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VFW opens with 5-inning win

The Morris VFW baseball team opened the 2009 season on Tuesday, June 9 with an 11-1, five-inning win over New London-Spicer in Morris. On Friday, June 12, the Morris team lost a 3-2 game at Willmar.

Morris 11

NL-Spicer 1

Alex Erickson threw a complete game no-hitter for Morris, allowing just the one unearned run with one walk and nine strikeouts.

Morris got off to a quick start in the bottom of the first when Erickson led off with a double and he went to third on a Tyler Hansen single, who then promptly stole second base. After an out was recorded, Eric Riley doubled in two runs. Travis Rinkenberger then singled in Riley with two outs and Morris led 4-0 after one inning. Rinkenberger would later score when New London Spicer committed an error on a ball hit by Cole Riley. 

Erickson and Hansen again got things going in the second inning when Erickson drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on another Hansen single. Ryan Beyer then drove in Erickson with a sacrifice fly and a 5-0 Morris lead.

The big inning for Morris was the fourth when they scored six times to take an 11-1 lead. Mitch Kill led off with a single and Ethan Bruer walked. Erickson then reached on a fielder's choice and Hansen walked to plate one run and to bring up Beyer with the bases loaded. Beyer responded by driving a pitch deep over the left field wall for a grand slam home run. A walk to Eric Riley, and then consecutive singles by Rinkenberger and Cole Riley, accounted for the final run.

In the second game, a five-inning contest that does not count in the league standings, Morris won by a score of 3-1. Hansen pitched the first two innings, giving up one unearned run on one hit, two walks and he struck out four. Travis Rinkenberger pitched two scoreless innings and he gave up one hit with two walks and three strikeouts. Kill retired New London-Spicer in order in the fifth inning recording one strikeout.

Cole Riley, Hansen, and Beyer hit safely for Morris with Bruer, Hansen and Rinkenberger scoring the three Morris runs. Cole Riley, Hansen, and Beyer got RBIs.

Willmar I 3

Morris 2

Willmar I topped Morris by a score of 3-2 in Willmar on Friday, June 12. Eric Riley and Nathaniel Swoyer locked up in a pitcher's dual on the night as Morris collected just four hits and Willmar just six. Swoyer struck out 14 Morris hitters.

Morris jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Beyer hit a one-out double and scored when Eric Riley reached on a Willmar error. Riley then stole second, went to third on another error, and then stole home for the second run. 

The lead held up until the bottom of the third when Willmar I scored twice to tie the game. A single and a double to lead off the inning put runners on second and third, but the lead runner was erased when catcher Beyer got the ball quickly to Riley at the plate on a wild pitch for the first out. After another out was recorded, a hit batter and a steal again put runners on second and third. Morris then committed a costly error, allowing both runners to score to tie the game.

Willmar I took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth when a one-out walk and a single put runners on second and third as the hitter advanced to second on the throw to third base. An infield single that deflected off of pitcher Riley scored one run, but second baseman Brody Bahr threw out the second runner at the plate to keep the lead at 3-2. Morris, however, was not able to score again and they took the loss to even their season's record at 1-1. 

Beyer had a triple and Tyler Hansen and Cole Riley had singles for the other Morris hits.

Willmar I cancelled the second game on the night.