Baseball roundup: Willmar Cardinals keep it close with St. Cloud Crush

Baseball report for Tuesday, May 16, 2023, in west central Minnesota. Willmar falls to St. Cloud 5-2 and 5-4 in a CLC doubleheader

Baseball roundup
Willmar junior Dylan Staska begins his slide toward home plate for a run in Game 1 of a Central Lakes Conference doubleheader against St. Cloud on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at Swansson Field in Willmar.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — The Willmar baseball team stayed close with one of the top Central Lakes Conference teams on Tuesday. But wins continue to elude the Cardinals as they were swept by the St. Cloud Crush.

With temperatures hitting 80 degrees at Swansson Field, St. Cloud won 5-2 in Game 1 and 5-4 in Game 2.

Willmar freshman Tyler Madsen throws across the diamond to first base in Game 1 of a Central Lakes Conference doubleheader against St. Cloud on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at Swansson Field in Willmar.
Willmar freshman Tyler Madsen throws across the diamond to first base in Game 1 of a Central Lakes Conference doubleheader against St. Cloud on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at Swansson Field in Willmar.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Since winning the season opener against Fergus Falls on April 18, Willmar has lost 11 straight games and is now 1-10 in the CLC. St. Cloud improves to 8-4 overall and 8-1 in the CLC.

Pitching and defense put the Crush over the top in Game 1.

Drew Lieser took the bump in the opener. He went six innings, striking out seven with two runs on four hits and three walks allowed. Joe Hess threw a scoreless seventh inning to get the save. And behind them, St. Cloud did not commit an error. Will Allenspach was 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Hess went 1-for-4 with two RBIs and a run and Brayden Schmitz scored twice in Game 1.


Willmar’s runs in Game 1 came on a sacrifice fly by Mason Thole in the second and an RBI single by Jaxxon Sjoberg in the sixth. Sjoberg had two of the Cardinals’ four hits, going 2-for-3.

St. Cloud jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning of Game 2. Kadyn Mork had an RBI single, Devan Finnegan scored on an Allenspach groundout, and two runs came across on Willmar errors. The game-winning run for the Crush came across in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly by Mork.

The Cardinals out-hit St. Cloud 7-5 in Game 2. Elliot Klein was 3-for-3. Tyler Madsen, Sjoberg, Cullen Gregory and Thole also collected hits.

Willmar hosts Sauk Rapids for a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. Thursday back at Swansson Field.

Willmar junior Cullen Gregory throws a pitch in Game 1 of a Central Lakes Conference doubleheader against St. Cloud on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at Swansson Field in Willmar.
Willmar junior Cullen Gregory throws a pitch in Game 1 of a Central Lakes Conference doubleheader against St. Cloud on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at Swansson Field in Willmar.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Central Lakes

Game 2: St. Cloud 5, Willmar 4

Willmar   002   200   0-4   7   3
St. Cloud     041   000   x-5   5   2
Hitting - Willmar: Tyler Madsen 1-2 r bb hbp sb, Jaxxon Sjoberg 1-3 r rbi bb, Cullen Gregory 1-4 rbi, Mattix Swanson 0-4 rbi, Mason Thole 1-3 sb, Jordan Ellingson 0-2 r bb, Elliot Klein 3-3, Blake Reiman 0-2 r rbi sac … St. Cloud: Will Allenspach 0-2 rbi bb, Joe Hess 1-3 r sb, Parker Schulz 2-3 3b, Kadyn Mork 1-2 r rbi sf, Brayden Schmitz 0-2 r hbp, Blake O’Hara 0-3 r rbi, Devan Finnegan 1-3 rbi sb-2, Jackson Sheetz 0-0 r
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Willmar: Madsen (L) 4-3-5-0-1-3, Ellingson 2-2-0-0-0-1 … St. Cloud: Schulz (W) 4-5-4-3-3-1, Ethan Lindholm 3-2-0-0-0-2 

St. Cloud senior Will Allenspach catches a liner out in left field in Game 1 of a Central Lakes Conference doubleheader against Willmar on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at Swansson Field in Willmar.
St. Cloud senior Will Allenspach catches a liner out in left field in Game 1 of a Central Lakes Conference doubleheader against Willmar on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at Swansson Field in Willmar.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Game 1: St. Cloud 5, Willmar 2

