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Morris VFW improves to 3-1 in district play

The Morris VFW baseball team improved to 3-1 in District 5 play with a 10-3 win over Willmar II Friday at Chizek Field.

Eric Riley went 2-for-3 and drove in five runs to lead the VFW team.

Ethan Bruer started on the mound for Morris and pitched over four innings, allowing three runs, (two earned), giving up six hits, walking four, and striking out four.

Tyler Hansen came in to get the save, pitching two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit while striking out four.

Willmar II got a run in the third, but Morris answered with one of their own in the bottom of the inning when Alex Erickson reached on an error, Hansen walked, and Erickson came around on an E. Riley sacrifice fly.

Willmar II got single runs in the third and fifth innings to take a 3-1 lead before Morris got their bats going, scoring nine times in their final two at bats to pull out the win.

The fifth inning rally started with two outs when Hansen singled and Ryan Beyer reached on an error.  E. Riley then had a two-run double to tie the game. After Brady Valnes walked, Travis Rinkenberger greeted a new Willmar II pitcher with another two-run double and Morris had a 5-3 lead.

Morris broke the game open in the sixth when Cole Riley led off with a single and he was replaced by pinch runner Cody Hickman who stole second. A walk to Mitch Kill and a bunt single by Bruer loaded the bases before Erickson drove in two with a single and Hansen also had a run-scoring hit. Beyer reached on another error before E. Riley closed out the scoring with a two-run single.

Willmar II shortened the second game to three innings and they came away with a 6-5 win. Pitching for Morris in the game were Beyer, Kill, Taylor Hufford, and Rinkenberger. Hickman, Hufford, and Rinkenberger led the offense, each going 2-for-2 while Bruer, Beyer, and Valnes each came away with one hit.