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Baseball roundup: Brandon-Evansville, Ashby, Parkers Prairie move on in Section 6A

Tyler Bitzan pitched a gem for the Chargers to help his team survive getting one-hit against Browerville-Eagle Valley, while Parkers Prairie and Ashby both broke out offensively in opening-round wins.

Tyler Bitzan
Brandon-Evansville senior Tyler Bitzan pitches in a game against Ashby on May 5, 2022. Bitzan struck out nine in a complete-game shutout of Browerville-Eagle Valley in the Section 6A playoff opener on May 31, 2022 to lead the Chargers to a 2-0 win despite the offense getting just one hit.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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Brandon-Evansville, Ashby and Parkers Prairie all opened up the Section 6A playoffs with a win on Tuesday night to keep their seasons alive and enter the double-elimination format of the tournament.

Brandon-Evansville, 12-7 and seeded third in the North, locked up in a tight game with sixth-seeded Browerville-Eagle Valley (5-13) and won 2-0. Both runs came in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Tyler Bitzan and on a squeeze bunt by Dezmond White. Jayden Hoidahl had B-E’s lone hit of the game.

Bitzan went out and took this one despite the limited offense. He struck out nine and allowed just three hits. He needed to be good because Nate Benning was too for Browerville. Benning struck out eight.

“This was a fantastic matchup between two very talented pitchers,” B-E head coach Brian Perleberg said. “Nate Benning and Tyler Bitzan were extremely tough on hitters and were on top of their games. We felt going into the game that it was going to be a low-scoring affair and was going to be difficult to score runs against Browerville. They are well coached and are much better than their record shows. We are just very happy to come out on top of this first round game with the Tigers.”

Brandon-Evansville now plays Ashby at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday in Deer Creek. Win or lose, each team will play again that day.

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Visit the MSHSL tournament page to view the whole Section 6A bracket.

Ashby dominates

Ashby, 17-2 and seeded second in the North, dominated in a 17-1 win over seventh-seeded Breckenridge (1-15).

Senior Evan Paulson had a huge game with 7 RBIs on two hits. He doubled in the first inning and homered in the fourth.

Evan Paulson
Evan Paulson

Carter Spangler allowed just two hits over three innings, while Hunter Norby and Paulson both threw in relief.

Ashby had three home runs total. Norby and Torin Olson joined Paulson in going deep. The Arrows had 12 hits and did not commit an error defensively.

“First complete game we have had all year,” Ashby head coach Jared Larson said. “Very good effort from everyone today.”

Ashby plays Brandon-Evansville on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in Deer Creek. Win or lose, each team will play again that day.

Panthers jump all over LPGE

Parkers Prairie (9-11) is seeded fourth in the North half of 6A, and the Panthers jumped all over fifth-seeded Long Prairie-Grey Eagle (6-8) in a 9-2 win on Tuesday.

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Sophomore Dylan Debilzen struck out 11 to get the pitching win for Parkers Prairie.

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Yordan Alvarez's 3-run home run was the difference maker

“The offense erupted for 14 hits on the day with Jake Wagner, David Revering, Debilzen, and Cole Gesell all with a double and Zach Mrnak with a triple as he drove an outside pitch down the right field line,” Parkers Prairie head coach Derek Denny said.

The Panthers now play top-seeded New York Mills (17-2) on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Win or lose, each team will play again that day.

Lakers drop heartbreaker to ACGC

Minnewaska (13-9) had its season come to an end in a 3-2 loss to Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (12-8) in the Section 3AA elimination bracket on Tuesday.

A 2-run fifth inning for ACGC proved to be the difference. The Lakers scored single runs in the top of the fifth and sixth. Torii Johnson and Dylan Alexander both drove in runs for Minnewaska, and Jaxon Behm and Jaxon Drange-Leyendecker drove in runs for ACGC.

Connor Barker got the win on the mound for ACGC. He went 5.2 innings, allowing two hits and four walks and just one earned run while striking out nine. Behm threw the final 1.1 innings with three strikeouts to earn the save.

PJ Johnson gave the Lakers a chance by going the distance. Just one of the three runs he allowed was earned as two errors proved costly for the Lakers. Johnson struck out four around six hits and two walks.

MINNEWASKA     000 011 0 - 2 3 2

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ACGC                  010 020 X - 3 6 3

MINNEWASKA PITCHING - PJ Johnson - 6IP, 6H, 3R, 1ER, 2BB, 4SO

MINNEWASKA OFFENSE - Jacob Blair - 0-2, 1 run; Torii Johnson - 1-4, RBI; Dylan Alexander - 1-3, BB, RBI; Jack Larson - 0-3, BB; Jack Majerus - 0-2, BB; PJ Johnson - 0-4; Noah Jensen - 0-3; Hunter Johnson - 1-2, BB, 1 run; Alex Panitzke - 0-3

Baseball scores from May 31 playoffs

(Stats not yet available)

Kimball Area (14-6) 3, Osakis (8-9) 2, Section 6AA

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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