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Morris VFW takes 3rd at Hutch Invite

The Morris VFW Post 5039 baseball team participated in the Hutchinson Invitational tournament June 20-21 and came away with a third-place finish.

Post 5039 defeated Hutchinson in their opening round by a score of 10-6 and then lost to Dassel-Cokato 14-2 later on Saturday. They bounced back to defeat Starbuck 11-1 in the third-place game on Sunday.

Morris now has a 5-2 record on the season.

Morris 10

Hutchinson 6

Travis Rinkenberger started on the mound for Morris in the opening game against Hutchinson and gave up a first-inning run as Hutchinson took an early lead.

After a scoreless first inning, Morris answered by scoring five times in the bottom of the second inning. Walks to Eric Riley and Brady Valnes put runners on first and second and Rinkenberger advanced each runner on a sacrifice bunt. Another walk to Cole Riley loaded the bases and Mitch Kill drove in a run with a single and another run scored on an error. Ethan Bruer singled in another run and then Tyler Hansen added a run-scoring single with two outs. The final run of the inning scored on a wild pitch.

Hutchinson closed the gap to 5-3 with two runs in the top of the third, but Morris regained a more comfortable four-run cushion with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Valnes and Rinkenberger walked with one out and C. Riley drove in one run with a base hit. The second run scored when Kill reached on an error. 

Hansen took over the pitching duties in the fourth and eventually picked up the win in relief.

Hutchinson closed the gap to 7-6 heading into the bottom of the sixth when Post 5039 tacked on three insurance runs for the final score of 10-6. Ryan Beyer worked a one-out walk and E. Riley followed up with a drive over the center field fence for a two-run homer. Valnes then reached on an error and came around to score on an RBI ground out off of the bat of C. Riley.

Dassel-Cokato 14

Morris 2

In the second round of the tournament Morris ran into a very good Dassel-Cokato team. E. Riley got the start on the mound and was sharp early, retiring the first four batters, three via strikeout. A couple of bloop base hits, a ground out, and a long double then plated two runs for D-C. They added another run in the third when they scored without the benefit of a hit on a controversial play at the plate.

Morris closed the gap to 3-2 with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. E. Riley led off with a single and Valnes walked.

Rinkenberger then drove in a run with a single and C. Riley hit a sacrifice fly, but that would be all of the scoring on the day for Morris. 

Dassel-Cokato added three unearned runs in the top of the fifth off of E. Riley when two big two-out Morris errors led to a 6-2 D-C advantage. Riley then left the mound and D-C poured it on in the final two innings, scoring eight more times to make the final score 14-2.

Morris 11

Starbuck 1

Alex Erickson pitched a complete five-inning game against Starbuck for third place. Morris led throughout this contest which was shortened by the 10-run rule. Alex gave up just one earned run on three hits, no walks, and seven strikeouts.

Post 5039 scored twice in the first with two outs when E. Riley and Valnes walked and Rinkenberger and C. Riley had run-scoring singles.

Starbuck scored a run in the top of the fourth, but Morris answered with three in the bottom of the inning and added five in the bottom of the fifth to end the game.

In the fourth, Taylor Hufford walked and scored on an Erickson double. Erickson scored on an E. Riley double, who eventually scored on the back end of a double steal.

In the fifth, C. Riley singled and Hufford and Bruer walked to load the bases. Two runs scored when Erickson reached on an error, and two more scored on an E. Riley double. Beyer then scored the run that ended the game on a wild pitch.