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VFW takes 3rd at Hutch

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VFW takes 3rd at Hutch
Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

The Morris VFW Post 5039 took third place at the Hutchinson baseball tournament last weekend. Morris defeated Hutchinson I 5-4 in the first game, lost to Dassel Cokato 4-2 in the semi-finals, and defeated Hutchinson II 16-8 to win the third place trophy.

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Morris 5

Hutchinson I 4

In the opening game of the tournament, Morris scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning and then held on for the win.

Eric Riley started on the mound for Post 5039 and locked up in a dual with Hutchinson's pitcher as the game was 0-0 heading into the fourth inning.

In the top of the fourth Tanner Berning led off with a single and came around to score on a Ryan Beyer triple. Beyer then scored on a Brady Valnes single. Valnes stole second and scored on a Jon Jallo single for a 3-0 Morris lead.

Hutchinson came right back and loaded the bases on a hit, a walk, and a hit batter with no one out. Morris nearly got out of the inning without allowing a score, but with a grounder back to the pitcher and the force out at home, the throw to first for the double play hit the runner and two runs came in to score.

Hutchinson then scored one run in each of the next two innings to take a 4-3 lead heading into the final frame.

Alex Erickson led off the inning with a single and went to third on a one-out single by Beyer. After another out was recorded, Valnes came through with a long double that scored both runs and Morris led 5-4.

Erickson then replaced Riley on the mound for the bottom of the inning. He struck out the first two hitters before the Hutchinson clean-up hitter hit a double high off of the wall in left field. A bunt single then put runners on first and third before Erickson struck out the next hitter for the save.

Valnes led the Morris offense, going 4-for-4 with three RBIs. Beyer was 3-for-4 with another RBI, and Jallo went 2-for-3 with the other RBI.

Dassel Cokato 4

Morris 2

Morris jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first in the semi-final game. Erickson led off with a single and Berning walked. Consecutive singles by Beyer and E. Riley then scored the two runs. A walk to Jallo with one out loaded the bases, but Post 5039 was unable to add any further runs in the inning. 

Erickson was strong in the early innings on the mound, facing just nine hitters through the first three innings. The fourth inning started well for Morris with the first two Dassel-Cokato hitters being retired.  However, the next four hitters hit safely and Dassel-Cokato took a 3-2 lead.

Ethan Bruer came on to pitch for Morris and Dassel-Cokato added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth for the final score of 4-2.

Erickson and E. Riley each had two hits to lead the Morris offense as they only managed three hits after the first inning.

Morris 16

Hutchinson II 8

After Hutchinson II scored a run off of Morris starter Travis Rinkenberger in the bottom of the first inning, Post 5039 took off, eventually leading by a score of 9-1 in the fourth on the way to victory in the third place game. Rinkenberger went four innings in picking up the win, giving up four runs and striking out six.

Mitch Kill gave up two runs in 1-2/3 innings, and E. Riley finished up, giving up two unearned runs in 1-1/3 innings.

Offensively, Valnes had another big game, going 4-for-5 with a triple and four RBIs. E. Riley added three hits with a triple and an inside-the-park home run and two RBIs. Berning also had three hits and drove in three runs.

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