DELANO — Willmar’s fate in the Sub-State 15 American Legion baseball championship came down to how it handled the big inning from Buffalo’s offense.

In Game 1, Buffalo erased a 9-2 deficit with a 10-run top of the sixth, leading to a 12-10 victory.

Then in a winner-take-all scenario in Game 2, Post 167 survived a six-run sixth from Buffalo as Willmar left Delano Municipal Baseball Park the Division I sub-state champion with an 11-9 win.

It was Post 167’s own big inning — a seven-run bottom of the fifth — that gave the team the cushion it needed to hold off Buffalo’s final push.

In the fifth, Cayden Hansen had an RBI double, Andrew Baumgart scored on a wild pitch and Hansen reached home on a fielder’s choice. With two outs, the runs continued to come in for Willmar as Ian Koosman had an RBI single, Sam Etterman drove in two with a double and Alex Schramm got a run in with a single.

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Koosman, Schramm and Baumgart each had two hits as Post 167 came up with 12 hits in Game 2. Hansen threw the first three innings while Dylan Arndorfer got the win after tossing the final four.

In the top of the sixth, Justin Johnson led the frame off with a solo home run. Five of Buffalo’s runs in the inning came with two outs, including a two-run single by Johnson in his second at-bat of the sixth.

Willmar will begin pool play in the Division I state tournament Thursday in St. Cloud. Post 167 will face the Sub-State 13 champion at 12:30 p.m. at Joe Faber Field, followed by a 6:30 p.m. contest against the Sub-State 4 champ at St. Cloud Tech High School. Their final pool game will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Faber Field against the Sub-State 7 champion.

The winner and runner-up of the four pools will play in a single-elimination tournament on Saturday and Sunday at Faber Field and Dick Putz Field at St. Cloud’s Municipal Athletic Complex.

Willmar pitcher Andrew Baumgart sets up a throw during Game 1 of the Sub-State 15 championship against Buffalo on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at Delano. 

Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
Willmar pitcher Andrew Baumgart sets up a throw during Game 1 of the Sub-State 15 championship against Buffalo on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at Delano. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Sub-State 15

Game 2

Willmar 11,

Buffalo 9

Buffalo 021 006 0- 9 12 1
Willmar 100 370 x-11 12 0
Hitting - Buffalo: Grant Limke 1-5, Evan Soeffker 2-3 r rbi sac, Ethan Hansen 1-3 r, Luke Carnoy 1-1 r rbi, Cole LaPlante 1-2 r bb-2, Adam Braun 2-3 r rbi-2 hbp, Justin Johnson 3-4 hr-2 r-2 rbi-5, Cameron Green 1-3 r bb, Jayden Ingram 0-3 r bb … Willmar: Jett Salonek 1-3 r-2 rbi bb-2, Hunter Magnuson 1-4 r rbi bb, Ian Koosman 2-5 r rbi, Sam Etterman 1-3 2b r rbi-2 bb, Alex Schramm 2-4 r rbi, Andrew Baumgart 2-3 r rbi hbp, Cayden Hansen 1-3 2b r-2 rbi bb, Dylan Arndorfer 1-2 r bb, Brandt Sunder 1-2 r rbi-2 bb sac
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Buffalo: Broc Mutterer 3-2-1-1-3-2, LaPlante (L) 1 1/3-5-8-8-3-1, Johnson 1 2/3-5-2-2-1-1 … Willmar: Hansen 3-6-3-3-0-2, Arndorfer (W) 4-6-6-6-5-2

Game 1

Buffalo 12,

Willmar 10

Buffalo put up 10 runs in the top of the sixth inning to come back and beat Willmar in the opening game of the Sub-State 15 championship.

Cole LaPlant scored the first run on a Willmar error. Cameron Green, Evan Soeffker, Ethan Hansen had back-to-back-to-back RBI singles to cut the deficit to one. With the bases loaded, an error by Post 167 cleared the bases to give Buffalo the lead before Ryan Gaughan added an insurance run with an RBI double.

