Aggies march forward

The Velva-Drake-Anamoose baseball team didn’t view Wednesday’s tilt with Surrey-Our Redeemer’s Christian School as an opportunity for revenge.

Instead, the Aggies’ focused on the present and put that loss to the Mustangs, in which they squandered a six-run seventh-inning lead, behind them.

V-D-A junior pitcher Brad Dean tossed seven innings of five-hit ball and the Aggies broke open a close game with six runs in the sixth en route to an 8-1 victory in the Region 8 tournament at Jack Hoeven Park. The win was V-D-A’s first against Surrey-ORCS this season.

The Aggies play Bishop Ryan at approximately 3:30 p.m. today at Jack Hoeven field. The winner secures a spot in the region championship game.

“It’s good because we got the win,” V-D-A coach Matt Weidler said. “At this time of the year, it doesn’t matter if you win by one or win by 10. The guys had a good mindset going into the game. I really didn’t think much about the last time we played them.”

The Mustangs scored their lone run – unearned – in the top of the first. Surrey-ORCS senior Chris Olson reached base on an error by Aggies third baseman Adam Dean and scored on a wild pitch with two outs. Surrey-ORCS didn’t have a runner reach third base the rest of the game.

The senior made amends for his error in the bottom of the frame, smacking a two-RBI double over sophomore center fielder Trever Ringoen’s head to give the Aggies a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Adam Dean finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored in support of his brother on the mound.

Brad Dean threw exactly 100 pitches – 70 for strikes – and struck out eight batters to earn the win. Aside from Ringoen’s double in the first, Brad Dean didn’t allow an extra-base hit.

“I thought Brad threw a heck of a game,” Weidler said. “It was one of our better outings we’ve had all year. He was getting ahead in the count. The breaking ball was going over the plate for strikes. It’s easier when you’re limiting runners on base.”

When the Mustangs put runners on the basepaths, V-D-A’s defense picked up the slack. Sophomore catcher Ryan Bowman picked off sophomore Jacob Burckhard at first base in the second and also made three putouts on flyballs.

“Brad did awesome,” Bowman said. “Lot of credit given to him today. He really came out strong and shut (Surrey-ORCS) down.”

The Mustangs threatened in the fifth, putting runners on first and second with one out. But Brad Dean got junior Brenden Larson to ground into a 5-3 double play to end the threat.

The teams combined for 35 runs in their first game of the season, but through the first five innings Wednesday, the Aggies held a slim 3-1 advantage. That changed in the sixth when the first six batters reached base for V-D-A. Back-to-back throwing errors opened the flood gates as the Aggies loaded the bases against Olson with no outs. Bowman drove in two with a single up the middle and senior Dixon Bauer plated another with a hot shot down the third-base line to build an 8-1 lead.

“We didn’t make plays,” Surrey-ORCS coach Bruce Mack said. “We talked about that before the game, not giving them extra outs and extra baserunners. We did a pretty good job the first five-and-a-half innings, but the bottom half of that sixth inning, a couple of easy balls we don’t make plays on and the whole game turns on that inning.”

There was no deja vu with the Aggies nursing a large seventh-inning lead against the Mustangs. Brad Dean recorded the first two outs of the seventh via infield flys and struck out Olson looking for a 1-2-3 inning.

“Brad was confident and he wanted to finish it up,” Weidler said. ” He got stronger as the game went on.”

Region roundup

Surrey-Our Redeemer’s 7, Central McLean 2

The Mustangs scored four runs in the first inning and junior Brenden Larson pitched a complete-game three-hitter in the opening round of the Region 8 tournament.

Surrey-ORCS put runners on base in each inning with the help of seven walks and one hit batsman. Freshman Seth Aberle walked in all three plate appearances. Larson and sophomore Noah Knipp scored two runs each.

Central McLean scored both of its runs in the seventh inning.

Surrey-Our Redeemer’s 10, Sawyer 0

The Mustangs kept their season alive in their third game of the day, eliminating Sawyer in the process.

Surrey-ORCS jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after one before scoring seven in the third to break the game open. Larson and senior Chris Olson each went 2-for-2 and the Mustangs recorded 10 hits.

Knipp pitched a complete-game two-hitter, striking out six to earn the win. The Mustangs play Garrison-Max at 1:30 p.m. today. in an elimination game.

Bishop Ryan 6, Garrison-Max 2

The Lions scored a pair of runs in each of the first three innings and held on down the stretch to remain in the winners bracket.

Jake Magnuson went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs and pitched a complete-game three-hitter for the win. Dakota Johnson and Nick Berentson each finished 2-for-3.

Garrison-Max scored twice in the fourth inning, but couldn’t plate runs in the sixth and seventh innings.

The Lions play Velva at approximately 3:30 p.m. today with the winner advancing to the region title game.

Garrison-Max 27, Sawyer 2

Garrison-Max opened the first round of the region tournament with its best offensive production of the season. The Cossacks drove in a season-high 27 runs, dropping Sawyer into the losers bracket.

Andrew Haugen earned the win, pitching five innings.

Garrison-Max 4, Central McLean 0

Facing elimination, Garrison-Max turned to its ace to keep the Cossacks’ season alive.

Junior Luke Gehring did not disappoint, pitching a complete-game shutout, ending Central McLean’s season.

The Cossacks play Surrey-ORCS at 1:30 p.m. in an elimination game. G-M won the head-to-head matchup to begin the season.