Wadena-Deer Creek wasted little time in jumping to an early lead on its way to its second consecutive Northeast Sub-State Championship. Wadena-DC scored two first inning runs and cruised to a 6-0 victory over Taconite in Marble on July 28.
Wadena-DC will play in its second straight Minnesota Division II Tournament when it kicks off play on Friday, Aug. 2 through Sunday, Aug. 4 in Ely.
"It's pretty awesome," Wadena-DC head coach Ron Schertler said. "It's great to come back up here and repeat."
Schertler said he focused on getting his team off to a quick start and it paid off in the first inning. Defensively, Wadena-DC turned a strike him out, throw him out double play and then jumped on Taconite for a pair of runs in the first.
"(We wanted) to get on top of them right away and get them down," Schertler said. "(We wanted) to put the foot on the throat and take care of business."
Preston Warren singled and stole second before scoring on an RBI double by Noah Ross. Wyatt Hamann plated Ross with an RBI ground out and it was quickly 2-0 in the first.
That would be enough for Noah Roers, who pitched in his second consecutive Sub-State Championship game. Roers struggled against Virginia in the tournament opener, but recovered well and pitched the complete game shut out against Taconite.
"He really had a hard time in the start against Virginia," Schertler said. "For us to come back in that game was incredible. He (Roers) bounced back, came through today and threw a shut out. He started out kind of slow in this game but as it went on, he got stronger and stronger. He struggled in the last inning, but took care of business and got it done."
Roers scattered eight hits over his seven innings of work. He struck out three batters, walked one and did not hit a batter in the complete game effort.
Warren caused havoc again in the third inning when he walked, swiped second and scored on a single by Justin Dykhoff to make it 3-0. Dykhoff eventually scored when Colby Schertler hit a ground ball to short but the throw to first pulled the first baseman off the bag to make it 4-0.
Hamann doubled in another run in the fifth inning, scoring Dykhoff, who singled for the second straight trip to the plate. Wadena-DC added an insurance run in the sixth when Chase Nordlund doubled and scored when Warren reached on a fielder's choice.
Bailey Thorson was tagged with the loss for Taconite. He pitched three innings and allowed four runs on four hits. He walked one and did not strike out a batter. Austin Storlie pitched in relief. He went three innings and allowed a pair of runs on four hits. He walked two batters.
Tom Cuellar, Mitch Vekich, Ty Donahue, Thorson and Darric Davidson each had a hit, while Storlie finished with two hits for Taconite.
Warren finished with two hits, two runs scored and a run batted in. He reached base four times in the game. Dykhoff finished with two hits and two runs scored, while Nordlund finished with a pair of doubles. Ross and Hamann finished with a hit each for Wadena-DC in the win.
Wadena-DC blanks Pierz
Wadena-Deer Creek earned a 2-0 victory over Pierz during the Northeast Sub State Tournament in Marble on July 27. Pettit went the distance on the mound and kept Pierz off-balance throughout.
Pettit scattered six hits on his way to the complete game win. He struck out four and relied on solid defense behind him to secure the win and the spot in the Northeast Sub State Championship.
Wadena-DC jumped ahead in the first when Warren walked and eventually scored, giving Wadena-DC the early 1-0 lead.
It was enough for Wadena-DC with the way Pettit was locked in on the mound. Pettit retired eight in a row at one point, before a fourth inning single. However, he worked around that and continued to cruise. Pierz had back-to-back singles with two outs in the sixth, but could not advance the runners and Pettit eluded any damage.
Wadena-DC tacked on another run in the third inning. Dykhoff singled and eventually scored on an RBI single by Colby Schertler.
Ross, Dykhoff, Hamann, Schertler, Nordlund and Zach Shaw recorded hits in the game for Wadena-DC.