Midway picked the perfect time to play trademark Snurdbirds baseball.
The Snurdbirds, who ended the regular season with a 1-13 record to earn the Lake and Pine League’s No. 6 seed for the Region 14C amateur baseball tournament, advanced to the second weekend with three wins during the opening weekend at Deer Creek.
Midway opened the postseason with a 13-2 win in eight innings over Sebeka (the No. 4 seed in the Lake and Pine League) on Aug. 2 before being thrown into the losers’ bracket with a 5-1 loss to Bluffton (the No. 1 seed in the Hi 10 League) on Aug. 3.
The Snurdbirds stayed alive in the double-elimination portion of the tournament by defeating New York Mills (the No. 3 seed in the Hi 10 League) 4-2 and Deer Creek (the No. 2 seed in the Hi 10 League) 10-6 on Aug. 4.
Bluffton advanced to the region finals and earned a berth in the state Class C tournament with wins over Staples (11-0 in seven innings) and Perham (9-8). Midway and Staples will meet Friday night (Aug. 9) at 7:30 p.m. with the winner playing Perham on Saturday (Aug. 10) at 1 p.m. for a chance to play Bluffton in the championship game on Saturday (Aug. 10) at 4 p.m. Perham will host all of those games. The winner and runner-up will represent Region 14C at the state Class C tournament, which will be held Aug. 16 through Sept. 2 at Maple Lake, Delano and Dassel.
Stetson Burkman threw a five-hitter and was supported by a 10-hit offensive attack as Midway opened the playoffs by eliminating Sebeka.
The Snurdbirds took a 6-0 lead by scoring twice in the first inning and four times in the second before ending this game early via the 10-run rule with a five-run eighth to snap a nine-game losing streak.
Preston Riewer (2 for 4, two runs, two RBI), Steve Wetterling (2 for 5, two RBI), Sam Beck (2 for 5, one run, one RBI) and Sam Champa (2 for 4, two runs) accounted for eight hits while Chris Baso added a two-run home run while walking four times and scoring three runs. Burkman (1 for 4, one RBI) had the other hit while Sean Dormanen, CJ Maki, Alex White and Quincy Jantz scored a run apiece.
Burkman allowed two unearned runs with five walks and seven strikeouts over eight innings in a complete-game performance.
Cory Odland also went the distance against Bluffton, allowing one earned run on five hits and three walks in eight innings in taking the loss. Jake Dykhoff scattered nine hits and walked two while striking out 11 for the Braves as Midway stranded 12 runners on base.
Baso drove in Champa with Midway’s only run in the seventh inning. Bluffton scored three times in the third and single runs in the second and sixth to build a 5-0 lead.
Riewer (2 for 5), Burkman (2 for 4), Baso (1 for 3), Wetterling (1 for 3), Odland (1 for 3), Dormanen (1 for 4) and Champa (1 for 4) accounted for Midway’s hits.
Burkman threw another complete game as Midway eliminated New York Mills.
The Snurdbirds took a 2-0 lead in the first before New York Mills tied it at 2-2 in the bottom of that inning. Midway scored the winning run in the third before adding an insurance run in the eighth.
Alexander Jimenez went 2 for 4 with three RBI and Riewer went 2 for 4 with a double, one run scored and one RBI to lead Midway’s six-hit attack. Wetterling (1 for 4) and Dormanen (1 for 4) had the other hits while Baso walked three times and scored twice. Odland scored the other run.
Burkman allowed nine hits and two unearned runs with three walks and nine strikeouts.
Jimenez hit a three-run homer and Pete Marjamaa scattered seven hits and three walks while allowing three earned runs in a complete-game performance as the Snurdbirds stayed alive and eliminated Deer Creek.
The Shockers led 3-0 before Midway rallied by scoring once in the fourth, five times in the fifth, once in the seventh and three times in the eighth.
Dormanen (4 for 5, two RBI), Baso (3 for 4, two runs, one RBI) and Burkman (3 for 6, two RBI) led the Snurdbirds’ offense. Riewer (1 for 5 with a double and a run scored), Wetterling (1 for 5, two runs, one RBI), Jimenez (1 for 5, two runs, four RBI) and Marjamaa (2 for 3, one run, one RBI) rounded out Midway’s 15-hit attack. Maki also scored a run.
Marjamaa struck out two as Midway improved to 4-14 on the season.
The Park Rapids Esox were eliminated from the region tournament with losses to Deer Creek and Staples.
Seven errors proved costly as the Esox (the No. 3 seed in the Lake and Pine) opened the tournament with a 6-5 loss in 13 innings to Deer Creek at Perham on Aug. 3. Park Rapids stayed alive by eliminating Nimrod (the No. 1 seed in the Lake and Pine) 9-4 as Clayton Gallus went the distance and led the offense with a grand-slam home run, a triple and a double. The Esox were eliminated with a 9-8 loss to Staples (the No. 2 seed in the Lake and Pine) in the second game on Aug. 4 at Perham.
Park Rapids ended the season with an 8-9 record.
Wolf Lake (the No. 5 seed in the Lake and Pine) was eliminated from the Region 14C tournament with a 5-1 loss to Perham (the No. 4 seed in the Hi 10) in a play-in game at Perham on Aug. 2.