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Baseball: Urbank Bombers punch ticket to state tournament; Fergus Falls wins Region 16C title

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.

4-Urbank Team Photo-DSC_9781.JPG
The Urbank Bombers pose with their runner-up award after finishing second in the Region 16C Tournament. Urbank beat Sauk Centre 4-2 to get to the championship game and secure a state-tournament bid.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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KENSINGTON - In the top of the eighth inning in an elimination game against the Sauk Centre Titans on Saturday, the Urbank Bombers needed a spark.

Urbank trailed 2-1 with two outs in the inning and had been shut out after scoring one run in the top of the first inning.

Alex Koep was that spark for the Bombers as he hit a triple and scored on an RBI single by Austen Hadley to tie the game at two. Urbank scored two more runs on an error to win 4-2 and advanced to the Minnesota Baseball Association Region 16C Championship later in the day against the Fergus Falls Hurricanes.

2-Urbank, Alex Koep-DSC_9670.JPG
Urbank's Alex Koep steps into the batter's box for an at-bat in the MBA Region 16C Championship game on Aug. 13, 2022, in Kensington. In a Region 16C tournament elimination game prior to the championship, Koep hit a triple that started a two-out rally in the top of the 8th inning that helped Urbank earn a 4-2 win over Sauk Centre.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

“We had two outs right away and we had the heart of our order up, so I figured we’ve got to get something done now,” Koep said. “I was just looking for a pitch over the plate, and he gave me one. I was ready for it.”

By making it to the Region 16C Championship game on Saturday, Urbank and Fergus Falls had already qualified for the Minnesota Baseball Association Class C State Tournament. Fergus Falls entered the day with its spot in the state tournament already secured.

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Urbank couldn’t keep the momentum going in the day's second game as Darin Stanislawski threw a no-hitter and struck out 10 in an 11-0, seven-inning win for Fergus Falls (16-2).

“My changeup was getting over the plate early and often,” the right-hander said. “It’s been a battle all summer. I’ve been dealing with some arm issues. With rehab, working it out and with the warm weather and all, I’ve kind of been loosening it up.”

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Fergus Falls' Darin Stanislawski threw 10 strikeouts in the team's Region 16C Championship win over the Urbank Bombers on Aug. 13, 2022. Stanislawski threw a no-hitter in the game.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Stanislawski only walked one batter and the defense behind him committed just one error. Stanislawski had two wins in the Region 16C tournament and was named the tournament’s most valuable player, striking out 28 and walking just three in the process.

“Honestly, that award could go to a couple of guys on our team,” Stanislawski said.

The Hurricanes jumped on the Bombers early in the title game with six runs in the bottom of the second. The Hurricanes scored one run in the bottom of the fourth inning with a Thomas Bosek RBI double. Tosten Mann put the final runs on the board with a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning to put the Hurricanes up 11-0.

The Region 16C Championship game was a rematch of an Aug. 8 game that went Fergus Falls’ way, 3-0.

Fergus Falls outscored its opponents 36-5 in the tournament and went 4-0 as the top seed.

“We have a bunch of guys that hustle and we've had camaraderie from the beginning of the season to now. That's obviously come to life,” Stanislawski said. “It's one of those things where you just play hard together, and it's something you look forward to doing all summer.”

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Mann and Sean McGuire led the Hurricanes on offense with two hits, while Austin Stanislawski, Darin Stanislawski, Carter Thiekel and Owen Krueger each had a hit.

Kyle Schlosser pitched the first four innings for Urbank against Fergus Falls and struck out four. Colton Booker and Matt Ferley each pitched an inning in relief.

Hadley knocked in the Bombers' run in the first inning in the Sauk Centre game with an RBI double. Hadley also knocked in the go-ahead run for the Bombers in their 9-6 win over the Alexandria Black Sox on Friday in Carlos.

Austen Hadley goes 3-for-4 with four RBIs in the Urbank Bombers' 9-6 win over the Alexandria Black Sox in a Minnesota Baseball Association Region 16C Playoff elimination game.

“He’s been stellar for us, especially as of late,” Koep said about Hadley. “He’s been leading our team in hitting, I think. It is comforting to have him, especially knowing that we need a run and he’s been there for us. It’s really good to know that he’s hitting behind me.”

Hadley was the winner on the mound for the Bombers against Sauk Centre and pitched a complete game. He struck out seven batters.

3-Urbank - Colton Booker and Austen Hadley-DSC_9555.JPG
Urbank's Colton Booker (left) and Austen Hadley (right) celebrate after Hadley scores the go-ahead run in the team's 4-2 win over the Sauk Centre Titans in a MBA Region 16C Playoff elimination game on Aug. 13, 2022. The win for Urbank secured a spot in the Class C state tournament for the Bombers.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

“We like our pitching where it's at and we feel like we've got a strong rotation, especially with some draftees coming in,” Koep said. “We think we’re going to be one of the better pitching teams (at state). That’s what we’re going to try to base our game around and get runs to support that.”

Koep, Hadley and Drew Johnson each had two hits against Sauk Centre, while Ferley, Jake Thoennes and Levi Arnold had one.

On the mound for Sauk Centre, Dylan Haskamp pitched a complete game and struck out eight batters.

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Jared Gesell led the Titans with two hits, while Haskamp, Alex Kowski, Derek Holm and Andrew Primus had one hit.

Fergus Falls has won three of the last four Region 16C titles and is looking for success at the 2022 MBA Class C State Tournament.

“From past experiences, I would say that the pitching is definitely key,” Stanislawski said about what it takes to make a deep run in the state tournament. “If you don't have pitching that can get you going early, it really kills you. I know that if we want to make a run, we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got solid pitches.”

The Hurricanes beat the Hanska Lakers in the opening round of the 2021 Class C State Tournament but were eliminated with a 1-0 loss to St. Martin Martins.

Last season, Urbank was one of the final three teams remaining but didn’t earn one of the two state tournament bids. Now Urbank (15-5), who went 4-2 in the playoffs, is headed to the state tournament for the first time since 2001.

“Our pitching is going to be there, but we’ve got to get the runs to support the pitching,” Koep said. “If we can get the bats going like we did against Alexandria and like we did late against Sauk Centre, I think we’ll be able to make a run.”

Each team drafted three players to join their team for the tournament. Fergus Falls selected Carter Stockert from Alexandria, Jack Hiedeman from the Breckenridge Bucks, and Shane Trattles from Sauk Centre.

Urbank selected Haskamp, Ky Zimmel from Osakis and Mitch Porter from Breckenridge.

The 2022 MBA Class C State Tournament takes place in Fairbault, Dundas and Miesville on Aug. 19-21, 26-28 and Sept. 2-5.

Urbank gets Sartell in opening round, Fergus Falls gets a bye

The bracket for the state tournament was announced on Sunday night, and Urbank will play the Sartell Muskies in the opening round.

The Bombers and Muskies will play on Aug. 20 at 11 a.m. in Faribault. The loser of that game is eliminated, and the winner moves on to play the St. Patrick Irish on Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m. back in Faribault.

Fergus Falls got an opening-round bye as the region champion. The Hurricanes open the tournament on Aug. 27 at 4:30 p.m. in Dundas against the winner of the Waconia Lakers and the Union Hill Bulldogs.

MBA Region 16C Elimination Game -

URBANK - 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 - 4 9 3

SAUK CENTRE - 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 - 2 6 2

MBA Region 16C Championship Game - 

URBANK - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 0 2

FERGUS FALLS - 0 6 0 1 4 0 x - 11 8 1

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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