Lakers win two, get early upset of second-seeded Paynesville in opening day of 3-2A tournament

Seniors Darion Alexander and Aaron Ver Steeg both throw complete games.

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Minnewaska senior Aaron Ver Steeg pitches in a game against Spectrum midway through the 2021 season. Ver Steeg threw a complete-game 2-hitter and had two hits and two RBIs at the plate in leading the Lakers to a 5-1 win over second-seeded Paynesville in the Section 3-2A tournament on May 29, 2021. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

The Minnewaska baseball team was confident that its top two pitchers would give the Lakers a chance to win in the playoffs, and that’s exactly what happened in the first two rounds of the Section 3-2A tournament on Saturday.

The Lakers, seeded third in the North half of the section, beat second-seeded Paynesville 5-1 after beating sixth-seeded Redwood Valley in a 3-2 final in the opener.

Seniors Aaron Ver Steeg and Darion Alexander both threw complete games. Ver Steeg tossed a 2-hitter in the win over Paynesville while working around six walks, and Alexander struck out eight and scattered six hits and four walks in the win over Redwood Falls.

Ver Steeg had a big day at the plate too. He homered and drove in all three runs against Redwood Falls, and also added two hits and two RBIs against Paynesville.

The Lakers (13-8) now play top-seeded Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (18-2) at Atwater on June 1 at 5 p.m.


REDWOOD VALLEY 000 020 0 - 2 6 1

MINNEWASKA 003 000 X - 3 5 1

MINNEWASKA PITCHING - Darion Alexander - W, 7IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 8SO

MINNEWASKA OFFENSE - Alexander - 0-3; Mitchell Gruber - 1-2, 1 run; Aaron Ver Steeg - 1-2, HR, BB, 1 run, 3 RBI; Sam Hested - 1-3; Riley Johnson - 1-3; Dalton Friedrichs - 0-3; Torii Johnson - 0-3; PJ Johnson - 0-3; Hunter Johnson - 1-2, 2B, 1 run

MINNEWASKA 100 031 0 - 5 8 1

PAYNESVILLE 100 000 0 - 1 2 1

MINNEWASKA PITCHING - Aaron Ver Steeg - W, 7IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 6BB, 4SO

MINNEWASKA OFFENSE - Alexander - 2-3, BB, 2 runs; Gruber - 0-3, 1 run; Ver Steeg - 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Hested - 1-4, RBI; R. Johnson - 1-4; Friedrichs - 1-4; T. Johnson - 0-2, BB, 1 run; P. Johnson - 1-2; H. Johnson - 0-2, BB; Alec Larson - 1 run


Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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