The Morris Junior Legion baseball team jumped out to a 5-0 lead and was able to fend off a comeback attempt to defeat Brooten 7-5 in the District 7 North-East playoff championship Saturday, Aug. 3, at Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood. Morris was the No. 2 seed in the postseason, and Brooten was the No. 4 seed, but upset top-seeded Starbuck 1-0 Friday, Aug. 2 to earn its spot in the title game.
Morris' Zach Bruns started the game on the mound and got out of an early jam, with runners on second and third, with back-to-back strikeouts. He had nine K's in five innings on the hill.
For Morris' first at bat, the hits came quick. After a lead off walk by Brandon Jergenson, Zach Bruns hit an RBI triple to score Jergenson and give Morris the lead. Bruns scored on a double by Will Breuer then Breuer scored on a single by Riley Reimers to give Morris a 3-0 lead after the first inning.
In the second for Morris, a ground out allowed Ross Marty to score then Brandon Jergenson stole home to give the home team a 5-0 lead.
Morris extended its lead to 7-0 in the fifth on a two-run single by Sam Kleinwolterink.
Brooten was able to get on the scoreboard in the sixth after stringing together five hits, including back-to-back triples, but could get no closer.
Breuer, Reimers and Marty all had two hits in the game to lead Morris offensively. Tristan Raths came in the final 1.2 innings to earn the save on the mound. He gave up three earned runs on five hits and struck out two.
Morris, now 19-6 on the season, will open state tournament play against Esko at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, in St. Charles. The loser will play the loser of Luverne and St. Charles at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10 with the two winners playing at 7 p.m., in St. Charles. LaCrescent, Sacred Heart/MACCRAY, Holy Family and Aitkin round out the rest of the state tournament bracket.
Morris 7, Brooten 5
Brooten...........................000 005 0 - 5 13 0
Morris (19-6)...............320 020 x - 7 11 0
HITTING - Brooten: Jackson Peter 2-3 3b rbi r, Will Vanbeck 3-4 3b rbi r, Ashton Dingman 2-4 rbi r, Gavin Kampsen 2-3 2b, Andrew Weller 1-4 rbi, Blaine Fisher 3-4 2b r... Morris: Zach Bruns 1-4 3b rbi-2 r, Will Breuer 2-3 2b rbi r, Riley Reimers 2-3 rbi, Tristan Raths 1-3 r, Dylan Rose 1-1, Derek Giese 1-3, Ross Marty 2-2 r, Sam Kleinwolterink 1-1 rbi-2
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) - Brooten: Peter (L) 2-3-5-5-3-1, Dingman 4-8-2-2-1-2... Morris: Bruns (W) 5.1-8-2-2-3-9, Raths (Sv) 1.2-5-3-3-0-2