Marshall takes down Granite Falls, clinches spot in region tournament
GRANITE FALLS — With major playoff implications on the line, the Marshall amateur baseball team kept its red-hot play going with a 9-1 victory over Granite Falls on Wednesday.
With the win, Marshall will earn an automatic spot in the region tournament on Aug. 8.
The A’s were able to take an early lead thanks to a double by Tanner Strommen and back-to-back singles from Zach Olson and Ryan Schwagel to go up 1-0. Matt Hmielewski then connected on an RBI double to make it 2-0 after two.
Granite Falls had a chance to do some damage on offense in the third by loading the bases, but Marshall starter Wes Sarsland was able to escape the jam and keep the A’s lead intact.
On the ensuing at-bat, Marshall got a boost from Strommen with an RBI double before Olson followed it up with a double of his own to make it 4-0.
After a couple of scoreless innings, the A’s added to their lead in the top half of the seventh when Alex Thompson connected on a single to bring in a run and push Marshall’s lead to 5-0. Granite Falls would have a response, though, pushing a run across in the bottom of the frame to cut the deficit to 5-1. The Kilowatts nearly had a chance to draw closer, but the Marshall reliever Olson would get back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame.
In the eighth, Hmielewski would reach on an error before a single by Olson moved him over to third. A wild pitch would then score Hmielewski and give Marshall a 6-1 lead. The A’s then added a trio of runs in the ninth on RBI singles by Strommen and Justin Greenwood and an RBI groundout by Thompson to make it 9-1. Drew Hmielewski then came in to pitch in the ninth and got a scoreless frame to seal Marshall’s victory and book its trip to the region playoffs in Starbuck.
Strommen led the way for the A’s with four hits and two RBI while Olson added three hits and an RBI and Schwagel had two hits and an RBI.
Sarsland earned the victory on the mound, going 6 1/3 innings while allowing just one run on four hits and struck out eight.
Brandon Grund led the way for Granite Falls with a pair of hits while Colton Vien, Cole Richter and Tyler Nordan each added a hit.
Christian Kanten took the loss on the mound, going 4 2/3 innings while allowing four runs on eight hits and struck out five.
MILROY — The Milroy Yankees defeated Willmar 10-3 on Wednesday.
Andy Schmidt and Isaac Schmitt led the way for the Yankees with 3 for 5 days at the plate with two RBI each while Eric Dolan added three hits and an RBI and Matt Bauer had two hits and two RBI.
Schmitt also earned the complete-game victory on the mound, allowing three runs on three hits and struck out 10.
The Yankees will face Sacred Heart on Friday at 7:30 p.m.