DELANO — The top-seeded Willmar Legion baseball team won the opening game of the Sub-State 15 playoffs Wednesday, shutting out No. 8 Howard Lake 4-0 at Delano Municipal Baseball Park.

Post 167 pitcher Ian Koosman outdueled Howard Lake’s Noah Bush. Koosman struck out 13 and held the opponent to four hits and no walks in a complete-game victory. Bush, who was named Minnesota Mr. Baseball during the high-school season, had nine strikeouts over 5⅔ innings with four runs (two earned), seven hits and two walks.

On offense, Hunter Magnuson and Cayden Hansen both had two hits for Willmar. Hansen had two RBIs, a run and a stolen base. Magnuson swiped three bases. Alex Schramm scored twice while going 1-for-2 at the plate.

In the next round, Post 167 plays No. 4 seed Hutchinson at 11 a.m. Thursday back at Municipal Park. Hutch advanced after a 4-3 victory against No. 5 seed Marshall.

Legion Baseball

Willmar 4, Howard Lake 0

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Howard Lake 000 000 0-0 4 3
Willmar 000 202 x-4 7 0
Hitting - Howard Lake: Bennett Anderson 1-3 2b, Noah Bush 1-3, Trent Malone 1-3, Steve Heber 1-2 … Willmar: Jett Salonek 1-4 rbi, Hunter Magnuson 2-4 sb-3, Ian Koosman 1-3 2b sb, Sam Etterman 0-2 bb, Dylan Arndorfer 0-3 r, Alex Schramm 1-2 r-2 bb 2b sb 2, Cayden Hansen 2-3 r rbi-2 sb, Brandt Sunder 0-3 rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Howard Lake: Bush (L) 5⅔-7-4-2-2-9, Colton Long 1/3-0-0-0-0-0 … Willmar: Koosman (W) 7-4-0-0-0-13

Litchfield 7, Pierz 5

Litchfield built a 7-0 lead before Pierz was able to respond as Post 104 got the win over Pierz in Game 1 of a best-of-three series in the Central Sub-State playoffs Tuesday at Pierz.

Bennett Lecher was the top hitter for Litchfield, going 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and two RBIs. Bauer Wahl drove in a pair of runs in the victory. On the mound, Hunter Thiel got the win after striking out three over five innings. Riley Taber tosses two innings of relief, getting the save.

Game 2 will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at Optimist Park in Litchfield. If Pierz wins Game 2, Game 3 will follow.

Litchfield 310 120 0-7 10 4
Pierz 000 040 1-5 8 5
Hitting - Litchfield: Hunter Thiel 1-3 bb hbp, Winky Estrada 1-3 r bb, Bauer Wahl 1-3 r rbi-2 sf, Ben Alsleben 1-4, Bennett Lecher 2-4 r-2 rbi-2 2b, Drew Kotzer 0-3 r, Avery Liestman 1-2 rbi bb 2b, Noah Schow 1-1, Jud Dollerschell 1-3 r bb, Caden Besemer 1-3 r rbi sac … Pierz: Michael Leidenfrost 1-4 r-2, Ryan Stuckmeyer 1-3 rbi bb sb-2, Kolten Happke 1-4, kamden Happke 0-2 bb, Chandler Doucette 2-3 r, Michael Burggraff 1-2 r hbp, Reese Young 2-3 r

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Litchfield: Thiel (W) 5-5-4-0-2-3, Riley Taber (Sv) 2-3-1-1-0-2 … Pierz: Doucette (L) 5⅔-9-7-5-4-3, Mason Herold 1 1/3-1-0-0-1-1