"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Can't help but see McNabb as mere retread

Labor peace means we can look forward to the new NFL season. It's the time of year when we can imagine everything coming together for our favorite team.
The Minnesota Vikings had a very precious opportunity to make the Super Bowl two years ago and had it slip away. Those opportunities don't come along very often.
The swings upward and downward can happen suddenly in the NFL. That's good for the league. It keeps fans everywhere thinking "this might be our year."
Does the acquisition of Donovan McNabb (in photo) have Vikings fans breaking into a chorus of that? There doesn't seem to be much grounds for excitement.
McNabb comes here in a restructured contract which means he's making concessions. Athletes who are truly eyeing a championship don't make concessions.
He had a five-year, $78 million contract in Washington, D.C. where he flamed out miserably. And now he's a year older. Doesn't look like any special sort of formula to me.
McNabb was the face of the Philadelphia Eagles in his prime. He played in five conference championship games and a Super Bowl.
He comes to Minnesota with a "name" and a resume. So did Dave Winfield when he came to the Minnesota Twins.
McNabb has been through the rigors of many NFL seasons.
At least he won't have to endure the rigors of playing in front of the Philadelphia fans anymore - the most rude and judgmental around. Now he's in the land of Minnesota Nice. But we can still boo if he plays the way he did in Washington last season.
Not even the genius of coach Mike Shanahan could keep McNabb's career going in a winning way.
Shanahan proved he could work and adjust with an aging quarterback when he coached John Elway in Denver.
Last fall in the nation's capital, the "facelift" represented by the McNabb acquisition was a failure. Shanahan benched him twice. The franchise gave up on him with three games left.
The low point was in a loss to Detroit - yes, those perennially sputtering Lions - in which McNabb was removed late in the game and the post-game explanation was humiliating. Explaining the move, Shanahan said McNabb "wasn't in good enough shape" to run the two-minute offense.
No, he wasn't hurt, he "wasn't in good enough shape."
Was the $78 million contract not good enough incentive?
Maybe Shanahan was just hinting that McNabb was getting too old. Well he's a year older now. He won't have Sidney Rice to throw to. Rice is off to Seattle to rejoin our old "quarterback of the future" Tarvaris Jackson and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
Usually when a quarterback is drafted high - Jackson was taken in the second round which is reasonably high - the team gives him every chance to make it. Jackson ended up a contradiction. He seemed to be yanked much too readily. I ended up feeling sorry for him and wish him the best in Seattle.
The Vikings brought in an "old hand" name of Gus Frerotte. Then we had the Brett Favre chapter in Vikings (and texting) history. We could taste the Super Bowl. It might be the closest we'll get in a while.
Now we have a quarterback who spent the last three games last season standing on the sidelines (probably wearing a baseball cap) because he wasn't producing. This for a non-playoff team.
"Relationships broke down," a Washington linebacker was quoted saying.
That's what happens when you lose. McNabb's agent took public potshots at the team's leadership.
Now, McNabb coming here with a "restructured contract" reminds me of when Steve Carlton came to pitch for the Minnesota Twins. We'd love to close our eyes and imagine these guys playing like when they were in their prime.
Pro sports is in fact brutal and isn't very forgiving for aging athletes (sans performance-enhancing substances).
McNabb has been in the NFL for over a decade. Last year his numbers brought yawns: 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 13 games, a 58 percent completion rate, a 77.1 passer rating.
The Vikings now have two quarterbacks on opposite ends of the spectrum. First we drafted an anointed new quarterback in the first round, Christian Ponder out of Florida State.
Wow! New coach Leslie Frazier proclaimed he wanted to groom a young quarterback rather than go with questionable veterans.
Now the Vikings are in a common quandary. They'd like to go with the fascinating young guy but there are too many perils associated with inexperience. There are no guarantees with Ponder. The Vikings could lose and Ponder could be blemished by the experience.
But go with McNabb and it could be a repeat of what happened last year in Washington. Either way, losing means there would be boos cascading down from the stands.
Losing is a definite possibility with either quarterback.
There is no reason to believe Ponder would leapfrog past the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler or (if he's healthy) Matt Stafford in our division.
Unless Donovan McNabb can find some pill to take in order to revive some of his old physical resilience, we're looking at losing with that too.
A cynic might say McNabb was a "big name" acquisition that helps keep interest high, that it's not a serious move toward making the Super Bowl.
The Vikes need attention because the organization needs a new stadium. Maybe the new stadium is really the highest priority now. The NFL is nothing if not a money gathering monster.
Fans everywhere can envision their favorite team doing well when fall comes. This is what being a fan is all about.
I can't be absolutely certain what way the Vikings will go. But don't bet a lot of money on them.
This could be the start of a slide that could last years.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, July 29, 2011