Six Willmar players — Jett Salonek, Hunter Magnuson, Ian Koosman, Sam Etterman, Cayden Hansen and Brandt Sunder — had two hits. Salonek, Koosman and Sunder all scored twice while Etterman drove in two runs for Post 167. Alex Schramm and Carter Schow both had two RBIs.

Buffalo’s Cody Helgeson got the win on the mound following three innings of relief. Broc Mutterer was credited with the save.

Buffalo 000 02(10) 0-12 15 2
Willmar 224 011 0-10 14 2
Hitting - Buffalo: Grant Limke 1-5 r, Evan Soeffker 4-5 r rbi-2, Ethan Hansen 2-5 r rbi, Cole LaPlante 2-4 r-2 rbi, Adam Braun 2-3 2b r-2 hbp, Ryan Gaughan 1-4 2b r rbi-3, Cameron Green 1-4 r rbi, Jayden Ingram 2-3 r sac, Justin Johnson 0-3 r-2 bb … Willmar: Jett Salonek 2-4 2b r-2 rbi bb, Hunter Magnuson 2-3 2b r rbi bb hbp, Ian Koosman 2-5 r-2 rbi, Sam Etterman 2-3 2b rbi-2 bb-2, Alex Schramm 1-4 r rbi-2 bb, Cayden Hansen 2-4 r bb, Carter Schow 1-3 r rbi-2, Brandt Sunder 2-4 2b r-2
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Buffalo: LaPlante 2-6-4-4-1-2, Cody Helgeson (W) 3-4-5-4-6-1, Broc Mutterer (Sv) 2-4-1-1-0-1 … Willmar: Andrew Baumgart 5 2/3-12-9-3-1-0, Hansen (L) 1 1/3-3-3-0-0-0

West Central District

Game 2

Glenwood-Lowry 4,

Granite Falls 3

After losing its first-round game of the West Central District tournament, Glenwood-Lowry had a lot of work to do if they wanted to go to the Division II American Legion baseball state tournament.

Playing through the elimination bracket, Glenwood-Lowry won four games over the weekend, capped off with a 10-inning victory in a winner-take-all championship game against Granite Falls on Sunday.

Accounting for two of Glenwood-Lowry’s three hits, Darion Alexander hit a walk-off single that scored Jacob Blair. Alexander went 2-for-3 with a double, a run, two RBIs and two walks. Torii Johnson had Glenwood-Lowry’s other hit.

Along with scoring the game-winning run, Blair was the winning pitcher after 3-1/3 scoreless innings of relief.

Cole Fischer and Ty Schulte were both 3-for-5 for Granite Falls. Fischer hit a solo home run to lead off the top of the second, finishing off the day with three RBIs. Caleb Jans scored twice while hitting 2-for-4.

Ty Schulte was charged with the loss after throwing 4-2/3 innings.

Glenwood-Lowry will open the Division II state tournament against Tri-Town at noon Friday at Sacred Heart.

GF 011 000 100 0-3 11 1
G-L 101 001 000 1-4 3 0
Hitting - Granite Falls: Hunter Wilke 1-6, Caleb Jans 2-4 r-2 bb, Cole Fischer 3-5 hr r rbi-3, Ty Schulte 3-5, Bryce Sneller 1-4 2b bb, Nolan Hildahl 1-3 bb … Glenwood-Lowry: Torii Johnson 1-3 r-2 bb sac, Darion Alexander 2-3 2b r rbi-2 bb-2, Aaron Ver Steeg 0-2 rbi bb-2 sb, Dylan Alexander 0-4 rbi, Jacob Blair 0-4 r
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Granite Falls: Sneller 5-2-3-3-4-6, Schulte (L) 4 2/3-1-1-0-3-2 … Glenwood-Lowry: PJ Johnson 6 2/3-10-3-3-2-2, Blair (W) 3 1/3-1-0-0-3-1

Game 1

Glenwood-Lowry 7,

Granite Falls 1

Tied at 1-1 after two innings, Glenwood-Lowry tacked on six combined runs in the third and fourth innings to force a Game 2 in the West Central District championship Sunday.

