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Baseball: Pitching shines as Urbank wins Class C state opener

Alex Koep threw seven strong innings, and Andrew Johnson shut the door after that as the Bombers advanced to the second round of the state tournament with a 4-2 win over Sartell.

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Alex Koep takes an at-bat during the Region 16C Tournament this summer. Koep shined on the mound in the Class C state tournament opener on Aug. 20, throwing seven strong innings where he struck out 12 to help the Urbank Bombers to a 4-2 win over the Sartell Muskies.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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FARIBAULT — The Urbank Bombers made good on their first game at the state tournament in 21 years.

The Bombers got seven strong innings from Alex Koep on Saturday as they beat the Sartell Muskies in a 4-2 game. Urbank will now play the St. Patrick Irish this coming Friday in Faribault at 7:30 p.m.

Koep had a no-hitter through six innings. Sartell got four hits total on him, but the lefty was in control on his way to 12 strikeouts in earning the win. Andrew Johnson threw two scoreless innings to wrap up the win. Johnson also went 2-for-4 with two runs scored from the plate.

A two-out rally in the top of the eighth inning gave the Urbank Bombers a 4-2 win over the Sauk Centre Titans in a Minnesota Baseball Association Region 16C elimination game. This gave Urbank one of the two Class C State Tournament spots given to the top two finishers in Region 16. Fergus Falls defeated Urbank 11-0 in seven innings in the region championship game.

Urbank got two first-inning runs. Matt Ferley and Johnson had singles, and an error allowed both runs to score. It was a 4-0 game in the third inning when Johnson and Koep each singled, and Austen Hadley drove them in with a double.

Brian Schellinger halted Koep’s no-hitter in the seventh inning with a single. The Muskies got a little momentum after that, using a bloop single and an infield single in front of an Andrew Deters run-scoring single to put up two runs in the seventh inning.

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But that is as close as Sartell could get as Koep and Johnson combined to stymie the Muskies much of the night.

The Bombers’ next opponent out of St. Patrick got a first-round bye in the state tournament. The winner of Urbank and St. Patrick on Aug. 26 will play a Sept. 3 game at 4:30 p.m. in Dundas.

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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