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Baseball roundup: KMS vs. Paynesville: Battle of the unbeatens

Baseball report for Thursday, May 26, 2022, in west central Minnesota. Paynesville prevails over Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, winning 3-2 in a tuneup for the playoffs

KMS pitcher Jared Cortez throws for the Saints as they played on the road against Paynesville on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
KMS pitcher Jared Cortez throws for the Fighting Saints as they played on the road against Paynesville on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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PAYNESVILLE — Two of the West Central Tribune’s top baseball teams met for a little non-conference game Thursday night.

Call it a tuneup for the playoffs.

Paynesville beat Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 3-2 at the Paynesville Baseball Park.

Bulldog Max Ahtmann is congratulated by his Paynesville teammates after scoring a run against the KMS Fighting Saints on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
Bulldog Max Athmann is congratulated by his Paynesville teammates after scoring a run against the KMS Fighting Saints on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

It was the first loss of the season for KMS, which is now 16-1 and headed to a top seed in Section 6A-South. Paynesville improves to 18-0 and is vying for the top seed in Section 3AA with Fairmont, which has the No. 1 QRF powering ranking in the state in Class AA. Paynesville is No. 3.

The Fighting Saints have a No. 4 QRF power ranking in the state in Class A and have been scoring 8.9 runs per game — until Thursday.

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KMS player Isaac Rudningen hits the ball while playing Paynesville on the road Thursday, May 26, 2022.
KMS player Isaac Rudningen hits the ball while playing Paynesville on the road Thursday, May 26, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Three Paynesville pitchers held KMS to six hits. Eli Nelson started and went one inning. Bryce VanderBeek then went the next three innings and Isaac Lieser pitched the final three. Lieser got the save, striking out four and walking one.

Paynesville led 2-0 through three innings before KMS scored two runs in the top of the fourth. Hunter Kallstrom drove in both runs with a base hit for the Fighting Saints.

Paynesville outfielder Chase Bayer catches a fly ball as the Bulldogs played host to the KMS Fighting Saints on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
Paynesville outfielder Chase Bayer catches a fly ball as the Bulldogs played host to the KMS Fighting Saints on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

The Bulldogs then went ahead in the bottom of the fourth. Jevan Terres led off Paynesville’s half of the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Spencer Lieser then doubled him home.

In the first inning, Eil Nelson had an RBI double to score Max Athmann, who had reached on a single.

In the third, Nelson drove home another run with a single, scoring Grayson Fuchs, who got on with a base hit and moved to second on an Athmann single.

Jared Cortez took the loss for KMS despite pitching a complete game. He struck out five, walked no one and allowed eight hits and two earned runs.

KMS outfielder Isaac Rudningen chases down a pop fly as the Fighting Saints took on Paynesville on the road on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
KMS outfielder Isaac Rudningen chases down a pop fly as the Fighting Saints took on Paynesville on the road on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Non-Conference

Paynesville 3, KMS 2

KMS                 000   200   0-2   6   0
Paynesville      101   100   x-3   8   1
Hitting - KMS: Isaac Rudningen 1-4, Wylee Lottman 1-3, Jared Cortez 1-3, Alex Call 1-3 r, Hunter Kallstrom 1-3 r rbi-2, Jaiden Henjum 1-3 … Paynesville: Grayson Fuchs 2-3 r, Max Athmann 2-3 r, Eli Nelson 2-4 rbi-2, Gavin Miller 1-3, Spencer Lieser 1-2 rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - KMS: Jared Cortez (L) 6-8-3-2-0-5 … Paynesville: Eli Nelson 1-0-0-0-0-1, Bryce VanderBeek (W) 3-5-2-2-0-1, Isaac Lieser (Sv) 3-1-0-0-0-4

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YME 9, Ortonville 5

Nikson Knapper went 3-for-5 with three runs and an RBI to help Yellow Medicine East to the victory at Ortonville.

Jake Odegard went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI for YME.

Connor Hagen pitched the last four innings for the Sting, allowing three hits and no earned runs. He walked two and struck out no one.

Carter Powell was 2-for-3 with a run and Carter Lee was 2-for-3 for Ortonville.