St. Cloud   103   000   1-5   5   0
Willmar     010   001   0-2   4   3
Hitting - St. Cloud: Brayden Schmitz 0-2 r-2 sb, Will Allenspach 2-4 r sb, Elian Mezquita 1-3 r bb sb, Joe Hess 1-4 r rbi-2, Kadyn Mork 0-3 rbi, Ben Schmitt 1-3 2b rbi sb … Willmar: Tyler Madsen 1-3 2b bb sb, Dylan Staska 1-2 2b r-2 bb sb, Jaxxon Sjoberg 2-3 rbi sb, Mason Thole 0-1 rbi bb sf
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - St. Cloud: Drew Lieser (W) 6-4-2-2-3-7, Hess (Sv) 1-0-0-0-1-1 … Willmar: Cullen Gregory (L) 6-4-4-1-4-5, Jordan Ellingson 1-1-1-1-1-2


West Central

Game 2: Montevideo 5, Melrose 3

Montevideo secured at least a share of the West Central Conference after sweeping Melrose at Montevideo.

In Game 1, the Thunder Hawks’ Griffin Epema secured the victory with a walk-off triple. He finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Cooper Dack went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. He also was the winning pitcher after tossing an inning of relief.

In the nightcap, Gannon Reidinger secured the win for Montevideo after tossing four innings of relief. He struck out six, giving up no runs on one hit and zero walks. On offense, Luke Kuno went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Epema had two RBIs, and Brady Snell scored twice in the win.

Montevideo   301   010   0-5   8   1
Melrose     003   000   0-3   5   4
Hitting - Montevideo: Ethan Moravetz 1-4 r, Brady Snell 0-2 r-2 bb-2, Luke Kuno 2-4 r rbi, Gannon Reidinger 1-2 rbi bb-2, Griffin Epema 1-4 2b rbi-2, Jackson Baldwin 1-4, Grayson Eisenlohr 1-1, Daniel Gunlogson 1-3 sb, Ben Gunlogson 0-0 r … Melrose: Devin Orbeck 1-4 r, Breydon Dobmeier 1-3 r bb, Connor Anderson 0-2 rbi bb-2, Isaac Rosenberger 1-3 2b rbi-2, Anthony Berscheit 1-3 sb, Ian Funk 1-3 r
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Montevideo: Cooper Dack 3-4-3-3-3-2, Reidinger (W) 4-1-0-0-0-6 … Melrose: Anderson (L) 1-4-3-3-1-0, Dobmeier 6-4-2-2-5-4

Game 1: Montevideo 7, Melrose 6

Melrose   003   000   3-6   5   3
Montevideo     110   211   1-7   8   5
Hitting - Melrose: Devin Orbeck 0-3 r bb, Ethan Freier 1-1 rbi-2, Connor Anderson 1-3 r rbi-2 bb, Isaac Rosenberger 1-4 rbi, Westin Middendorf 1-2 r-2 hbp, Ian Funk 1-3 r-2 sb … Montevideo: Cooper Dack 2-4 2b rbi-3, Ethan Moravetz 1-4 r, Luke Kuno 2-4 rbi-2, Gannon Reidinger 0-2 r bb hbp, Griffin Epema 2-3 3b r-2 rbi bb, Jackson Baldwin 1-2 sb, Ben Gunlogson 0-1 r-2 sb, Sam Knoop 0-0 r 
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Melrose: Orbeck 6-7-6-3-3-9, Anderson (L) 0-1-1-1-1-0 … Montevideo: Brady Snell 6-4-5-2-2-9, Dack (W) 1-1-1-1-1-1 

Game 2: Minnewaska 13, Benson 2

Minnewaska combined for 23 runs in a doubleheader sweep of Benson at Marthaler Field in Glenwood.

The Lakers’ Noah Jensen went 3-for-7 with five runs and two RBIs over the two games. Dylan Alexander struck out nine over 6-2/3 innings in the Game 1 victory. Austin Weber had three strikeouts in two innings of relief for the Game 2 win.

Grant Gunlogson and AJ Klassen both had two hits and an RBI for the Braves in Game 1. Zach Wrobleski had Benson’s lone hit in Game 2.


