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Alexandria splits CLC title with Brainerd

Third baseman Travis Krueger prepares to throw to first base during the early innings of Wednesday's game. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)

Brainerd ensured it would have a share of the Central Lakes Conference title with Alexandria this season after winning a 4-2 game against the Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon at Knute Nelson Ballpark.

The win ensured that both teams would finish tied for first place in the CLC with 12-2 records.

A rally for the Warriors at the top of the seventh inning proved to be the difference as both teams were tied at 2-2. 

Relief pitcher Blake Stockert managed to pick up two quick outs before a Drew Sannes single kept the inning alive. That is when an infield pop-up off the bat of Nate DeChaine was lost in the sun by the Cardinals infielders, putting runners on first and third.

Following a DeChaine stolen base, Logan McElfresh singled home the pair of runners for a 4-2 Brainerd lead.

Grant Toivonen, the Cardinals’ first baseman, said they are focused on catching pop-ups in the future as a missed play could end their season in the section tournament.

“I wish we could have it back,” he said. “We probably would have caught it and we would still be playing right now.”

Starting pitcher Dan Kuhn went five innings and allowed only two runs, managing to spread six Warriors hits and four walks. Although he was unable to pick up the win in the game, Kuhn felt he was able to mix his pitches up enough to keep the Warriors batters from taking command.

“I knew they were a good fastball hitting team, so I wanted to mix it up a bit,” Kuhn said. “It worked out fairly well.”

Head coach Russ Hinrichs was happy with the way Kuhn pitched in the game, and said it came down to not picking up enough hits on offense and a few missed plays in the field.

“The bottom line is we have to do a better job at the plate and obviously we have to make plays in the field,” Hinrichs said.


BRAINERD 100 0 1 0 2 – 4 9 0

ALEXANDRIA 000 020 0 – 2 5 0

ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Dan Kuhn – 5IP, 2R, 2ER, 5SO, 4BB; Blake Stockert – L, 2IP, 2R, 2ER, 3SO, 0BB

BRAINERD PITCHING – Tom Graumann – W, 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 5SO, 3BB; Tory Miller – 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 2SO

ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE – Grant Toivonen – 1-4, 2 RBIs; Toby Helgeson – 0-3; Parker Revering – 0-2, BB; Mitch Thompson – 1-3; Blake Stockert – 0-3; Parker Bowden – 1-3; Zach Peterson – 1-1, 2 BB; 1 run; Casey Hammerback – 1-3, run; Travis Krueger – 0-2, SAC

BRAINERD OFFENSE – Tory Miller – 1-4, run; Drew Sannes – 2-3, 2 runs, BB; Nate DeChaine – 2-3, 1 RBI, 1 run, BB; Logan McElfresh – 3-4, 3 RBIs

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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