Just a week ago more than a foot of snow blanketed Adamson Field at Brainerd High School.
The storm set virtually every central Minnesota team back, but one wouldn't have spotted that Thursday.
The Sartell Sabres and Brainerd Warriors played about as well as two high school teams can play, considering the lack of outdoor time both have had.
In the end, Brainerd's Trevor Thompson won a pitcher's duel against the Sabres' Adam Wenker for a 1-0 Warriors victory. The teams combined to commit only one error, turn two double plays and walk just two batters in a game that lasted 100 minutes.
Trevor Thompson shut out Sartell.
"Like we've always claimed - no errors, no walks and you're probably going to play a pretty good game," Warriors coach Lowell Scearcy said. "If you're throwing strikes and changing speeds, like both pitchers were, you're not going to give up a lot of hits."
Thompson finished with a three-hitter, striking out two and walking one.
In the seventh he escaped the only threat Sartell posed. Luke Sweeter led off with a double and Thompson wild pitched courtesy runner Brian Heim to third. Thompson struck out Joe Wenzel, got Adam Wenker on a comebacker to the mound and Doug Sutherland on a ground ball to second.
"I was just trying to get them to make an easy out and hopefully keep the guy at third," Thompson said.
Wenker, a junior right-hander, allowed just six hits in Sartell's opener. He struck out four and walked one.
Warriors 1, Sartell 0
The key: Trevor Thompson pitched a three-hit complete game for Brainerd
Conference: Sar 0-1, Brd 2-0
Overall: Sar 0-1, Brd 3-0
Next: Fergus Falls at Brainerd 5 p.m. Friday.
The only run he permitted scored in the fourth. Nate Smolke reached on an infield hit and was replaced by courtesy runner Alex Korte. Kyle Crocker's single to right put Korte on third and he scored on a wild pitch.
"He did fantastic and the kids playing defense behind him did an awesome job," Sartell coach Jerome Nemanich said of Wenker. "The one error we had was a botched pickoff play. Other than that we played a pretty clean game.
"Like I told the kids, Brainerd had played two games and scored (22) runs. To hold them to one that's a pretty nice outing for all of us."
Thompson threw just 80 pitches, 51 strikes. He threw the first pitch for a strike to 13 of 24 Sabres and appreciated his teammates' defensive support.
"They did really well, no errors," Thompson said. "I only had two strikeouts so I had to rely on them."
Several coaches and players worked three days to get the field ready to play Fergus Falls for a game that was supposed to be at the Otters' park. Assistant coach Keith Peterson even transported his snowblower to the field.
"The way it turned out we could have played Tuesday," Scearcy said, "but we didn't know that soon enough. By 5 p.m. Tuesday it was perfectly good to play on. It was a little bit wet in the outfield. We should have played but we had to call the game at about noon."
Brainerd is scheduled to host Fergus Falls on Friday.
"We have a lot of kids who are pretty equal in talent," Scearcy said. "We're going to change the lineup a little bit (Friday), not because anybody did anything wrong, it's just because we've got more kids who deserve to play. We'll be looking at a couple different combinations."
Fergus Falls 000 000 0 - 0 3 1
Brainerd 000 100 x - 1 6 0
FF: Adam Wenker and Luke Sweeter.
Brd: Trevor Thompson and Nate Smolke.
W: Thompson (2-0). L: Wenker (0-1).
Sac: Brd-Kyle Schaible.
LOB: Brd 6, Sar 3.
DP: Brd 1, Sar 1.
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at email@example.com and at 855-5861.
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