, Marcus Weimer 0-3 r … Paynesville: Grayson Fuchs 3-5 2b r-4 rbi sb-2, Drew Tangen 2-4 2b-2 r-2 rbi-3 sb-2, Eli Nelson 1-5 2b r-2 rbi-3, Ryan Messer 1-4, Abe Bullard 2-3 r rbi, Tanner Stanley 2-4 2b 3b r rbi-2, Tori Olmscheid 1-3 r sb, Cooper Bast 2-3 r-2 rbi-2 sb-2, Chase Bayer 1-4 r, Max Athmann 1-1 2b r rbi.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Maple Lake: Beffel (L) 4-11-10-6-2-3, Eddy Neu 2-5-5-0-0-2 … Paynesville: Messer (W) 5 2/3-5-6-2-6-5, Trent Wendlandt (Sv) 1 1/3-2-1-1-1-1.
Central Minnesota Christian nearly came back from a five-run deficit in the top of the sixth inning. But MACCRAY’s Brady Kienitz shut the door with a strikeout for the final out as the Wolverines hung on for the Camden Conference victory at Raymond.
Along with the save, Kienitz was 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs and two stolen bases. Isaac Strommer went 2-for-3 with a triple, two runs, two RBIs and a stolen base for MACCRAY.
Trenton Bulthuis finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored for the Bluejays. Josh Nelson drove in two runs while going 1-for-4 with a double.
CMCS 000 010 4-5 6 1
MACCRAY 001 131 x-6 11 0
Hitting - CMCS: Blake Greenwaldt 1-3 2b r rbi sb, Josh Nelson 1-4 2b rbi-2, Ethan Bulthuis 1-3 r sb, Moise Daugherty 1-2 r, Trenton Bulthuis 2-3 r rbi-2, Skyler Zwart 0-2 r … MACCRAY: Brady Kienitz 2-4 r-2 sb-2, Isaac Strommer 2-3 3b r-2 rbi-2 sb sf, Dreyer Homan 1-4 sb, Eli DuHoux 2-2 2b r, Brooks Asche 2-3 rbi-2 sb, Joe Heidecker 2-2 rbi, Carter Wrede 0-2 r.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - CMCS: Trevor Post (L) 4 1/3-10-5-4-2-6, Max Muzik 1 2/3-1-1-1-1-0 … MACCRAY: Asche (W) 6-2-1-1-2-10, Logan Cronen 2/3-4-4-4-1-1, Kienitz (Sv) 1/3-0-0-0-0-1.
D-B 7, TMB 6
Blake Thompson went 4-for-4 with a double and three runs and Brayden Hahn was 3-for-3 with three doubles and four RBI to help Dawson-Boyd to the victory over Tracy-Milroy-Balaton at Dawson.
TMB 020 310 0-6 4 0
D-B 103 030 x-7 12 2
Hitting - TMB: Andrew LaVoy 1-4, Travis Willhite 1-3, Nick Schmitt 1-4 2b r, Caden Anderson 1-4 2b r rbi, Joseph Anderson 0-2 r rbi, Trayton Radke 0-2 r, Matt Munson 0-1 r … D-B: Blake Thompson 4-4 2b r-3, Braxton Hahn 1-3 r, Aiden Swenson 1-3 r rbi sb, Brayden Hahn 3-3 2b-3 r-2 rbi-4 sb-2, Dusty Deuth 1-3 rbi, Codie Johnson 2-3 rbi.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - TMB: Willhite (L) 6-12-7-7-0-5 … D-B: Deuth (W) 6-4-6-3-4-6, Preston Johnson (Sv) 1-0-0-0-1-1.
YME 14, RCW 2
Ayden Gustafson was 1-for-2 with a double and run and Landon Tanner was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI for RCW.