Hanging up on the dugout wall Tuesday at Adamson Field was the Brainerd VFW team's thought of the day from Yogi Berra, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."
Brainerd didn't have any problem knowing where they were going after scoring 10 runs in the first inning against Wadena en route to a 16-0 five-inning shutout in the District 6 North Division championship game.
Brainerd advances to the District 6 tournament, which will get underway 10 a.m. Monday when Brainerd hosts the South Division champion.
Kyle Crocker pitched to Wadena in a 16-0, five-inning win in the VFW District 6 North Division championship at Adamson Field Tuesday. Crocker faced 11 batters and struck out seven in the win. Brainerd Dispatch/Nels Norquist » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"It's good we advanced, we did what we needed to do as far as our pitching, defense and our hitting," said Brainerd assistant coach Tim Martin. "Now we need a couple days of good practice to get ready for next week."
Coming off multiple games in two days, Wadena players looked exhausted, and Brainerd's offense took advantage right away.
Kyle Crocker and Travis Whirley led off the game with consecutive singles that paved the way for 10 runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Seven of the first eight Brainerd batters scored. Brainerd sent 15 batters to the plate before the sixth batter, Josh Tokarczyk, grounded out to third in his second plate appearance to end the inning.
Crocker finished 1-for-2 with two runs scored and Whirley was 1-1 with an RBI, a stolen base and three runs scored.
Cody Stange ripped a two-run double down the left field line to highlight a four-run second inning. Brainerd added runs in the third and fourth inning to stretch the lead to 16-0 before the 10-run rule was called after the fifth inning.
Stange went 2-3 with three RBIs and Brandon Shaw was 1-3 with a two-run double in the first, a run scored and three RBIs. Tokarczyk ended up 1-3 with an RBI and a run scored while Andy Mans was 1-1 with two walks and three runs scored.
Catcher Nate Smolke swung at a pitch Tuesday at Adamson Field. Brainerd sent 15 batters to the plate in a 10-run first inning. Brainerd Dispatch/Nels Norquist
» Purchase reprints of this photo.
The Wadena pitching staff didn't help themselves, walking nine Brainerd batters and hitting three.
Crocker dominated on the mound for Brainerd, facing only 11 batters in three shutout innings and striking out seven with no walks. The incoming sophomore's only hit allowed was a single to right field in the third inning.
"I went in the game just wanting to throw strikes and get some outs," Crocker said. "My curveball was bending and they were just swinging through balls, it was a good game."
Cody Galloway pitched the final two innings for Brainerd, giving up two hits and hitting a batter while striking out two.
Nick Goeden provided the only offense for Wadena, breaking up Crocker's no-hitter in the third inning and hitting a double off Galloway in the fifth.
Brainerd hopes to ride the momentum of a 16-0 win into the District 6 playoffs.
"We're on a 13-game win streak right now, so we're hot," said Crocker.
Wadena 0 3 4
Brainerd 16 8 0
WP-Kyle Crocker. LP-Redfield. 2B-B-Cody Stange; W-Nick Goeden. Overall-Brd 26-9. Next-Brainerd hosts South Division champion at Adamson Field 10 a.m. Monday.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.