Baseball roundup: Quick start propels the Benson Braves past the Hancock Owls

Baseball report for Thursday, May 18, 2023, in west central Minnesota. Benson beats Hancock 4-2 after a 4-run first inning, then falls 10-0 to Morris/Chokio-Alberta

Baseball roundup
Benson sophomore Jack Storlien is tagged out by Hancock's Hudson Ver Steeg before reaching home plate on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Benson.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

BENSON — The Benson baseball team earned its second win of the season against Hancock in a non-conference matchup on Thursday.

The Braves beat the Owls 4-2 in the first of two games for Benson.

Also Thursday, Benson (2-15) lost a West Central Conference matchup against Morris/Chokio-Alberta 10-0 in five innings.

Against Hancock, the Braves got out to an early lead and did not give it up.

Benson put up four runs in the first inning, highlighted by Jack Storlien’s RBI double, which scored Garrett Lenz and AJ Klassen to give the Braves a 4-0 lead.


Benson vs. Hancock, 051823.001.jpg
Benson sophomore Alexander Claussen fires a pitch toward home plate against Hancock on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Benson.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

Lenz hit an RBI single to score Alex Claussen and Reece Larson reached home on a passed ball.

Hancock’s two runs came in the third and seventh innings.

Sebastian Salas hit an RBI single to score Donovan Curfman for the Owls’ first run. Then in the seventh, Salas hit a ground ball to cause a Benson error that eventually led to Curfman scoring his second run of the contest.

Claussen earned the win for Benson after pitching 6-⅔ innings. He allowed two hits and one earned run, striking out 12 and walking three.

Benson had four batters — Claussen, Storlien, Larson and Mason Moe — record two hits.

The Braves play Upsala/Swanville Area at 5 p.m. Monday in Benson.

Benson vs. Hancock, 051823.005.jpg
Benson sophomore Zach Wrobleski throws the ball to first base against Hancock on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Benson.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune


Benson 4, Hancock 2

Hancock    001   000   1-2   2   1
Benson      400   000   x-4   11   4


Hitting - Hancock: Donovan Curfman 1-3 r-2 sb, Sebastian Salas 1-2 rbi bb… Benson: Max Nygaard 1-3, Reece Larson 2-4 r, Alex Claussen 2-3 r sb, Garrett Lenz 1-2 r rbi bb, AJ Klassen 0-3 r sb, Jack Storlien 2-3 2b rbi-2, Mason Moe 2-2 bb, Zach Wrobleski 1-2 hbp

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Hancock: Davin Rose (L) 5.2-11-4-1-2-6, Hudson Ver Steeg 0.1-0-0-0-0-0 … Benson: Claussen (W) 6.2-2-2-1-3-12, Storlien (Sv) 0.1-0-0-0-0-0 

Benson vs. Hancock, 051823.003.jpg
Benson head coach Tom Foley sports a smile before his Braves took on Hancock on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Benson.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune
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Litchfield 7, Morris/CA 6

Litchfield scored four runs in the seventh inning to comeback to beat Morris/Chokio-Alberta at Morris.

Jack McCann led the Dragons with two hits. He went 2-for-2 with three RBIs, two runs, two walks and a pair of stolen bases.

Litchfield’s Calvin Jones earned the save. He pitched one inning, allowing one hit.

The Dragons play New London-Spicer at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Optimist Park.

