Orphans advance to state tournament
By Andy Gagnon
The Howard Lake Orphans qualified for the state tournament for the second time in four years by defeating the Loretto Larks 6-3, in an intense "do or die" game Aug. 14.
Orphans 6, Loretto 3
Mike Gagnon doubled in Chad Gagnon to put the Orphans on the scoreboard 1-0. The Orphans scored again in the sixth inning with a two-run single off Mark Stueven's bat.
Loretto scored two in the seventh inning for a 3-2 score. Howard Lake crossed the plate once in the seventh and twice in the eighth, making it 6-2 Orphans. The Larks caused a scare in the ninth by scoring a run, but Shane Heber struck out two batters to get the win.
John Stueven, Mike Gagnon, and Chad Burau had two hits each. Ben Borrell and Mark Stueven each had one base hit. Heber threw another great game, striking out 13 and walking two batters.
Litchfield 8, Orphans 4
The Litchfield Blues played the Orphans for the sixth time this season and are now 5 - 1 vs. Howard Lake. The Orphans took the second seed in Region 11C with this loss to the Blues.
Litchfield led 5-1 after three innings of play. The Orphans made it a good ball game by scoring three in the seventh, but then left the bases loaded. Litchfield put the game away by scoring two in the seventh and one in the eighth.
Jake Streich took the loss, but pitched seven good innings, giving up four earned runs, striking out two and walking three batters. Dean Gagnon hurled one inning of relief.
Mike Gagnon and Borrell both went 2-for-5 with a double. Mark Stueven, Jay Reddemann, Russ Green, and Streich had one base hit each.
The Orphans drafted three players: Kevin Warner, a catcher from Kingston; Jason Kramber, a pitcher for Buffalo; and Paul Schumacher, a pitcher out of Albertville.
State amateur baseball tournament Aug. 20-Sept. 7
The cities of Hamburg and Chaska are hosting the 75th anniversary of the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Association tournament, which began the weekend of Aug. 20 - 23, and will continue Aug. 27 - 30 and Sept. 4 - 7.
The tournament consists of at least 64 ball games over the three weekends. As a promotion to encourage good attendance, an inning number will be drawn at the beginning of each game. At the end of that inning, if the score is 7-5, an attendance ticket will be drawn and the ticket holder will receive $75 cash.
State Tournament Schedule
Friday, Aug. 21
Sunday, Aug. 23
Previous state tournament appearances by local teams number 13 for Dassel-Cokato, 17 for Hamel, 3 for Howard Lake, and 10 for Litchfield.
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