Baseball roundup: Montevideo scores a big win over Paynesville

May 30—PAYNESVILLE — The Montevideo baseball team posted four runs in the sixth inning to break a 2-2 tie and scurry past Paynesville in section play on Thursday.

Montevideo earned a 6-3 victory over the Bulldogs to remain in the winners' bracket of the Section 3AA playoffs. The Thunder Hawks (18-4) advance to play Luverne, the top seed from the south half of the bracket, in the semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Legion Field in Marshall. The Cardinals (17-5) beat fifth-seeded Jackson County Central 9-0.

"Paynesville, year in and year out, is a quality program," Montevideo head coach Tim Epema said. "Beating them twice in a week and a half — these kids fear no one.

"They believe in themselves and they believe in each other."

Paynesville (16-5) drops down to the elimination bracket and plays the loser between top-seeded Minnewaska and fifth-seeded New London-Spicer at noon Saturday with a location to be determined. Minnewaska is host to NLS at 3 p.m. Friday at Marthaler Field. The winner between the Lakers and Wildcats advances to play the south's third-seeded Windom at noon Saturday at Marshall.

"They're going to be a real tough team on Saturday," Epema said.

Following a Gannon Reidinger single and a Brody Dack double, Sam Knoop, who pinch ran for Reidinger, beat a throw to the plate as Landon Olson hit into a fielder's choice to give the Thunder Hawks a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning. In the next at-bat, Jackson Baldwin hit a two-run RBI single on a 1-2 count to score Dack and Olson. Montevideo's sixth run, scored by Dan Gunlogson, came off an RBI double from Griffin Epema.

"Hitting is contagious," said Epema, whose team recorded four of its 10 hits in the sixth. "The bottom of our order did a nice job of setting the tone."

Paynesville cut Montevideo's lead down to 6-3 in the sixth off a sacrifice fly from Brayden VanderBeek, which scored Abe Brunner.

Cooper Dack earned the win for the Thunder Hawks. The senior right-hander allowed one hit and a run with one strikeout and a walk across five innings in relief of Griffin Epema.

Griffin Epema got the start for Montevideo and escaped bases-loaded situations in the back-to-back innings early.

The freshman right-hander struck out Esau Nelson and snagged a Brayden Pung grounder, resulting in a put out to get out of the first inning after Reed Johnson made it a 1-0 game off an RBI single by Bryce VanderBeek.

Griffin Epema, after an intentional walk of Isaac Lieser and a walk of Bryce VanderBeek, forced Josiah Utsch into a fly out to limit the damage to one Paynesville run in the second inning. Brandon Carlson scored on a passed ball earlier in the frame to make it a 2-1 game.

"Griffin did a nice job of getting out of tough situations," Epema said. "Cooper came in and did an outstanding job.

"Not letting the flood gates open at the start of the game was huge."

Montevideo's first two runs came after Ben Gunlogson scored on an error in the first inning and Reidinger hit a two-out RBI single to score Griffin Epema in the third inning.

Russell-Tyler-Ruthton's Eli Determan and Gavin Schreurs combined for a shutout to eliminate Yellow Medicine East at Yankee Field in Milroy.

RTR plays at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Irish Yard in Milroy in another elimination game against the winner of the Adrian/Ellsworth vs. Murray County Central game.

Dawson-Boyd and Lac qui Parle Valley meet in the winners' bracket semifinals at noon Saturday at the Irish Yard.

Determan, who got the start, had two strikeouts and allowed three hits and five walks in five innings to earn the win. Schreurs struck out one and allowed two hits in a pair of innings.

Sean Griesse went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs for the Knights. Chase Christianson, Seth Cowell, Isaac Dagel and Tyler Wichmann each had one hit.

Adam Stengel batted 2-for-3 for the Sting. Drew Almich, Eric Jimenez and Gage Wilke recorded one hit each.

Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City's comeback attempt fell short and New Life Academy ended the Falcons' season at the M Health Fairview Sports Center in Woodbury.

Noah Hahn earned the save for New Life Academy. He went 1- 2/3 innings with four strikeouts, allowing one hit and a walk.

Gage Degner, Regan Elton, Tucker Johnson and Jonas Morrison each hit doubles for ACGC. Isaiah Renne hit a solo home run in the Falcons' four-run sixth inning which cut New Life Academy's lead to 10-9.

Johnson and Jaxon Drange both had a pair of hits for the Falcons. Johnson went 2-for-5 with a double, two runs and a steal. Drange was 2-for-2 with one run, an RBI, two walks and a pair of stolen bases.

New Life Academy, the fifth seed, plays second-seeded Mayer Lutheran in another elimination game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Mayer. Mayer Lutheran knocked off Lester Prairie 10-0.