Roundup: Minnewaska loses heartbreaker to top seed, while Ashby, Parkers Prairie advance in Section 6A

Panthers rally from a 4-0 deficit against West Central Area.

060221.S.WCT.Minnewaska base Hested.jpg
Minnewaska first baseman Sam Hested (14) looks the ball in while ACGC's Josh Kingery slides back to first on a pickoff attempt during a Section 3AA-North playoff game on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at Kingery Field in Atwater. (Joe Brown / West Central Tribune)

After playing in just one one-run game in the regular season, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City baseball has played in three straight one-run games in the Section 3AA-North playoffs.

And the Falcons have emerged victorious in each of these tight games.

Hosting third-seeded Minnewaska, a solo home run by Josh Kingery in the bottom of the fifth gave top-seeded ACGC the cushion it needed for a 2-1 win at Kingery Field.

The Falcons play the South sub-section’s No. 1 team, Luverne, at noon Saturday at Legion Field in Marshall. Minnewaska plays Pipestone in an elimination game at 7 p.m. Saturday in Marshall.

On Tuesday, both ACGC and Minnewaska got on the board in the third inning. The Lakers scored first on a Hunter Johnson double that brought home Torii Johnson. Then in the bottom half, Connor Barker beat the throw at first for an inning-ending double play, allowing Kingery to score the tying run.


Kingery finished 2-for-2 with two runs and an RBI. Zach Bagley had a double for the Falcons.

060221.S.WCT.Minnewaska base Torii Johnson.jpg
Minnewaska second baseman Torii Johnson tosses the ball out of his glove for an out at first during a Section 3AA-North playoff game against ACGC on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at Kingery Field in Atwater. (Joe Brown / West Central Tribune)

Torii and Hunter Johnson accounted for both of the Lakers’ hits.

ACGC’s Jack Peterson managed to out-pitch Minnewaska’s Mitchell Gruber in a classic pitchers’ duel. Peterson had five strikeouts and three walks in a complete-game victory. Gruber had five strikeouts and five walks.

(By Joe Brown / Forum News Service)

Minnewaska 001 000 0-1 2 1

ACGC 001 010 x-2 3 1


Hitting - Minnewaska: Torii Johnson 1-3 2b r, Hunter Johnson 1-2 rbi … ACGC: Josh Kingery 2-2 hr r-2 rbi, Zach Bagley 1-2 2b bb, Connor Barker 0-3 rbi.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Minnewaska: Mitchell Gruber (L) 6-3-2-2-5-5 … ACGC: Jack Peterson (W) 7-2-1-1-3-5

Ashby takes care of business in 6A opener

Section 6A-North’s second-seeded Ashby had no problem getting past seventh-seeded Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in a 12-0 win in its opening playoff game on Tuesday.

The Arrows (20-1) got seven runs in the first inning and never looked back. Jaden Norby, Brodie Ecker, Mattson Hoff, Carson Spangler and Torin Olson all had RBIs in the inning.

Evan Paulson got the pitching win for Ashby as three guys toed the rubber. Paulson allowed just one hit over three innings, striking out eight and walking nobody. Hunter Norby and Carter Spangler also posted zeroes to complete the shutout.

“Evan threw a gem,” Ashby head coach Jared Larson said. “Very proud of how he threw and how the team played behind him.”

Ashby now plays third-seeded Parkers Prairie on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in Bluffton. The Panthers beat sixth-seeded West Central Area in a 7-6 game on Tuesday.

The winner of Parkers Prairie versus Ashby plays the winner of New York Mills and Browerville-Eagle Valley at 4:30 in New York Mills on Thursday. The losers of those two games play each other in an elimination game in Bluffton at 4:30.


Panthers edge WCA

Parkers Prairie (9-10) had to fend off a spirited effort by sixth-seeded West Central Area on Tuesday night, but the Panthers got the job done in a 7-6 win that moves them on to a matchup with Ashby on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in Bluffton.

West Central Area led 4-0 in the first inning on Tuesday, but it was a 6-6 game going into the bottom of the sixth inning when the Panthers’ Brendan Johnson singled to start the inning.

He stole second, and Dylan Debilzen bunted him over to third on a sacrifice. Florian Koep capitalized by lifting a deep sacrifice fly to right field to score Johnson with what turned out to be the winning run.

Parkers Prairie's Florian Koep throws to first from second base in a game against Osakis on May 13, 2021. Koep produced the winning run in a 7-6 victory over West Central Area on June 1 when he drove a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Brendan Johnson in the sixth inning and broke a 6-6 tie. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

Brock Peterson closed it out for Parkers Prairie on the mound. He hit a batter with one out in the seventh, but the base runner was erased when David Revering threw him out on an attempted steal. Peterson then got a fly out to center field to end the game.

Koep and Cole Gesell each had two RBIs to lead Parkers Prairie’s offense. Ashton Danner had a big game for WCA with a home run and three RBIs.

The Knights wrapped up their season with a 5-15 record.


WEST CENTRAL AREA 400 200 0 - 6 4 3

PARKERS PRAIRIE 015 001 X - 7 10 1

PITCHING - WCA - Trent Koloski - L, 6IP, 10H, 7R, 2ER, 1BB, 3SO; PARKERS PRAIRIE - Wyatt Murray - 0.1IP, 0H, 4R, 3ER, 4BB, 0SO; Chase Thieschafer - 0.2IP, 0H, 0R, 1BB, 0SO; Dylan Debilzen - 4IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 3SO; Brock Peterson - 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1SO

PARKERS PRAIRIE OFFENSE - Brendan Johnson - 1-4, 2 runs; Debilzen - 0-4, 1 run; Florian Koep - 1-2, 2 RBI; Wyatt Murray - 1-3, 2B, BB, 2 runs; Peterson - 3-3; Cole Gesell - 1-3, 2 RBI; David Revering - 1-3, RBI; Jake Wagner - 1-3; Thieschafer - 1-3, 1 run; Riley Thoennes - 1 run

WCA OFFENSIVE LEADERS - Reubens Swanson - 0-3, BB, 1 run; Anthony Sykora - 0-3, BB, 1 run; Jordan Lohse - 1-3, BB; Colton Lindquist - 1-1, BB, 2 runs, RBI; Ashton Danner - 1-3, HR, BB, 1 run, 3 RBI; Koloski - 0-3, BB; Adams - 1-2, BB, RBI; Staples - 1 run

Scores from Tuesday, June 1

(Stats not yet available)

Section 6AA playoffs

Pierz (14-6) 13, Osakis (5-13) 0


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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