Litchfield    100   002   4-7   8   0
Morris/CA      200   013   0-6   9   4


Hitting - Litchfield: Jack McCann 2-2 r-2 rbi-3 bb-2 hbp sb-2, Calvin Jones 1-4 rbi bb, Caden Besemer 1-4 bb sb, Connor Taber 0-3 bb, Anthony Estrada 0-1 r rbi bb-2 sf, Bradley Larson 1-4 r, Hunter Schultz 1-2 r-2 rbi bb-2 sb, Jaxon Marquardt 1-4 r rbi sb, Ashton Sullivan 1-4 … Morris/CA: Riley Ausmus 1-4 r-2 bb, Andrew Marty 1-3 r-2 bb, Kyle Fehr 0-2 r rbi bb-2, Ozzy Jerome 2-3 rbi-4 bb, Trevor Buss 1-4, Johnny Kleindt 1-4 rbi, Drew Huebner 0-2 bb-2, Owen Anderson 2-3 r bb 2b, Tyler Berlinger 1-2 bb hbp

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Litchfield: Hunter Schultz 5-5-3-3-7-2, Besemer (W) 1-3-3-3-2-0, Jones (Sv) 1-1-0-0-0-0 … Morris/CA: Ausmus 5.2-5-3-2-7-2, Jackson Hallman (L) 1.1-3-4-1-2-2

Paynesville 14, Montevideo 4

Paynesville scored seven runs in the third inning en route to a victory over Montevideo at Paynesville.

Six Paynesville hitters had at least two hits. Austin Pauls led the way with three hits on four at-bats, adding a double, three runs and an RBI.

Montevideo’s Griffin Epema and Luke Kuno each had a pair of hits. Epema went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Kuno batted 2-for-3 with a double and two runs.

Montevideo plays MACCRAY at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Raymond. Paynesville hosts a doubleheader against Minnewaska at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Montevideo    022   00-4   7   1
Paynesville      307   4x-14   13   0

Hitting - Montevideo: Ethan Moravetz 1-3 r, Luke Kuno 2-3 2b r-2, Gannon Reidinger 1-2 2b r hbp, Griffin Epema 2-3 rbi, Jackson Baldwin 1-2 rbi-2, Landon Olson 0-2 rbi … Paynesville: Grayson Fuchs 2-3 2b hr r-2 rbi-4 bb, Max Athmann 2-4 rbi-2, Isaac Lieser 2-4 2b-2 r-2, Austin Pauls 3-4 2b r-3 rbi, Spencer Eisenbraun 0-1 r-2 bb-2, Josiah Utsch 2-3 2b r rbi-2, Bryce VanderBeek 0-1 r-2 bb-2, Brayden VanderBeek 2-2 2b r-2 rbi-2 bb, Brayden Pung 0-2 rbi bb


Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Montevideo: Jace Goslee (L) 2.2-10-10-10-3-2, Baldwin 0.2-1-4-4-4-1, Mason Jerve 0.2-2-0-0-0-0 … Paynesville: Lieser (W) 5-7-4-4-1-8 

West Central

Morris/CA 10, Benson 0

Alex Asmus allowed two hits, striking out four batters and walking one to help Morris/Chokio-Alberta a shut out at Benson.

Benson’s two hits came from Zach Wrobleski and AJ Klassen.

Morris/CA    540   10-10   7   0
Benson        000   00-0     2   1

Hitting - Morris/CA: Riley Asmus 1-2 r-2 sb, Andrew Marty 1-2 r-2 sb, Kyle Fehr 0-2 r rbi sb-2, Dan Travis 1-1, Ozzy Jerome 1-1 r-2 bb sb, Trevor Buss 1-2 r-2 sb-2, Johnny Kleindl 0-1 r rbi, Jonah Huebner 1-2 rbi-2 sb, Jackson Hallman 1-2 … Benson: Alex Claussen 0-1 bb, Zach Wrobleski 1-2, AJ Klassen 1-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Morris/CA: Alex Asmus (W) 5-2-0-0-1-4 … Benson: Gavin Olson 1.2-6-9-6-1-2, Jack Storlien (L) 3.1-1-1-0-0-7

Benson vs. Hancock, 051823.004.jpg
Benson freshman Max Nygaard shows bunt during an at-bat against Hancock on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Benson.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

Central Lakes

Game 2: Sauk Rapids 7, Willmar 1

Willmar snapped an 11-game losing streak in Game 1 of a Central Lakes Conference doubleheader against Sauk Rapids at Swansson Field in Willmar.


