By David Merrill
Photo by David Merrill
Memebers of the Marshall Blue VFW team celebrate and mob pitcher Mason Penske after Penske struck out the final batter in a 5-2 win over Pipestone. The win gave the team the VFW District three championship and a spot in the state tournament.
MARSHALL - Marshall Blue pitcher Mason Penske ended the VFW District three Championship game the way he wanted to- a strikeout.
It finished off a 5-2 victory for Marshall Blue and earned them a state tournament birth.
"I wish I had ended it with a curveball, but I was still able to get a strikeout, so that was good," Penske said. "I definitely wanted to end it that way.
Penske's final strikeout was his seventh of the game as he allowed just three hits and walked just one batter.
He also had a solid game offensively, going 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Marshall Blue manager Chace Pollock felt like he had good stuff the whole game.
"He did a good job of attacking hitters and letting his defense work," Pollock said. "He only walked one guy, which was huge."
This win was coming on the heels of two lopsided victories in which their bats played a bigger part than their defense.
The road to the championship inclued a 15-2 win over Pipestone and an 11-2 win over Worthington.
Marshall did all of its damage in the opening fram in this game, opening a 5-0 lead after the first inning.
Penske opened up the scoring with an RBI double before Drew Hmielewski brought in Penske.
Thompson then hit a double to score Dylan Criquet-Danielson and JacobBuysse brought Ryan VanMoer in on a sacrifice.
Mitch Pauling topped off the inning with an RBI single that scored VanMoer.
Pipestone manager Rick Zollner knew his team dug a hole for themselves after that first inning.
"They pretty much hit everything we threw up there," Zollner said. "Really the only difference is, it could have been a four-run inning instead of five. We dropped the ball on a guy stealing that would have kept it at four, but it still would have enough for them to get the win."
Pipestone got in the board in the fourth inning and a sacrifice fly got its second run in the top of the sixth, but they were never able to recover.
Hmielewski finished the game withs one RBI as he went 0-for-2 while they also got RBI from Thompson, Buysse and Pauling.
Each team committed three errors in the game.
Marshall will head to Brainerd and open up state tournament action Aug. 7 with time and opponent to be determined.
Marshall Blue 11
Jacob Deines picked up the win on the mound for Marshall Blue as he helped send them to the championship game.
Deines didn't record a strikeout and walked one batter while allowing one run on three hits in three innings of work.
Mason Penske pitched two innings in relief and struck out three while walking one.
Justin Mettling finished off the final two innings with two strikeouts.
Dylan Criquet-Danielson and Drew Hmielewski each had three RBI while Marshall got two from Matt Thompson and one each from Penske, Ryan VanMoer and Jacob Buysse.
Tucker Sorenson and Jed Jewett had the RBI for Worthington.
Marshall Blue 15
Marshall opened up the tournament with a dominating 15-2 win over Worthington.
Drew Hmielewski led the charge offensively with four RBI to go with three from Dylan Criquet Danielson, two fromsa Mason Penske and one each from Nick Fosvick, Ryan VanMoer, Jacob Buysse and PJ Bot.
Hmielewski had two doubles in the contest while Thompson and Criquet-Danielson each had one double.
Thomas Fischer took the win on the mound, striking out eight and walking five in five innings of work.
Jacob Deines threw the final two innings and struck out two while walking one.