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Ortonville ends Braves' run in section playoffs

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Ortonville ends Braves' run in section playoffs
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

     Menahga’s quest to qualify for the state Class A baseball tournament ended Thursday.

     The Braves stayed alive in the double-elimination portion of the Section 6A tournament at Fergus Falls with a 5-4 win in 10 innings over Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley and a 6-2 win over Barnesville at Fergus Falls last Tuesday. Menahga saw its run to reach the section title game fall one win short after being eliminated with a 4-0 loss to Ortonville Thursday.

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     The Braves stayed alive in dramatic fashion last Tuesday when Stetson Burkman reached on an error and scored on Tristan Kjellberg’s RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning in eliminating C-G-B.

     A double by Bob Lusti, Burkman’s RBI single and Jeff Skoog’s run-scoring grounder gave Menahga a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.

     Levi Schwartz’s two-run single made it 4-1 in the sixth before C-G-B scored three runs in the seventh to force extra innings.

     Lusti picked up the win in relief, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven in four innings. Burkman started and gave up one run on three hits and five walks with five strikeouts over the first six innings. Menahga’s offense produced only five hits in the game.

     Lusti went the distance against Barnesville, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts as the Braves advanced.

     Frank Moren walked and scored on Lusti’s sacrifice fly in the first. Kjellberg singled, stole second and scored on Lusti’s RBI single in the second. A single by Skoog and an RBI grounder by Brandon Junes led to two runs in the fourth. Lusti scored in the fifth as Menahga claimed a 5-1 lead.

     Kjellberg went 2 for 4 and Skoog went 2 for 3 as Menahga had six hits.

     Tony Schake threw a four-hit shutout and struck out 11 in leading Ortonville to the championship game.

     Menahga’s main threat was in the fourth inning when Burkman singled with two outs, Schwartz was hit by a pitch and Skoog singled, but Schake left the bases loaded.

     Burkman took the loss, allowing one earned run on five hits and five walks while striking out seven in a complete-game effort.

     The Braves, who were the No. 2 seed in the north, ended the season with a 14-7 record. New York Mills defeated Ortonville 8-1 in Thursday’s title game to advance to state. New York Mills, the No. 1 seed in the north, advances to state with a 19-2 record. C-G-B, the No. 1 seed in the south, ended with a 14-5 record. Barnesville, the No. 3 seed in the north, ended with a 12-6 record. Ortonville, the No. 4 seed in the south, ended with an 11-7 record.

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