The Storm then won Game 2 by betting six strong innings from Ethan Swanson, who struck out nine and walked two, allowing three hits and one unearned run.

In Game 1, Cullen Gregory went 3-for-4 with a double, a run and two RBIs for the Cardinals. Also for Willmar, Dylan Staska was 2-for-4 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base. Jordan Ellingson was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and an RBI. Landon Ogdahl went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base.

Willmar (2-10 Central Lakes, 2-11 overall) plays Becker at 5 p.m. Friday at Swanson Field. Sauk Rapids is 4-7 in the conference and 4-8 overall.

Willmar               010   000   0-1   4   5
Sauk Rapids      032   020   x-7   9   3

Hitting - Willmar: Tyler Madsen 1-2 bb hbp, Jaxxon Sjoberg 1-4 3b, Cullen Gregory 0-2 bb hbp sb, Dylan Staska 0-3 r sb, Mason Thole 1-3 rbi, Mattix Swanson 0-2 sac, Chase Birchard 1-3  … Sauk Rapids: Keegan Patterson 1-4 r rbi, Andrew Bemboom 1-3 rbi 2b hbp, Ben Rothstein 1-3 bb, Shea Koster 0-3 rbi bb, Jeff Solorz 1-4, Kade Gibbons 2-4 r-2, Luke Pakkala 0-4 r, Ethan Martin 2-3 r rbi 2b, Josh Tapio 1-3 rbi, Rylan Robinson 0-0 r-2, Dillon Miller 0-0 sb

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Jaydon Garnhardt (L) 5-8-7-2-2-2, Birchard 1-1-0-0-0-0 … Sauk Rapids: Ethan Swanson (W) 6-3-1-0-2-9, Bemboom 1-1-0-0-0-0

Game 1: Willmar 11, Sauk Rapids 5

Sauk Rapids    111   110   0-5     10   4
Willmar            313   202   x-11   14   2

Hitting - Sauk Rapids: Keegan Patterson 2-4 r-2 rbi bb 2b sb, Ben Rothstein 2-4 rbi 3b, Shea Koster 1-3 bb, Jeff Solorz 1-2 bb-2, Kade Gibbons 1-2 r rbi bb hbp, Luke Pakkala 1-4 rbi, Cullen Posch 0-1 bb, Logan Bauer 2-3 r 3b hbp, Rylan Robinson 0-0 r … Willmar: Tyler Madsen 1-3 r-2 rbi bb sb-3, Jaxxon Sjoberg 0-3 bb, Cullen Gregory 3-4 r rbi-2 2b, Dylan Staska 2-4 r rbi sb, Mason Thole 1-3 r-2 bb, Mattix Swanson 1-3 r bb sb, Jordan Ellingson 2-4 r-2 rbi 2b, Landon Ogdahl 2-4 rbi sb, Blake Reiman 2-4 r rbi-2 sb, Connor Smith 0-0 r sb


Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Sauk Rapids: Posch (L) 3.2-9-9-4-4-4, Daniel Dusing 2.1-5-2-2-0-3 … Willmar: Ellingson (W) 6-10-5-3-6-4, Staska 1-0-0-0-0-0

Central Minnesota

EV-W 15, Paynesville 2

Eden Valley-Watkins moved into a tie for first place in the conference with Paynesville with the five-inning win at Paynesville.

Both teams are 10-2 in the Central Minnesota Conference.

Landon Neiman, Sam Nistler and Xander Willner all had two hits for the Eagles. Ty Stanwick slugged a home run for EV-W.

For Paynesville, Max Athmann went 2-for-3 with a double and a run.

