Mudhens clinch top seed for playoffs
The Minneota Mudhens defeated the Rosen Express 4-3 Sunday afternoon to clinch their first Land O' Ducks League title.
The Mudhens (11-1 in league and 14-2 overall) receive a first-round bye in the Region 9C playoffs and will face either Chokio or Dawson on Sunday, July 24 in Dawson.
Minneota and Dumont tied for the Land O' Ducks title with 11-1 record, but the Mudhens were declared the top seed based on winning an earlier head-to-head meeting with the Saints.
The Mudhens got nine hits against Rosen, including two apiece from Austin DeVlaeminck, Ben Skorczewski and AJ Myhre.
"This has been a fun season and throughout the year different players have stepped up," said Mudhens player/manager Tyson Sonnenburg. "I don't feel like it's been the same one or two guys constantly coming through. Game to game, it changes and it's awesome to have that balance 1-9 in our lineup."
The Mudhens pulled off a triple play in the fifth inning. With runners on first and second, the next Rosen batter lined out to Peyton Gillund, who flipped to shortstop Austin Buysse for a force at second. Buysse then fired to first baseman Danny Hennen to double off the runner on first and complete the triple play.
Jacob Hennen started on the hill. He hurled 5 1/3 innings and allowed four hits two earned runs. He ran into control problems and was relieved by Danny Hennen, who quelled the rally. Brock Buysse threw out a runner at the plate from right field to end the threat.
Danny Hennen tossed the final 3 2/3 innings for the win, allowing just one run.
"Our pitchers have done a great job of keeping us in games," said Sonnenburg. "Defensively, we have been solid all year."
Tied 3-3 in the top of the ninth, Minneota scored the eventual winning run when Skorczewski singled with one out, advanced to third on a single by Austin Buysse, and scored on Sonnenburg's fielder's choice.
Myhre singled home the Mudhens' first run in the second inning and Danny Hennen had a run-scoring single in the third. The other run came across on consecutive Rosen errors.
"We pulled off a close game against Rosen," Sonnenburg said. "They are traditionally a very good team. They have struggled some this year but have been very competitive all season."
FINAL LAND O' DUCKS STANDINGS
(1) Minneota 11-1 (2) Dumont 11-1 (3) Clinton 8-4 (4) Ortonville 8-4 (5) Madison 6-6 (6) Morris 6-6 (7) Benson 6-6 (8) Chokio 6-6 (9) Dawson 5-7 (10) Cottonwood 5-7 (11) Rosen 3-9 (12) Hancock 3-9 (13) Appleton 0-12
Minneota 4, Rosen 3
Minneota............................................012 000 001 - 4 9 0
Rosen..................................................000 002 010 - 3 8 2
Minneota hitting: Austin DeVlaeminck 2-for-4, run bb; Ben Skorczewski 2-for-5; Jack Lacek 0-for-0; Austin Buysse 1-for-5; Tyson Sonnenburg 0-for-4, bb, run, rbi; Danny Hennen 1-for-4, bb, rbi; AJ Myhre 2-fo-4, bb, rbi; Peyton Gillund 0-for-4; Cooper VanOverbeke 0-for-3; Tate Walerius 1-for-1; Brock Buysse 0-for-4
Minneota pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Jacob Hennen 5 1/3-4-2-2-4-3, Danny Hennen (W) 3 2/3-4-1-1-0-0
Minneota 19, Chokio 1
(Result Friday, July 15)
The Mudhens rapped out 20 hits en route to the lopsided win.
Danny Hennen hurled five innings for the win. Ryan Dalager pitched the final two innings of the seven-inning game.
AJ Myhre went 4-for-5, while Austin DeVlaeminck, Tyson Sonnenburg and Danny Hennen had three hits apiece. Sonnenburg had a double and a triple. Cooper Van Overbeke had two hits.
The Mudhens didn't score over the first three innings before exploding for eight runs in the fourth inning and added 11 more runs in the fifth inning.
Complete statistics were not available.
Minneota hitting: Austin DeVlaeminck 3-for-4, 3 runs, bb; Ben Skorczewski 1-for-3, 2 bb's, 2 runs; Austin Buysse 1-for-4, run; Jack Lacek 1-for-1; Tyson Sonnenburg 3-for-4, 3 runs, 2b, 3b, sf; Danny Hennen 3-for-3, 2 runs, bb; Ryan Dalager 0-for-1; AJ Myhre 4-for-5, run; Peyton Gillund 0-for-4, bb, 2 runs; Cooper VanOverbeke 2-for-3, 2 runs; Everett VanHecke 1-for-2; Brock Buysse 1-for-3, 2 bb's, 3 runs
Minneota pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Danny Hennen (W) 5 innings pitched. Ryan Dalager 2 innings pitched. Other statistics not available.
Minneota 5, Cottonwood 4
(Result Wednesday, July 13)
Peyton Gillund singled in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, Jacob Hennen pitched a complete game six-hitter, and Austin Buysse went 5-for-5 to lift the Mudhens.
With the game tied 4-4, Danny Hennen led off the Mudhens' top of the ninth with an infield single, hit fourth hit of the game. Isaac Pohlen pinch ran for Hennen and came around to score the go-ahead run on Gillund's single.
Jacob Hennen walked one and struck out 13, allowing only two earned runs for the win.
"Jake pitched great again and continued hitting the zone early in every at bat," said Mudhens player/manager Tyson Sonnenburg, who had two hits and drove in a run. "We made a few mistakes in the field and Cottonwood capitalized on each one. They are a good team and always play us tough."
MINNEOTA 5, COTTONWOOD 4
Minneota...............................000 013 001 - 5 17 2
Cottonwood...........................000 110 110 - 4 6 1
Minneota hitting: Austin DeVlaeminck 1-for-6; Ben Skorczewski 1-for-5, bb, run; Austin Buysse 5-for-5, run, rbi; Tyson Sonnenburg 2-for-5, run, rbi; Danny Hennen 4-for-5, run, 2b, rbi; Isaac Pohlen 0-for-0, run; AJ Myhre 0-for-4, bb; Peyton Gillund 1-for-5, rbi; Tate Walerius 1-for-2; Cooper VanOverbeke 1-for-2, bb; Brock Buysse 1-for-3, run, 2 bb's
Minneota pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Jacob Hennen (W) 9-6-4-2-1-13