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Morris VFW opens District 5 tourney with win over Montevideo

The Morris VFW baseball team opened District 5 tournament play with a 9-2 win over Montevideo on Tuesday at Chizek Field in Morris.

Post 5039 advances to play Willmar I at 11 a.m. today (Saturday) in the double elimination tournament in Spicer.

Tuesday's game started out as a pitchers' dual between Eric Riley of Morris and Troy Hendrickson of Montevideo.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when Morris struck for two runs to take the lead. Tyler Hansen started the rally with a one-out single. Ryan Beyer replaced Hansen on the bases when he grounded into a fielder's choice for the second out. Riley came through with a long triple to right field to score Beyer with the first run of the game. Brady Valnes then beat out an infield single to score Riley.

Montevideo tied the game in the top of the fifth inning with two singles which scored the first runner and the second run came around on a ground out after a stolen base and a balk.

Morris regained the lead in the bottom of the inning when Alex Erickson reached on a two-out error, stole second, and scored on a single off of the bat of Tanner Berning.

Riley held Montevideo scoreless in the sixth with some help from Post 5039 right fielder Travis Rinkenberger who went deep into the gap in right center to haul in a long fly ball with a runner on second base.

Morris put the game away in the bottom of the sixth, scoring six times. Beyer led off with an infield single and he went to third on a Riley base hit. Riley stole second and both runners scored on a Valnes single. After another stolen base pinch hitter Cole Riley got another infield single to put runners on first and third. Pinch runner Evan Schultz then stole second and Nate Gibson and Rinkenberger hit consecutive run-scoring base hits. After the first out was recorded Gibson scored on a fielder's choice ground out by Berning, and Rinkenberger scored on a wild pitch to end the scoring.

Riley retired Montevideo in the seventh to secure the victory.

"Morris played the best game of the year defensively as they did not commit an error in the game," said coach Gary Hansen.

Riley only walked one Montevideo batter.