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Post 29 stays undefeated in District 7 playoff action

Tyler Hansen pitched a complete game two-hitter as Morris Post 29 opened District 7 Northwest playoff baseball action with a 6-2 win over Clinton on July 15 at Chizek Field in Morris. Hansen allowed just one earned run, walking three and striking out five in the win.

Clinton got on the board first when a walk, sacrifice, and a ground out led to a run in the top of the first inning. Post 29 tied the score in the bottom of the frame when Alex Erickson led off with a double, but was erased on the base paths on a ground ball off of the bat of Hansen. Hansen stole second and came around on a Ryan Beyer double.

Morris scored all the runs needed on the night in the bottom of the second, sending nine batters to the plate while scoring five times. Cole Riley reached on an error to start the big inning and Mitch Kill walked. Travis Rinkenberger then singled in Riley and Ethan Bruer doubled in Kill. After an out was recorded Hansen hit a two-run single and went to third on a Dustin Sauter double. Beyer drove in Hansen with a sacrifice fly to make the score 6-1.

That would be all the scoring for Post 29 and Clinton added an unearned run in the top of the sixth for the 6-2 final score.

Erickson and Hansen each had two hits for Morris and Hansen and Beyer each drove in two.

In second-round action of the District 7 Northwest Legion baseball tournament Morris Post 29 defeated Wheaton 3-2 to advance to the championship game. The double elimination tournament was held at Chizek Field in Morris on July 17-18.

Alex Erickson pitched another gem for Post 29, holding Wheaton scoreless until the seventh inning when they struck for their two runs, but Erickson retired the final batter with the tying run on first base to preserve the victory. He gave up five hits, walked just one, and struck out 11 in running his season's record to 4-0.

Post 29 took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Cole Riley led off with a single and Mitch Kill followed with a single to move Riley to third with Kill advancing to second on the throw. Ethan Bruer then delivered a sacrifice fly to left to score Riley.

The game remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fifth as Erickson and the Wheaton starter, Zach Fridgen, continued to put up scoreless innings. After retiring the first two batters in the fifth, Fridgen hung a curveball to Ryan Beyer and he deposited it over the right-center field fence for a solo home run. Eric Riley then lined the next pitch high off of the right field wall for a double and Brady Valnes delivered a single up the middle to drive in E. Riley with what would turn out to be the winning run.

Wheaton would not go quietly in the top of the seventh as they scored two runs on two singles and a double, but the rally came up short as Post 29 advanced with the 3-2 win.

E. Riley and Kill each had two hits for Morris in the game and another strong factor in the win was Post 29 playing errorless ball behind Erickson.

Morris Post 29 and Madison squared off for the Northwest championship of District 7 Legion baseball on July 18 in Morris. Post 29 came into the double elimination game undefeated so Madison would have to beat them twice to claim the title. Morris prevailed in the first game 5-1, advancing to the District 7 final four to be held in Montevideo through July 24.

Eric Riley pitched what might have been his best game of the season on Sunday, shutting down Madison on just five hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts. The only run for Madison was unearned. Madison had advanced to the championship by defeating Clinton and Wheaton earlier in the tournament after losing their initial game against Wheaton on Thursday.

Scott Bormann was the starting pitcher for Madison and he pitched very well despite battling some control problems. Morris jumped to an early lead when Dusty Sauter singled with two outs in the bottom of the first and stole second. He scored on a Ryan Beyer single to left field.

The big inning for Post 29 came in the second when they scored three times without the benefit of a hit to take a 4-0 lead. Brady Valnes led off with a walk and reached second on a wild pitch. After two outs were recorded Mitch Kill reached on an error advancing Valnes to third. A balk by Bormann scored Valnes and Kill scored on another Madison error. Tyler Hansen then walked, Sauter was hit by a pitch, and Beyer also walked to force in the final run of the inning.

Madison picked up their run in the top of the fourth, aided by the only three errors that Post 29 would commit in the game, with the run scoring on an errant pick-off attempt. Morris immediately got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Kill walked, went to second on a Hansen single, and scored when Beyer singled to drive in his third run of the game.

That would prove to be all the support that E. Riley needed as he closed out the game with three scoreless innings.

Beyer was the only Morris player with two hits along with his three RBIs.