Glenwood-Lowry’s top hitter was Mitchell Gruber, who finished 3-for-4 with two runs and a stolen base. Darion Alexander also scored two times, going 1-for-2. Dylan Alexander and PJ Johnson were both 1-for-4 with two RBIs. On the mound, Torii Johnson struck out five while tossing all seven innings.

Hunter WIlke scored Granite Falls’ lone run, going 2-for-2 with a walk. Caleb Jans pitched all seven innings in the loss.

G-L 104 200 0-7 7 2
GF 100 000 0-1 3 2
Hitting - Glenwood-Lowry: Mitchell Gruber 3-4 r-2 sb, Darion Alexander 1-2 r-2 rbi bb sf sb, Dylan Alexander 1-4 rbi-2 sb-2, PJ Johnson 1-4 rbi-2, Jacob Blair 1-3, Torii Johnson 0-2 r bb sac, Aaron Ver Steeg 0-2 r bb-2 sb, Riley Johnson 0-3 r rbi bb sb … Granite Falls: Hunter Wilke 2-2 r bb, Ty Schulte 1-3, Nikson Knapper 0-2 rbi sf
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Glenwood-Lowry: T. Johnson (W) 7-3-1-0-2-5 … Granite Falls: Caleb Jans (L) 7-7-7-4-6-0

Granite Falls 6,

Kerkhoven 2

Granite Falls scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning on Saturday to cement its spot in the district championship.

Cody Dahlager went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Granite Falls. Nikson Knapper hit two hits and a run at the plate while also striking out seven in a complete-game victory.

Jaiden Henjum was 2-for-3 for Kerkhoven while Wylee Lottman and Devon Swanson both had RBIs. Levi Sweere was hit with the loss despite striking out eight over six innings of work.

GF 000 001 5-6 9 2
Kerkhoven 000 001 1-2 6 2
Hitting - Granite Falls: Hunter Wilke 1-3 r-2 bb, Nikson Knapper 2-3 2b r bb sb, Cody Dahlager 2-4 rbi-2, Ty Schulte 1-4, Bryce Sneller 1-4 r, Nolan Hildahl 1-3 r, Tyler Nordaune 1-3 r rbi, Caleb Jans 0-2 rbi sac sf, Cole Fischer 0-2 rbi bb-2… Kerkhoven: Wylee Lottman 1-4 r rbi, Devon Swanson 1-3 rbi, Levi Sweere 1-3, Chase Magaard 1-3, Jaiden Henjum 2-3 2b, Hunter Kallstrom 0-2 r bb
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Granite Falls: Knapper (W) 7-6-2-1-1-7 … Kerkhoven: Sweere (L) 6-9-5-5-2-8, Magaard 1-0-1-0-2-0

Glenwood-Lowry 13,

Kerkhoven 1

Glenwood-Lowry scored eight runs in the top of the third inning, leading to a five-inning victory against Kerkhoven in the elimination bracket on Saturday.

Aaron Ver Steeg went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs for Glenwood-Lowry, leading a group of five players with multiple hits. Mitchell Gruber, Darion Alexander, Riley Johnson and PJ Johnson all had two hits.

Gruber got the complete-game victory, striking out three with three hits and no walks allowed.

Wylee Lottman, Jaiden Henjum and Isaac Rudningen each had a hit for Kerkhoven. Chase Magaard was hit with the loss after going two innings.