Minnewaska travels to Paynesville at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Benson has two games at home Thursday, with Hancock at 5 p.m. and Morris/Chokio-Alberta at 7 p.m.

Minnewaska   700   33-13   7   1
Benson     002   00-2   1   6
Hitting - Minnewaska: Conner Erickson 0-1 r bb sb, Levi Johnson 1-2 r rbi bb-2 sb-2, Dylan Alexander 1-3 3b r rbi hbp, Noah Jensen 1-4 2b r-2 rbi, PJ Johnson 0-1 r-3 bb-2 hbp sb, Alex Panitzke 1-2 2b r-2 rbi-2, bb-2, Austin Ballhagen 2-3 r rbi-2 bb sb, Thomas Poegel 1-3 r rbi-2 hbp sb … Benson: Zach Wrobleski 1-2 3b r rbi, Mason Moe 0-1 r bb
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Minnewaska: Panitzke 2-0-0-0-1-5, Austin Weber (W) 2-1-2-1-2-5, Ballhagen 1-0-0-0-1-3 … Benson: Garrett Lenz (L) 1-4-7-5-2-1, Jack Storlien 2.1-0-3-0-3-2, Wrobleski 1.1-3-3-3-3-4, Noah Goossen 0.1-0-0-0-0-1

Game 1: Minnewaska 10, Benson 2

Benson   000   110   0-2   4   2
Minnewaska     013   006   x-10   7   1
Hitting - Benson: Max Nygaard 0-4 r, Grant Gunlogson 2-4 2b rbi, AJ Klassen 2-3 rbi, … Minnewaska: Conner Erickson 1-3 r-2 bb sb-2, Levi Johnson 0-2 r bb-2 sb, Dylan Alexander 0-4 r, Noah Jensen 2-3 2b 3b r-3 rbi bb, PJ Johnson 1-1 r rbi-2 bb hbp sf, Austin Weber 2-4 2b rbi-2 sb, Alex Panitzke 0-4 rbi, Austin Ballhagen 0-1 r bb-3 sb, Thomas Poegel 1-2 bb, Caden Larson 0-1 r
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Benson: Alex Claussen (L) 4-6-4-4-3-5, Nygaard 1.2-1-6-4-6-0, Noah Goossen 0.1-0-0-0-0-0 … Minnewaska: Alexander (W) 6.2-4-2-1-2-9, Weber 0.1-0-0-0-0-1

Game 2: Sauk Centre 10, BOLD 0

The Sauk Centre Mainstreeters completed a West Central Conference sweep over the BOLD Warriors at Sauk Centre.

BOLD has a doubleheader against Minnewaska starting at 1 p.m. Saturday in Glenwood.

Game 1: Sauk Centre 6, BOLD 4

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Central Minnesota

EVW 19, ACGC 0

Landon Neiman led a high-scoring Eden Valley-Watkins lineup to a win against Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City at Kingery Field in Atwater.

Neiman finished 3-for-3 with a triple, four runs and three RBIs. Nolan Geislinger went 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs, Coltant Harff was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI and Drew Arnold was 2-for-2 with four RBIs and a run scored.


Brody Straumann had two of the Falcons six hits. Jaxon Drange-Leyendecker, Eric Fester, Isaiah Renne and Regan Elton also had hits in the loss.

EVW        703   63-19   13   2
ACGC      000   00-0       6   3
Hitting - EVW: Landon Neiman 3-3 r-4 rbi-3 3b sb, Nolan Geislinger 2-5 r-2 rbi-2 sb, Sam Nistler 1-1 r-2 rbi-3 bb, Coltant Harff 2-4 r-2 rbi sb, Myles Dziengel 1-3 r rbi-2 bb, Garrett Albers 0-0 bb, Devin Dockendorf 0-1 r bb sb, Drew Arnold 2-2 r rbi-4, Ty Stanwick 1-5 r rbi-2 2b, Lane Harff 0-1 r-2 bb-3, Caden Neiman 1-2 r-3 bb … ACGC: Jaxon Drange-Leyendecker 1-3, Brody Straumann 2-2, Eric Fester 1-1, Isaiah Renne 1-1, Regan Elton 1-2 
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - EVW: C. Harff (W) 5-6-0-0-0-4 … ACGC: Tucker Johnson (L) 2.2-6-10-7-5-1, Jonas Morrison 1.1-4-6-5-3-0, Renne 1-3-3-3-1-0


D-B 8, Ortonville 2

Dawson-Boyd put up 13 hits in a Camden Conference win at Ortonville.

