Virtually everything that could go wrong went wrong for the Thief River Falls Prowlers.
Every pitch they threw seemed to get tattooed. Every ball they hit seemed to be directly at a Brainerd Warrior.
When the final out was recorded, the top-seeded Warriors had trampled the No. 8 Prowlers 21-1 in five innings in the opening round of the North Subsection 8, Class 3A baseball tournament Thursday.
Brainerd Warriors junior first baseman Scott Williams nearly picked off a Thief River Falls runner in Thursday's game at Don Adamson Field. Brainerd Dispatch/Clint Wood
"You make good pitches, and they hit it," Warriors pitcher Adian Kummet said of what it's like to be on the short end of a drubbing. "You can't really do anything about it. You've just got to keep going after it."
Brainerd got after it at bat, smashing 18 hits, including two-run homers by Anthony Hennen and Mike Germain and a solo shot by Brady Prince.
The Warriors also cracked five doubles, two by Morgan Shepherd and one apiece by Devin Roberts, Kyle Holbrook and Paul Erickson.
Brainerd sent 18 batters to the plate in a 14-run third-inning eruption. They sent 10 batters to the plate in a four-run first-inning uprising.
Shepherd finished 3-for-4 with one RBI. Prince, Grant Eller, Hennen and Holbrook each had two hits. Grant Eller, Hennen and Devin Roberts each drove in three runs. Holbrook, Germain and Paul Erickson each had two RBI.
Warriors 21, Thief River 1
The key: Home runs by Anthony Hennen, Mike Germain and Brady Prince, and a 14-run third inning, sparked Brainerd.
Next: Alexandria at Brainerd, 1 p.m. Saturday.
Kummet pitched the first three innings. Nate Maaske and Carl Sneep pitched one apiece. The trio combined to give up two hits and no earned runs, struck out nine and walked none.
TRF's Stacy Wiseth reached in the first inning on a debatable infield hit between short and third base. Dan Kaushagen had the Prowlers' only legitimate hit, a sharp single to right in the fifth, during which TRF scored its only run.
"We got a chance to play a lot of kids, we got some good hitting in," Warriors coach Lowell Scearcy said, "and we got Adian out of the game early. We wanted to do that if possible.
"We had Adian at about 50 pitches. He should be plenty strong to come back and throw Monday if need be. We'll probably see what the situation is, if we're undefeated or not."
Holbrook led off the third with a bloop double to right. Germain followed with a two-run homer to left. Prince, the next batter, hit a solo home run, also to left, for a 9-0 edge. Then the Prowlers' defense collapsed as three errors led to 10 unearned runs.
The Warriors added their final run in the fourth on Scott Williams' RBI single.
Hennen put the Warriors ahead 6-0 with a two-run blast to left in the second.
In the first, Shepherd had a RBI double, Nate Weber flared a run-scoring single to right, Hennen delivered a RBI single and Holbrook lofted a sacrifice fly.
Thief River Falls 000 01 -- 1 2 3
Brainerd 42(14) 1x -- 21 18 3
TRF-Justin Brooks, Craig Johnston (3), Alex Carlson (4) and Tyler Bettin. Brd-Adian Kummet, Nate Maaske (4), Carl Sneep (5) and Kyle Holbrook. W-Kummet. L-Brooks.
2B-Brd-Morgan Shepherd 2, Holbrook, Devin Roberts, Paul Erickson. HR-Brd-Anthony Hennen, Mike Germain, Brady Prince. Sac-Brd-Holbrook. RBI-Brd-Prince, Tom Andrew, Shepherd, Scott Williams, Nate Weber, Grant Eller 3, Anthony Hennen 3, Roberts 3, Holbrook 2, Germain 2, Erickson 2. LOB-TRF 4, B 6.
Mike Bialka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5861.
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