Tigers are runners up in sub-section 6A tourney
After two wins and a loss, the sub-section runner up Morris Area will advance to play Hawley Tuesday in the Section 6A semifinals at Fergus Falls. Hawley is last year's Section 6A champion.
As the No. 3 seed, the Tigers defeated No. 6 Brandon-Evansville in the quarter-final of the sub-section baseball tournament Tuesday at Chizek Field to advance to the semi-finals Thursday.
Also on Tuesday, No. 7 West Central Area upset No. 2 Hancock 8-5. No. 1 Wheaton/Herman-Norcross defeated No. 9 Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 14-0 on Tuesday, while No. 4 Chokio-Alberta defeated No. 5 Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 6-2.
The Tigers met the Knights in the semi-finals Thursday, where a 10-3 victory guaranteed the Tigers a chance to advance as either the South Champion or Runnerup. The Warriors defeated the Spartans 16-3 in the other semi-final game Thursday afternoon in Morris.
Thursday's winning teams, the Tigers and the Warriors, faced off in the sub-section championship Thursday night at Chizek Field. The game came down to the bottom of the seventh inning, when the Warriors took the lead and the championship trophy.
Morris Area 9
Nate Gades threw a two-hitter, complete game to shut out the Chargers 9-0 Tuesday night. Gades allowed only five base runners, but actually faced only two over the minimum as two were erased on double plays and another was caught stealing.
Gades threw only 80 pitches in a quick game that lasted one hour and 35 minutes.
Hitting against a brisk northwest wind, the Tigers had only three hits, but ran the bases well to manufacture some runs and were helped by Charger errors.
Morris recorded seven RBIs, none of which were on base hits.
RBI ground balls by Mitch Carbert and Ryan Beyer scored two runs in the second inning.
The Tigers went up 7-0 in the fourth inning. Eric Riley recorded an RBI when he was hit by a pitch. Tyler Hansen and Dustin Sauter each recorded RBIs on grounders.
Chris Boettcher's RBI grounder and a sacrifice fly by Sauter scored two more Tiger runs in the sixth.
The Tigers were getting good jumps off third and stole six bases in the game.
Morris also played well in the field. In the fourth inning, Riley turned a double play by catching a looping pop and firing to Jon Jallo at first.
Boettcher made a sliding catch and doubled a runner off second base in the seventh.
Gades induced many grounders which Jallo and Carbert turned into 10 put outs at first.
"Gades was solid and we fielded well behind him," said coach Lyle Rambow. "We didn't have a lot of hits, but we played small ball with some great situational hitting and base running.
"It was a good team win," he added. "We took advantage of our opportunities and showed our depth getting 16 players into the game."
Morris Area 10
The Tigers defeated West Central Area 10-3 in game two Thursday to qualify for the Section 6A tournament June 2 and June 4 in Fergus Falls.
Eric Riley took charge of the game with 14 strikeouts. The Tigers ran the bases and had good clutch hitting to score in every inning but the second.
The Tigers scored one run in the first. Tyler Hansen walked, stole second, and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Dustin Sauter.
In the second inning, Chris Boettcher walked, stole two bases, and scored on a wild pitch. Clutch, two-out hits by Tanner Berning and Ryan Beyer plated two more runs.
In the fourth, Boettcher gapped a two-run double to left field.
RBI singles by Beyer and Tanner Rohloff scored two runs in the fifth.
In the sixth inning, Nate Gades slapped an RBI single to left field and Mitch Carbert hit deep to left for a sacrifice fly.
"It was a solid game," said Rambow. "Riley was tough and we did what we had to with the sticks.
"It feels great to qualify for sections."
Morris Area 8
Tiger fans were treated to a thrilling championship game Thursday night which was won by the last team at bat, Wheaton/Herman-Norcross.
Down 7-6 in the sixth, the Tigers staged a two-run rally. Riley singled and was called out on a "bang-bang" play at second on Hansen's hit and run. Then Boettcher doubled and Gades was walked intentionally. Darrick Henrichs made that strategy fail with a clutch, two-run single to right.
The Warriors won the game with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. The inning started with a single to center. Then Henrichs threw a Warrior bunt to second, but the runner was ruled safe. The next at bat was a sacrifice bunt. Another batter was intentionally walked. A base hit down the third base line scored two for the win.
In the first inning, Hansen led off with a single and stole second on a throw to third. Gades hit an RBI grounder and a clutch, two-out RBI single by Henrichs put the Tigers up 2-0.
The Warriors tied the score on two walks and two hits.
Beyer doubled in the second and advanced to third on an error. He scored on Riley's squeeze bunt.
The Warriors went up 6-3 in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs on four hits, a walk, and a Tiger error.
In the third, Sauter singled and scored when a Gades hit and run went off the pitcher's leg. The ball was thrown from second base to first, before the throw to get Sauter out at third went wide and Sauter scored with some "nifty" base running.
The Warriors answered with a run in the bottom of the inning for a 7-4 score.
In the fourth, the Tigers strung up four consecutive hits by Rohloff, Beyer with a double, and RBIs from Carbert and Riley to make it 7-6.
"We banged out 14 hits and kept battling back all night," said Rambow. "This was quite a game. Wheaton/Herman-Norcross seems to have our number after getting us 4-2 in nine innings two weeks ago. The Warriors had a number of seeing-eye hits and bloops.
"Both teams qualify for the single-elimination section tourney, and we'd like to get another shot at them.
"I like our team's attitude and how we're playing right now." added Rambow. "We played well in the field."
Hansen had an orange-ball play with a diving catch to end the second inning and Riley made a "dandy" play to end the sixth with bases loaded.