EV-W    160   26-15   11   1
Paynesville      200   00-2   4   6

Hitting - EV-W: Landon Neiman 2-4 r-2, Nolan Geislinger 1-3 2b r-3 rbi hbp sb, Sam Nistler 2-3 hr r-4 rbi-3 bb, Xander Willner 2-4 2b r-2 rbi-5, Myles Dziengel 1-3 rbi hbp, Devin Dockendorf 1-4 r rbi, Ty Stanwick 1-3 hr r-2 rbi-2 bb, Colton Harff 1-3 r bb, Caden Neiman 0-3 rbi … Paynesville: Grayson Fuchs 0-2 r bb sb-2, Max Athmann 2-3 2b r, Isaac Lieser 1-3 rbi, Spencer Eisenbraun 0-1 rbi, Josiah Utsch 1-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - EV-W: Geislinger (W) 5-4-2-2-1-7 … Paynesville: Utsch (L) 4-6-9-5-3-5, Reed Johnson 0.2-5-6-3-0-1, Athmann 0.1-0-0-0-0-1 


Brody Straumann’s bunt and an error by Tate DeKok led to Tucker Johnson scoring the game-winning run for Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in the bottom of the seventh inning in the Falcons’ victory over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa at Atwater.

ACGC got a pair of hits from Johnson and Keegan Kessler-Gross. Johnson went 2-for-4 with a double. Kessler-Gross batted 2-for-3 with an RBI, one run and a walk.

Kessler-Gross also earned the win for the Falcons, pitching 1.2 innings. He added a strikeout over that stretch.

ACGC held BBE to three hits. Luke Dingmann, Casey Lenarz and DeKok each had a hit for the Jaguars.

ACGC plays West Central Area at 5 p.m. Friday at Kingery Field in Atwater. BBE plays a doubleheader against Maple Lake at 4 p.m. Friday at Maple Lake.

BBE         010   002   00-3   3   2
ACGC      200   100   01-4   8   7

Hitting - BBE: Brett DeRoo 0-3 r bb, Tanner Shelton 0-3 r bb, Luke Dingmann 1-4, Luke Illies 0-2 r rbi hbp-2 sb, Casey Lenarz 1-4 rbi, Tate DeKok 1-2 bb … ACGC: Jaxon Drange-Leyendecker 1-3 r bb, Keegan Kessler-Gross 2-3 r rbi bb, Terrell Renne 1-4 rbi sb, Tucker Johnson 2-4 2b r, Isaiah Renne 1-3, Logan Serbus 1-2 r bb 

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - BBE: Illies 6-7-3-3-5-5, DeKok (L) 1-1-1-0-0-1 … ACGC: Drange-Leyendecker 6.1-3-3-3-4-6, Kessler-Gross (W) 1.2-0-0-0-0-1 

Benson vs. Hancock, 051823.006.jpg
Benson junior Garrett Lenz reaches home plate to score a run for the Braves against Hancock on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Benson.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune



A seven-run first inning helped set the tone for Yellow Medicine East in its victory over Central Minnesota Christian at Richter Field in Granite Falls.

Lead-off hitter Cody Dahlager went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two stolen bases, a run and two RBIs for the Sting. Bryce Sneller went 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, a run and an RBI for YME.

CMCS plays Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg at 11 a.m. Saturday in Prinsburg. The Bluejays then host Edgerton at 1 p.m. YME hits the road at 4:30 p.m. Monday to play at Tracy-Milroy-Balaton.

CMCS    000   011   2-4   9   1
YME      700   011   x-9   9   2

Hitting - CMCS: Ethan Bulthuis 1-5 r rbi sb-2, Kadin Dehmlow 0-1 bb-3 sb-2, Peyton Meyer 1-3 bb, Isaiah Swart 1-3 r bb, Wesley Fussy 1-3 r bb, Versteeg 4-4 4 rbi sb, Drew Duininck 1-3 rbi bb … YME: Cody Dahlager 3-4 r rbi-2 2b-2 sb-2, Braden Nelson 0-3 r bb, Bryce Sneller 2-3 r rbi bb sb, Nolan Hildahl 0-3 r bb sb, Jake Odegard 0-3 rbi bb, Landon Anderson 0-1 r bb-2, Nahum Tarin 1-1 rbi, Drew Almich 1-3 r rbi bb, Owen Torvik 1-3 r rbi 2b sb, Andrew Flaten 1-3 r-2 rbi

