The Crookston Reds Amateur Baseball team rode a four-run first inning to victory Saturday morning in a 6-2 opening round win over the Long Prairie Predators in the Elrosa Elite 8. In the semifinals Lars Brevik hit a two-run homerun and Owen Ellefson threw seven innings without an earned run in a 2-1 win over Elrosa to send the Reds to the Championship game Sunday afternoon.
Game 1 –
Long Prairie opened the game with the first run when Duane Miller reached on an error with two outs in the top of the first. The next batter Tim Zastrow doubled to right center scoring Miller from first and the Predators led 1-0. The Reds would answer with a big home half of the inning with the first three batters reaching. Jacob Butcher and Owen Ellefson singled and Noah Zimmerman walked to load the bases. Following a strikeout, Matt Morin hit a broken-bat single to center to score two Butcher and Zimmerman with Ellefson advancing to third and Morin to second on the throw to the plate giving Crookston a 2-1 lead. Lars Brevik followed with a ground ball to short the would score Ellefson but the throw to first sailed wide and Brevik was thrown out attempting to reach second which allowed Morin to score making it 4-1 after one inning. “We took advantage of an opportunity in game one this morning,” said Manager Rob Silvers. “We were able to get a hit through and then manufactured a couple of additional runs.
Ben Barlage would reach on an error to open the second inning advancing to scoring second base on the errant throw to first. A groundout to second moved Barlage to third before a ground ball Noah Koltes got through the left side to score Barlage cutting the lead to 4-2. Reds starting pitcher Jacob Butcher would bear down from there allowing just two of the final nineteen batters to reach base. “Butch threw a great game,” said Silvers. “He worked the strike zone effectively and kept hitters off balance.”
Crookston would add insurance runs in the fifth and sixth inning. In the fifth, Ellefson reached on an error and scored from first on a double to right center by Bailey Schmitz to make it 5-2. In the sixth, back-to-back walks put runners on first and second before pinch runner Aaron Butcher stole third to put runners on the corners. Blake Kawlewski singled to score Aaron Butcher and the Reds led 6-2 before Jacob Butcher sent the Predators down in order in the seventh.
With the win the Reds advance to the semifinals in the Elrosa Elite 8 and will play the host Elrosa Saints at 8:00 p.m. Crookston improves to 7-6 on the year.
|Jacob Butcher – Crox (WP)||7.0||3||2||0||0||5|
|Nate Petermeier – LP (LP)||5.0||4||5||4||4||4|
|Mitch Hinnenkamp – LP||1.0||1||1||1||3||0|
Matt Morin 1-3, 2 RBI
Bailey Schmitz 1-3, 2B, RBI
For Long Prairie
Tim Zastrow 1-3, 2B, RBI
Noah Koltes 1-3, RBI
Game 2 –
In the semifinals of the Elrosa Elite 8 Crookston’s Owen Ellefson and Elrosa’s Ethan Vogt delivered a spectacular pitchers duel to the delight of fans in Elrosa. Ellefson allowed just one hit through the first four innings and Vogt allowed no hits and walked one.
Matt Morin led off the fifth with a bunt single to break up the no-hitter and Lars Brevik hit the next pitch over the right-center field wall for a 2-0 lead. “Matt asked before his at-bat if it was wrong to bunt and it wasn’t. It was a 0-0 ballgame and we still had three innings to try to get a lead,” said Silvers. “They weren’t expecting it and then Lars hit an absolute blast on a line drive the very next pitch.” In the home half of the inning, Elrosa would load the bases with one out for Derek Wiener who hit a sacrifice fly to right field to make it 2-1 before Ellefson was able to get Brandon Roelike to ground out to end the inning.
Ellefson would slam the door shut in the sixth and seventh striking out five of the final six outs. “We had two great pitching performances today,” said Silvers. “Owen had great intensity and we found a way to get him enough runs to win against a very tough pitcher.”
With the win the Reds improve to 8-6 and will play the #2 ranked team in Class C the Sartell Muskies in the Championship game Sunday at 4:00 p.m.
|Owen Ellefson – Crox (WP)||7.0||3||1||0||4||11|
|Ethan Vogt – Elrosa (LP)||7.0||3||2||2||1||9|
Lars Brevik 1-2, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K
Matt Morin 1-2, R
For Long Prairie
Derek Wiener 1-3, SAC, RBI