Leading the Blackjacks’ offense was Grayson Olson. He was 4-for-4 with a double, a run scored and three stolen bases. Blake Thompson was 3-for-4 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base. Tygan Long picked up the victory after striking out six over six innings.

D-B plays host to Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

D-B    030   200   3-8   13   0
Ortonville      000   200   0-2   7   1
Hitting - D-B: Blake Thompson 3-4 r rbi sb, Aiden Swenson 1-4 3b r rbi, Nate Hansen 2-4 r rbi, Grayson Olson 4-4 2b r sb-3, Tygan Long 1-4 r-2 rbi-2, Ashton Swendra 0-3 r bb, Eli Olson 2-3 2b r rbi-3 … Ortonville: Carter Brown 1-4, Dru Boots 1-3 bb sb, Carter Lee 2-4 r, Connor Danielson 1-2 r bb, Isaac Brown 1-3 sb, Isaac Kirchberg 1-3 2b rbi-2 
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - D-B: Long (W) 6-7-2-2-3-6, Hansen 1-0-0-0-2-1 … Ortonville: Boots (L) 3-8-4-4-2-2, Hunter Merritt 4-5-3-3-0-3


BBE 5, KMS 3

With four runs in the top of the sixth inning, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa left Willy Reigstad Field with a non-conference win against Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg in Sunburg.

Brett DeRoo finished 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Jaguars. Talen Kampsen was the winning pitcher, striking out four with five walks and five hits allowed over 5-1/3 innings.


Tanner Wilts paced the Fighting Saints’ offense, going 2-for-2 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base. Jared Cortez was 2-for-3 with a double.

BBE is back on the road against Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. KMS heads to Dawson-Boyd at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

BBE    001   004   0-5   4   3
KMS     001   101   0-3   5   6
Hitting - BBE: Ethan Mueller 0-3 r hbp, Brett DeRoo 2-3 rbi sac, Tanner Shelton 0-4 rbi, Luke Dingmann 1-4 r, Luke Illies 0-2 r bb hbp, Casey Lenarz 0-4 r, Tate DeKok 1-3, Ethan Spanier 0-0 r … KMS: Jared Cortez 2-3 2b bb, Evan Zimmer 1-3, Jett Olson 0-2 r bb, Tanner Wilts 2-2 r rbi bb sb, Jacob Walsh 0-0 r
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - BBE: Talen Kampsen (W) 5.1-5-3-2-5-4, DeKok (Sv) 1.2-0-0-0-0-0 … KMS: Jaiden Henjum (L) 5.2-4-5-0-2-7, Luke Jeseritz 1.1-0-0-0-0-1

Wabasso 12, RCW 0

Wabasso held Renville County West to one hit in a five-inning win at Wabasso.

The Rabbits’ Adryen Tietz struck out 11 in a complete-game shutout. Tietz also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, two runs and an RBI.

Wabasso put up 11 runs in the bottom of the third inning.

Griffin Howard had RCW’s only hit, finishing 1-for-2.

The Jaguars are host to Tracy-Milroy-Balaton at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Sacred Heart.


RCW             000       00-0       1   3
Wabasso      01(11)   0x-12   10   0
Hitting - RCW: Griffin Howard 1-2, Isaac Haen 0-1 bb sb … Wabasso: Noah Anderson 1-2 r-2 rbi bb, Calvin Hanna 1-3 r rbi, Adryen Tietz 2-3 r-2 rbi 2b, Joe Liebl 2-3 r rbi-2 2b sb, Jaxson Wagner 1-3 r rbi 2b, Kaysen Harms 0-2 r-2 bb, Jayden Remiger 0-1 r bb-2, Preston Remiger 2-3 r rbi-2, Treydon Larson 1-3 r rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - RCW: Carter Rice (L) 2.1-4-7-6-3-4, Brenden Peterson 0-4-4-4-0-0, Trevor Peterson 1.2-2-1-1-1-4 … Wabasso: Tietz (W) 5-1-0-0-1-11

Joe Brown is a sports reporter for the West Central Tribune.

He can be reached via email at: or his office number: 320-214-4332.
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