G-L 008 14-13 15 0
Kerkhoven 100 00- 1 3 1
Hitting - Glenwood-Lowry: Mitchell Gruber 2-3 2b r rbi-3 bb sb, Torii Johnson 1-4 r rbi, Darion Alexander 2-2 2b 3b r-3 rbi-2 bb sb hbp, Aaron Ver Steeg 3-4 r-2 rbi-2, Dylan Alexander 1-3 r rbi sb, Alec Larson 1-1, Riley Johnson 2-4 r rbi, PJ Johnson 2-3 2b-2 r rbi, Jacob Blair 1-2 r sb, Dalton Friedrichs 0-1 rbi bb sf, Logan Rood 0-0 r, Jace Lindemann 0-0 r hbp … Kerkhoven: Wylee Lottman 1-2 r, Jaiden Henjum 1-1 sac, Isaac Rudningen 1-2 rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Glenwood-Lowry: Gruber (W) 5-3-1-1-0-3 … Kerkhoven: Chase Magaard (L) 2-6-7-5-2-0, Devon Swanson 3-9-6-6-1-1

Glenwood-Lowry 9,

Ashby 1

Glenwood-Lowry began its run through the consolation bracket with a victory over Ashby Saturday.

Darion Alexander hit a triple to go with two runs and an RBI. He also got the win on the mound, striking out eight over six innings. Mitchell Gruber went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run, and Aaron Ver Steeg had a double and a triple for Glenwood-Lowry in a 3-for-4 effort.

G-L 200 142 0-9 10 1
Ashby 010 000 0-1 4 1
Hitting - Glenwood-Lowry: Mitchell Gruber 2-3 r rbi-2 sf, Torii Johnson 1-3 r sac sb, Darion Alexander 1-4 3b r-2 rbi sb, Aaron Ver Steeg 3-4 2b 3b, PJ Johnson 1-3 r, Dylan Alexander 0-2 rbi sf, Riley Johnson 0-3 rbi, Dalton Friedrichs 0-1 r bb-2 … Ashby: Torin Olson 1-4, Hunter Norby 1-3, Jake Norby 1-1, Carson Spangler 1-3, Evan Paulson 0-2 r bb,
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Glenwood-Lowry: Da. Alexander (W) 6-2-1-0-3-8, T. Johnson 1-2-0-0-0-1 … Ashby: Paulson (L) 5-9-7-5-1-3, Spangler 1-1-2-1-1-1, H. Norby 1-0-0-0-0-2

Central District

Tri-Town headed to state

The Tri-Town Black Sox rebounded from a Game 1 loss to Pierz, winning two games on Sunday to clinch the Central District championship and a spot in the Division II American Legion Baseball State Tournament.

Information on Sunday’s wins were not available as of Sunday night.

Tri-Town will face Glenwood-Lowry in the opening round of the Division II state tournament. Game time is scheduled for noon Friday in Sacred Heart.

Game 1

Pierz 10, Tri-Town 8

Tri-Town 050 011 1- 8 12 3
Pierz 230 500 x-10 7 1
Hitting - Tri-Town: Connor Barker 3-4 2b r rbi-2, Hayden Straumann 2-4 2b r rbi-2, Keegan Kessler-Gross 2-4 r-2, Josh Kinzler 1-4 2b r rbi-2, Zach Bagley 1-3 2b r rbi, Logan Straumann 1-3 r rbi, Josh Kingery 1-3 2b, Jack Peterson 1-4, Jaxon Behm 0-4 r … Pierz: Noah Cekalla 2-4 2b rbi-3, Kolten Happke 2-3 2b r, Ryan Stuckmayer 1-3 r-2 rbi, Luis Gruber 1-4 rbi, Kirby Fischer 1-3 r, Michael Leidenfrost 0-1 r-3, Kamden Happke 0-2 r rbi-2, Andy Winscher 0-2 r-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Tri-Town: Kinzler (L) 4-6-10-5-6-3, Behm 1 2/3-1-0-0-1-2, Bagley 1/3-0-0-0-0-1 … Pierz: Fischer (W) 5-11-7-3-2-1, Stuckmayer (Sv) 2-1-1-1-0-2