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - CMCS: Josh Nelson (L) 4.2-8-8-8-6-3, Fussy 1.1-1-1-1-1-1 … YME: Sneller (W) 4.2-4-1-0-4-10, Odegard 2.1-5-3-3-3-1

KMS 9, Dawson-Boyd 2

Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg utilized a seven-run first inning en route to a dominating victory at Dawson.

In the Fighting Saints’ first inning, Jaiden Henjum hit a two-run home run to give KMS a 4-0 lead. Back-to-back doubles from Logan and Isaac Rudningen added three more runs.

Dawson-Boyd scored its two runs in the first and third innings. Aiden Swenson scored on a KMS error and Blake Thompson hit an RBI single to score Beau Johnson.

Henjum finished 1-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs and a walk. Logan Rudningen went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a run.

Dawson-Boyd next plays at 4:30 p.m. Monday in Minneota. KMS plays Ortonville at 5 p.m. Friday in Sunburg.

KMS                      720   000   0-9   13   1
Dawson-Boyd      101   000   0-2     4   2

Hitting - KMS: Isaac Rudningen 1-1 r rbi bb-2 2b sb, Chase Magaard 2-4 r, Jared Cortez 3-5 r rbi 2b, Jaiden Henjum 1-4 r-2 rbi-2 bb hr, Evan Zimmer 0-3 r bb, Luke Jeseritz 2-3 r bb, Jett Olson 1-3 r rbi bb, Logan Rudningen 3-3 r rbi-3 2b … Dawson-Boyd: Blake Thompson 1-3 rbi, Aiden Swenson 1-2 r 2b, Ashton Swendra 0-1 bb, Holland Schacherer 1-1, Beau Johnson 1-2 r bb 2b

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - KMS: Magaard (W) 6-3-2-1-2-1, Travis Engelke 1-1-0-0-0-0 … Dawson-Boyd: Thompson (L) 0.2-5-7-7-2-0, Nathan Hansen 5.1-7-2-2-4-5, Johnson 1-1-0-0-0-0

TMB 13, RCW 4

Lead-off hitter Alex Schuh went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, two runs scored and five RBIs to lift Tracy-Milroy-Balaton past Renville County West at Sacred Heart.

Jack Wertish went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs for RCW.

The Jaguars play at 4:30 p.m. Monday against Lakeview in Cottonwood.

TMB    147   010   0-13   12   1
RCW      001   300   0-4   4   7

Hitting - TMB: Alex Schuh 3-5 r-2 rbi-5 2b hr, Chuck Lanoue 0-0 r, Jeret Ankrum 3-5 r-2 2b-2, Tanner Hauger 0-3 r bb-2, Trevor Smith 1-4 r rbi-2 hbp, Noah Knakmuhs 1-5 rbi-2, Ashton Squires 2-3 r-2 2b, Travis Wilhite 0-0 r hbp, Jacob Meyer 0-1 sb, Zach Swanson 2-3 r 2b sb, David Schuh 0-4 r-2 rbi, Espn Radke 0-3 bb … RCW: Griffin Howard 0-3 r bb sb, Isaac Haen 0-1 r-2 bb hbp-2 sb, Carter Rice 0-3 rbi, Jack Wertish 2-4 rbi-2 2b, Austin Rice 1-3 r, Zac Gustafson 0-1 bb-2, Brenden Peterson 0-2 bb, Braylon Hinderks 1-1, Eddie Morales 0-1 r bb hbp

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - TMB: Hauger 3-1-4-3-6-5, Ankrum (W) 2-1-0-0-1-3, Lanoue 2-2-0-0-0-4 … RCW: Howard (L) 1.1-4-5-2-0-2, Peterson 1-1-5-7-0-2-1, Gustafson 1.1-1-0-0-0-1, Rice 3-2-1-0-1-3 

Minneota 10, LQPV 5

Minnesota scored eight runs in the ninth inning, three of them earned, to beat Lac qui Parle Valley at Madison.

