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Wadena-DC Junior Babe Ruth captures state title

The Wadena 13-Year Old Babe Ruth team celebrates its State Championship win over New York Mills in Avon. Submitted photo1 / 2
The 2017 13-year old Babe Ruth State Champion Wadena-Deer Creek receives it's championship trophy and banner after defeating New York Mills in the championship. Submitted photo2 / 2

It was a perfect run for the Wadena-Deer Creek Junior Babe Ruth Baseball team, capturing the Minnesota State Non-Advancing State Tournament with a 7-1 victory over New York Mills on July 23 in Avon, Minn.

It was only fitting that Wadena-Deer Creek defeated New York Mills in the championship. It was the seventh and final time the two teams met during the season. Wadena-Deer Creek ultimately edged them out, winning the final game and taking four of the seven games from New York Mills during the season.

Wadena-DC raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Connor Davis, Payton Rondestvedt, Josh Dykhoff and Gideon Ervasti scored runs in the first inning, while Aiden Allred brought home a run with an RBI single.

Wadena-DC added to its lead in the second inning, stretching the lead to 5-0 when Davis scored on an RBI single by Rondestvedt.

Josh Dykhoff’s big hit in the fourth put the finishing touches on the contest. He delivered a two-run double, scoring Carson Kern and Rondestvedt. The lone run for New York Mills came in the third inning, cutting the lead to 5-1 at that point.

Ervasti was the winning pitcher on the mound for Wadena-DC in the championship game.

Wadena-DC opened the tournament in blistering fashion. They disposed of Moorhead, 18-3, in their first round contest. They used multiple big innings on Moorhead, scoring six runs in the second, two in the third, two in the fifth and eight in the seventh inning, cruising to the opening round victory.

A five-run first inning was key as Wadena-DC took down Albany, 6-3, in the semifinals of the tournament. Josh Dykhoff drove in a pair of first inning runs, while Rondestvedt added an RBI as well. Wadena-DC put the game away with an insurance run in the seventh when Isaac Christianson walked and scored.

Scoring early and limiting the opposition was key for Wadena-DC in the tournament and the trend continued with a 7-3 victory over Little Falls, advancing them to the finals. Wadena-DC scored three first inning runs on RBI hits by Dykhoff, Ervasti and Allred. Isaac Hamann plated a run with an RBI single in the third inning, while Dykhoff brought home another run in the sixth with an RBI single. Rondestvedt put the finishing touches on the win with a two-run single in the seventh inning, sealing the win for Wadena-DC.

The win over Little Falls set the table for the finale against New York Mills in the state tournament. Members of the team include Aiden Allred, Tyson Barthel, Isaac Christianson, Connor Davis, Chad Dickey Jr., Josh Dykhoff, Gideon Ervasti, Isaac Hamann, Carson Kern, Evan Lunde, Braden Redfield, Payton Rondestvedt and Phillip Ross. The team was coached by Kyle Dykhoff and Terry Tumberg.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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