YME               420   001   3-9   9   5
Ortonville      102   200   0-5   6   6
Hitting - YME: Nikson Knapper 3-5 r-3 rbi, Drew Almich 1-5 r rbo. Bryce Sneller 1-4 rbi, Cody Dahlager 1-4 r, Jake Odegard 2-4 r-2 rbi, Connor Fagen 1-3 r rbi-2 … Ortonville: Carter Powell 2-3 r, Jasper Tweeter 1-4, Carter Lee 2-3. Isaac Kirchberg 1-2 r    
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - YME: Isaac Jimenez 3-3-3-1-2-1, Connor Fagen (W) 4-3-2-0-2-0 … Ortonville: Joshua Mueller (L) 6-7-6-5-3-1, Hunter Merritt 1-2-3-0-0-0

USA 6, BBE 4

Upsala/Swanville Area captured the non-conference game from Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa at Upsala.

BBE now has a 9-5 record. The Patriots are 12-0.

Section 5AA

Litchfield 7, Breck 2

Caden Besemer struck out 11, walked no one and scattered seven hits and two earned runs ove seven innings to help Litchfield beat the Breck School in Golden Valley.

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Litchfield is the ninth seed in Section 5AA. Breck is the eighth seed. Litchfield plays in the winners’ bracket at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday Southwest Christian at 4:30 p.m. Southwest Christian is the top seed. It beat No. 16 Minneapolis Patrick Henry 11-1 to advance.

Litchfield    010   040   2-7   7   0
Breck       001   000   1-2   7   1
Hitting - Litchfield: Bauer Wahl 1-4, Hunter Schultz 2-3 r-2 bb, Daniel Estrada 2-4 r rbi-3, Caden Besemer 1-2 rbi bb-2, Beau Weseloh 1-2 r rbi-2 … Breck: Nate Miller 2-4 rbi, Colin Mitchell 2-4 r rbi, Tommy Hofer 1-3, Max Aronson 2-3
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Litchfield: Caden Besemer (W) 7-7-2-2-0-11 … Breck: William Silton 4.2-4-5-4-4-4, Tommy Hofer 2.1-3-2-2-1-1

Section 2A

Mankato Loyola 7, BOLD 6

No. 5 Mankato Loyola/Immanuel Lutheran earned a walk-off victory with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning over BOLD in the Section 2A playoffs at Mankato.

BOLD is the 12th seed in Section 2A.

Tate Sheehan had a huge game for the Warriors, going 4-for-4 with a run and two RBI. Jack Kaiser was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.

Loyola plays at 5 p.m. Tuesday at fourth-seeded Sleepy Eye in the winners’ bracket.

BOLD    000   222   0-6   7   8
Mankato Loyola      023   100   1-7   10   2
Hitting - BOLD: Tate Sheehan 4-4 r rbi-2, Jack Kaiser 2-3 r rbi, Max Benson 1-2 r rbi … Mankato Loyola: Lawson Godfrey 2-4 rbi-2, Jaxon Libby 1-4 r, Jake Eichers 2-4 r, Christian Theuninck 2-4 r-2 rbi, Kyle Zimmerman 1-3 r
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - BOLD: Ryan Gass (L) 6.2-10-7-1-3-8 … Mankato Loyola: Jaxon Libby (W) 7-7-6-2-2-12

MORE BASEBALL:
Recent baseball coverage from west central Minnesota.
Current group makes up one of largest, most talented, classes in Willmar hall's history
Willmar beats Clinton 15-1 in its first state tournament game since 2003 to advance to the second round
Blaine Fischer was a big part of one of the most successful school years in boys sports in BBE history, earning him the Hengstler-Ranweiler Award
Athletes from ACGC, BBE, CMCS, KMS, MACCRAY and Willmar are finalists for the 62nd annual award.
Brooks Lee is a top prospect in the MLB draft starting Sunday
Baseball report for Friday, July 1, 2022, in west central Minnesota. Raymond's pitching dominates in a 6-0 Corn Belt League win over Sacred Heart
Right-hander dominates, first baseman homers in 10-2 win over Eau Claire
KMS, Paynesville, MACCRAY pace the area with three selections each
Wolverines senior played in Class A golf championship, then suited up in CF for the baseball team
The Wolverines earn a walk-off win in the consolation championship in St. Cloud.

What to read next
The West Central Tribune sports staff — sports editor Tom Elliott and reporters Joe Brown and Michael Lyne — chat about Week 5 football. There's a new number one team in Class A. New London-Spicer hosts Litchfield in a game meant for more than just football. And it's homecoming at Hodapp Field for the Willmar Cardinals.
The Cardinals saw four first-place finishes from three individuals and one relay team.
New London-Spicer girls take second, boys finish in third.
Volleyball report for Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in west central Minnesota. Cardinals sweep Sartell in battle of conference unbeatens