The above photo shows Craig Knochenmus batting for the Morris Eagles against Appleton at Chizek Field. Photo by B.W.
The Morris Eagles have impressed in the 2010 playoffs thus far. The next chapter will be on Sunday, Aug. 1, at 1 p.m. when the blue-clad Morris crew will take on either Montevideo or Appleton at Chizek Field.
Monte will host Appleton at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Appleton beat Benson 7-4 to climb.
The upcoming weekend promises much excitement in the amateur ball playoffs. Wheaton and Dumont, obvious rivals, are set to vie on Friday. Madison is set for a clash with Rosen. Clinton has arrived in the region fold as a surprise entry in the eyes of some. Ortonville has a region nod, and Raymond is in for region competition in the Corn Belt South.
This past weekend was a busy and successful one for Morris Eagles baseball. First the Eagles defeated Appleton in their Saturday assignment, here at Chizek Field. Then on Sunday, their success was vs. Montevideo at the Benson diamond.
Morris 9, Appleton 1
The Eagles shone in Canvas Division play, living up to their top-seeded status with a decisive 9-1 triumph in front of the friendly home crowd. Eric Asche wielded an explosive bat. Eric pounded out four hits in five at-bats and drove in three runs, with RBI singles in the first, third and eighth innings.
Kirby Marquart connected for one of his trademark home run blasts in the seventh inning with a baserunner on. Kirby's long round-tripper seemed to end any doubt as to the outcome.
Adam Torkelson was in command the whole way on the pitching mound. Adam tossed a five-hitter, fanning six Appleton batters while lowering his microscopic ERA to 1.75. He threw the kind of stuff that caused frequent ground balls off the Appleton bats. Someone was counting and there were 14 ground outs that the Morris infield was able to capably scoop up.
The line scores showed Morris with nine runs on 16 hits and two errors, while the Appleton A's posted 1-5-1 numbers. Morris scored one run in the first inning, two in the third, four in the seventh and two in the eighth. Appleton spoiled Torkelson's shutout bid with one run in the ninth. Torkelson walked just one batter on the night.
Let's review the hit parade. Kirby Marquart's soaring home run highlighted his three-for-four performance with two runs scored and two RBIs. Cory Marquart had a hit and scored three runs. Ross Haugen had a two-for-four evening from his No. 3 spot in the order, and this Eagle scored twice and drove in two runs.
Eric Asche had those sizzling four-for-five numbers with one run and three RBIs. Craig Knochenmus had two hits and drove in a run. Dustin Sauter went two-for-five and drove in a run. Matthew Carrington had a one-for-three evening.
Jamie Van Kempen had a hit and scored a run. Walks were issued to Kirby Marquart and Matthew Carrington.
Montevideo beat Benson 4-2 to advance and play the Eagles the next day.
Morris 5, Montevideo 2
Sunday saw Morris Eagles baseball take the diamond at Benson and again there was a winning outcome. The Eagles struck quickly with a two-run first inning en route to their 5-2 triumph over Montevideo.
Craig Knochenmus worked the pitcher for a bases-loaded walk in the first. Dustin Sauter picked up an RBI on a fielder's choice.
Matthew Carrington hit an RBI ground out in the fourth, putting the Eagles up 3-0.
The sixth frame saw Jamie Van Kempen sock an RBI double to right-center. Carrington came through with a run-scoring single to left in that frame also. Van Kempen and Carrington both came through with two outs.
Andy Lembcke dealt with a sore hamstring and overcame that potential liability. Andy gamely pitched for eight innings, contributing to the win by allowing just two runs and striking out six Monte batters.
Craig Knochenmus took over on the mound with two baserunners on in the ninth inning. Knochenmus bore down to retire the final three batters and he was rewarded with his fifth save.
Monte outhit the Eagles 7-6 but Morris played errorless ball compared to Monte's two errors.
Let's review the hit parade. Kirby Marquart was the leadoff batter and had a hit and a run scored. Ross Haugen crossed home plate once. Eric Asche had a hit in his only at-bat and scored a run. Knochenmus contributed an RBI to the mix.
Dusty Sauter came through at two-for-four, scored a run and drove in one. Jamie Van Kempen went one-for-three with a run scored and an RBI.
The ageless Matthew Carrington had no trouble bouncing back from a Saturday night game, as on Sunday this veteran went one-for-three with two RBIs. Haugen and Asche reached on hit-by-pitch. Walks were issued to Asche (2), Knochenmus and Tony Schultz.
The Eagles would love to see a generous and vocal fan turnout for the home Sunday contest.
Remember, game-time is 1 p.m. and it might be a classic summer afternoon.
Playoff fever. . .it's catching!
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - email@example.com