“The wheels fell off,” LQPV head coach Darby Bjornjeld said.

LQPV trailed 2-0 in the sixth inning until Ethan Schommer slugged a two-run double with one out to tie it up. The Eagles also had runners on first and second with one out in the eighth inning.

LQPV has a 6-5 record. The Eagles play at noon Saturday at Pipestone.

Minneota    101   000   008-10   8   2
LQPV      000   002   003-5   5   5

Hitting - Minneota: Peyton Gilland 2-4 r-2 2b bb rbi, Jack Lasek 0-2 r rbi sac-2, Isaac Pohlen 2-5 r rbi-2, Ryan Dahlager 1-5 r rbi, Eli Gruenes 0-5 r, Joe Voit 1-3 r 2b, Ryan Meagher 1-5 r, Parker Bradley 1-4 r-2 2b … LQPV: Dylan Keimig 1-3 r sac, Dyllon Geiser 2-4 r-2, Kaden Molden 0-3 r bb-2 rbi, Joseph Ramsbacher 1-1 rbi, Ethan Schommer 1-4 2b rbi-2, Brock Bjornjeld 0-0 r bb 

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Minneota: Bradley 5.1-3-2-2-3-2, Meagher (W) 2.2-1-3-2-5-1, Gilland 1-1-0-0-0-1 … LQPV: Geiser 7.2-5-2-2-1-6, Kaden Mortenson (L) 0.1-2-8-3-3-0, Ramsbacher 1-1-0-0-0-1

MACCRAY 21, Canby 8

MACCRAY scored 21 runs on nine hits for the win at Canby.

Wolverines senior Emery Aker belted a grand slam for MACCRAY. Aker finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate with five RBIs, three runs, a pair of walks and a stolen base.

Jace Sigler was 2-for-4 with two runs for the Lancers.

MACCRAY plays Montevideo at 3:30 p.m. Friday in Raymond.

MACCRAY    100   497 0-21   9   6
Canby     400   040 x-8   7   3

Hitting - MACCRAY: Ethan Schommer 0-1 r-2 rbi bb sb, Tobyn Dalle 1-1 2b r-3 rbi bb-2, Wyatt Swenson 1-2 r-4 rbi-2 bb-4 sb, Xavier Noble 2-4 r-2 rbi-3 bb-2 2b, Angel Mendoza 2-5 r rbi-2 bb 2b, Emery Aker 2-3 r-3 rbi-5 bb-2 sb, Grayson Ahrenholz 0-2 r-2 rbi-2 bb-3, Keegan Rand 1-5 r rbi bb, Garrett Struxness 0-0 r-3 rbi-2 bb-3 sb, Jase Dirksen 1-3 r rbi … Canby: Eli Greenman 0-2 r bb-2 sb, Jace Sigler 2-4 r-2, Sawyer Drietz 1-3 r-2 sb, Bryant Hansen 2-4 r, Evan Engesmoe 0-3 r sb, Colton Ruether 1-3 r rbi-2, Cash Antony 1-3 rbi-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - MACCRAY: Dirksen (W) 6-7-8-1-2-4 … Canby: Drietz (L) 3-4-3-3-6-1, Greenman 1.1-3-7-7-5-0, Blake Hiedeman 1-2-10-6-8-2, Hansen 0.2-1-1-1-0-1

Michael Lyne joined the West Central Tribune as a sports reporter in May 2022, following his graduation from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in journalism and a minor degree in Spanish studies.

You may reach Michael at, or by calling (320) 214-4345.
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