Brainerd sophomore VFW baseball coach Joel Lofstrom hopes next week will mark the beginning of another magical ride for his team in the state tournament at Mankato.
On Wednesday, Brainerd captured its second District 6 championship in three years by defeating St. Cloud Blue 9-2 at Adamson Field.
When Brainerd qualified for state in 1999 it finished second.
Aaron Jenkins pitched a complete game Wednesday. He gave up one earned run and six hits, walked two and struck out four.
Brainerd rallied from a 3-2 deficit with seven runs in the bottom of the sixth. In the inning, Brainerd scored three runs on errors, Chad Weiss cracked a two-run double and Fred Weiss a two-run triple.
Fred Weiss finished 2-for-3 with three RBI and Chad Weiss was also 2-for-3.
Brainerd plays 4:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at Mankato East High School against New Ulm or Mankato. The event runs through Aug. 13.
Earlier in the district tournament, Brainerd beat St. Cloud Blue 4-2 and Cold Spring 9-7.
"I think the biggest thing that helped us win (the title) was that we stopped the momentum of teams," Lofstrom said. "When we would make a mistake, we would come back and make good plays after that. We really didn't let anything get to us. That was our key to winning games."
St. Cloud Blue 2
Brainerd scored all four of its runs in the third to overcome a 2-0 deficit.
Winning pitcher Kevin Mertens struck out 10 in a complete game. He gave up six hits, three walks and one earned run. Chris Klabo was 2-for-3 with an RBI for Brainerd, which had only three hits.
Brainerd 9, Cold Spring 7
Tony Parrish was 4-for-4 and Chad Weiss 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI as Brainerd banged out 18 hits.
Fred Weiss, Klabo, Mertens, Mark Germain and Jason Sather each had two hits.
Drew Boland pitched a complete game to get the win. He allowed eight hits, walked five, struck out four and gave up three earned runs.
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