NISSWA - The Little Falls Legion are the North Subdistrict 6 champions, but it wasn't easy.
Little Falls trailed Bemidji 8-2 in the bottom of the sixth and 8-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh Thursday before winning the title 10-8 and advancing to the District playoffs.
Riley Hirsch came on in relief and pitched the final three innings for the win. He struck out four, walked two and allowed just two hits.
Joe Rydeen finished 3-for-5 with a double, Pete Suska went 2-4 and Eli Ploof went 2-5 with a double.
Little Falls hit into three double plays, loaded the bases in the fourth and fifth innings with no outs, but only drove in two runs and then loaded them again in the sixth for two more runs.
Bemidji 8 13 5
Little Falls 10 11 4
WP: Riley Hirsch. LP: Cody Ruttledge. 2B: Brd-Joe Rydeen, Eli Ploof. Overall: 17-4. Next: Little Falls in District 6 playoffs in St. Cloud at Putz Field 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Fourth-seeded Brainerd advances to District 6 tourney
NISSWA - Coming into Thursday's North Subdistrict 6 tournament the fourth-seeded Brainerd Legion team needed to outlast two consecutive elimination games against a pair of teams that it had little regular season success against in order to advance to the District 6 playoffs.
After the dust settled Thursday night in Nisswa, Brainerd managed to overcome the odds and earn two victories and a berth in the District 6 tournament.
In the first game Brainerd faced off against rival Nisswa who had won three of four regular season meetings against Brainerd.
Yet a Joel Martin complete game and an explosive attack from the Brainerd bats led the team to a 11-4 upset of second-seeded Nisswa.
Rob Veith and Kevin Peterson led the way going 3-for-5 with Peterson contributing two runs and an RBI while Veith scored a run.
Brett Jenkins drilled a two-run home run for his lone hit in the game and Trevor Howard picked up a two-run double to pace Brainerd
Tom Fairbanks rounded out the offensive barrage with two hits.
The scorching Brainerd bats carried over to the next game in a defeat of third-seeded Bemidji 8-2 in another elimination game. Brainerd had lost three out of four against Bemidji during the regular season before Thursday's convincing win.
Howard led the way on at the plate finishing 2-5 with a solo home run, two runs and two RBIs.
Seth Helland was 2-4 with a double and RBI while Veith and Reid Mimmack each ended 2-5.
Martin started the game and tossed another solid three innings before being relieved by Jenkins in the fourth inning who finished with six innings pitched, five strike outs and two runs to pick up with win.
Brainerd will play in the District 6 playoffs in St. Cloud at Faber Field 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Brainerd 8 11 1
Bemidji 2 4 3
WP: Brett Jenkins. LP: Jeremiah Graves. 2B: Brd-Seth Helland, Jarren Hanson. HR: Brd-Trevor Howard. Overall: Brd 9-12. Next: Brainerd in District 6 playoffs 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Brainerd 11 13 1
Nisswa 4 10 3
WP: Joel Martin. LP: Kyle Crocker. 2B: Brd-Howard. HR: Brd-Jenkins. Overall: Nsw 15-7.
MENAHGA - Alex Jansson finished 2-for-3 with a run scored but Staples-Motley could not overcome the strong pitching performance of Bertha-Hewitt's Patrick Riewer losing 5-4 in the West Subdistrict 6 tournament to end its Legion baseball season.
Riewer pitched a complete game striking out eight while allowing four unearned runs.
S-M pitcher Gunner Johnson did his best to keep his team in the game striking out 12 while allowing two earned runs in a complete game effort, but six walks, three errors and a hit batter ultimately doomed Staples as Bertha-Hewitt scored its five runs on just three hits.
Trevor Smith picked up a double while Jordan Riewer and Johnson collected the other hits for the Cardinals who end their season with 12-6 record.
Bertha-Hewitt 5 3 4
Staples-Motley 4 6 3
WP: Patrick Riewer. LP: Gunner Johnson. 2B: SM-Trevor Smith. Overall: S-M 12-6.
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