ST. CLOUD — Four-run first and third innings enabled the 10th-seeded Big Lake Hornets to sting the No. 7 Brainerd Warriors 11-4 in the opening round of the Section 8-3A tournament Monday.
Big Lake benefited from seven walks, two with the bases loaded, and two hit batters in the first three innings to dig a hole from which Brainerd was unable to recover.
Winning pitcher Jake Neidenfeuhr was 3-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs. He delivered an RBI single in the second and added a 2-run single in the third.
Ethan Hunt was 2-3 for the Hornets with a bases-loaded walk in the first and a 2-run double in the third.
Mitch McLain hit a 3-run homer to left in the first that pulled Brainerd within 4-3. Ben Stall drove in the only other Warrior run with a single in the sixth.
Conor Gessell was 2 for 4 with a run for Brainerd. McLain finished 1-3 with a walk. Stall was 1-2.
Brainerd starter Drew Sannes lasted one-third of an inning. He allowed four runs, all earned, one hit and four walks.
Reliever Luke Patron went the next 2.1 innings. He allowed five runs, all earned, and four hits, with three walks, and two strikeouts. He also hit two batters.
Luke Boran went the last 4.1 innings for Brainerd. He allowed two runs, both unearned, and two hits with three strikeouts.
Brainerd, which lost its last four games, finished the season 11-10.
Big Lake 414 002 0 — 11 7 2
Brainerd 300 001 0 — 4 6 4
Big Lake: Jake Neidenfeuhr. Jake Jochum (7) and Connor Distal.
Brainerd: Drew Sannes, Luke Patron (1), Luke Boran (3) and Ben Stall.
WP: Neidenfeuhr (5-2). LP: Sannes (3-5).
2B: BL-Daniel Kimmer, Ethan Hunt.
HR: Brd-Mitch McLain.
RBIs: Brd-McLain 3, Stall; BL-Neidenfeuhr 3, Ethan Hunt 3, Brandon Holthaus, Tyler Halverson, Jake Geroux.
DP: Brd 1.
LOB: Brd 6, BL 7.