The good, the bad and the ugly about ODD

Today it seems there's an excuse for just about any kind of unacceptable behavior.
I thought I had seen it all, really, when I came upon something called ODD. It almost seems like a humorous acronym.
But no, it stands for something that provides a cover for a lot of us boomers from when we were young.
We looked at a lot of the things happening around us and revolted. We thought we had cause, naturally.
We revolted against many of the norms thrust upon us by our elders. We didn't call them "the greatest generation" back then. That didn't come until many of them were in assisted living facilities.
The greatest generation didn't want to rock the boat about a lot of things. So that was left to us.
Of course we had self-interest to promote. For many of us that self-interest was to simply stay alive.
Dying to avenge Pearl Harbor was one thing. Or to liberate the death camps. Viet Nam was quite something else.
So a lot of us rose up because of this issue and some others. We had ODD.
There wouldn't have been enough psychiatrists to treat us. We had "oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)."
I came across this term when reading on one of the commentary websites I regularly visit.
ODD isn't some whimsical term. It isn't some vague theory of the type that might get discussed on the Maury Povich show.
ODD is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
It's nice to know after all these years that my misbehavior in school had a psychological underpinning.
There is a serious philosophical question to reflect upon here, though.
Is it always bad to reject authority?
Sounds like a fine question for the Great American Think-Off of New York Mills fame (probably more famous even than the "New York Mills Philharmonic" which was a product of P.D.Q. Bach's imagination).
I have read that the "generation gap" of the '60s and early '70s was just as intense, on a passive level, as the U.S. Civil War.
It has become distant in time. We focus on the present, so the past retreats in our thoughts.
We also tend to remember more good things than bad about the past. So we wax nostalgic watching a TV show like "The Wonder Years." It's a surreal vision.
We associate the '60s with the Beatles. But the world was going mad all around us.
Lyndon Johnson escalated the Viet Nam War. Young people en masse were infuriated. We saw the Jim Crow mindset in the South and became equally infuriated.
We all developed ODD.
We learn that ODD is "an ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior toward authority figures which goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood behavior."
Does this definition admit that some rebellion is normal? I wonder where the line gets drawn.
How does the definition address situations where grievances are real and rebellion is called for?
Isn't the present-day "tea party" movement kind of an echo of the older rebellions?
The tea party draws a line in the sand. It says "no compromise." It circles the wagons.
Look at the recent behavior of Rep. Allen West of Florida. West's denunciation of colleague Debbie Wasserman Schultz went beyond the accepted bounds of U.S. political disagreement.
Someday when the fall of the U.S. empire is studied, West's comments might be seen as reflecting a turning point. No more civility.
The U.S. isn't supposed to be like this.
The tea party says it wants government to be torn down. If you're familiar with my writing - and thank you - you know I dismiss the tea party as like a reactionary fly buzzing around our heads.
I feel it's a faux political movement. Deep down a lot of these people don't really know what they want. They're really just fearful. They want simplistic answers.
An element like the tea party has existed for a long time. When I was a kid it was the John Birch Society.
These voices have historically been marginalized. William F. Buckley gained fame by rejecting the Birchers.
I'll assert as I have before that conservatism is primarily a voice of restraint. We need to put the brakes to an interventionist government at times.
What's dangerous, is when the most conservative elements try to seize the reins of power.
The likes of Grover Norquist feel empowered today, beyond what his predecessors of previous eras could have imagined. Where does this new empowerment come from?
I'll gravitate to a topic that provides a thread on this blog: the media.
Really, the media? Let's explore.
The old print media was a bastion for political thought that tended to be left of center. The print media almost seemed like an instrument (or extension) of government.
We are reminded of this whenever we hear tea party types deride "the mainstream media." They're really just talking about the old days.
There actually was something to the old "liberal media bias" charge. There was just something about the old print-centered, aggregated and paternalistic media that was favorable toward government and its designs.
Then a particular brand of talk radio flourished. It was unfettered.
We learned that political conservatives could harness the electronic media much more effectively than print.
The old print-centered media tended to be favorable toward the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Remember that?
As that poorly-crafted measure got eviscerated, we perhaps saw the first example of this newly emboldened political right.
The old media, so complacent with its power, failed to analyze the ERA adequately. They just made a lazy, knee-jerk judgment that "equal rights" must be a good thing, so shame on you who disagree.
Oh, I remember at least one finger-wagging editorial.
I remember the Minneapolis newspaper assailing the campaign of Republican Robert Short as being "slashing," i.e. unethical when all Short had done was try to portray Hubert Humphrey as a big government proponent.
One of the hallmarks of the new media is that it shoots down laziness. You'd better be prepared to support an argument. Knives will come out from all sides.
That's fine to a degree.
Conservatism is a sound principle (shall we say in the abstract) and easy to trumpet in the new media.
An intrusive government is a handy villain. Until you need to depend on Social Security and Medicare.
The new media landscape, so transformative it's mind-boggling, is giving the tea party a platform with power that perhaps even surprises them. Norquist must want to pinch himself at times.
What will staunch conservatives do if they really do take over, if the Allen West style of rhetoric really does carry the day?
It'll be like the dog chasing the car that actually catches the car. What does he do?
(The Robert Redford character faced a quandary like this in the '60s political movie "The Candidate.")
The outcome might be scary.
Might the new media be a conduit causing mortal schisms in America?
What are the ramifications of the political right flexing its muscles? Of saying "no compromise" and really meaning it?

An island of dinosaurs?
I think maybe we're seeing an example of "chaos theory" as articulated by the character Ian Malcolm in "Jurassic Park."
Us boomers grew up with norms and boundaries that we all took for granted. We see the change of today but perhaps we don't see the storm clouds accompanying it.
The idealism of our youth, albeit with some naivete, has given way to a "leave me alone" attitude. So we might vote for a Michele Bachmann.
We hated Spiro Agnew but wasn't Dick Cheney arguably worse? Wasn't Cheney out of a mold we would have mocked when we were young?
Didn't we "dig" Jerry Brown back when he was Linda Ronstadt's boyfriend?
The new media represent radical change and change is always accompanied by unknowns. Social media mean we're never bored anymore. Remember boredom?
Social media are the innocuous side of our new media. The less innocuous? We may not be fully aware yet.
Physics describes behavior by linear equations. It deals with known parameters, and for boomers this means arising in the morning to our "morning newspapers" which had a voice of God type of temperance. It was our known world.
The screamers like Glenn Beck had no place in our old world.
Physics does not deal well with turbulence. Turbulent events are described by nonlinear equations. Answers and solutions are elusive.
Maybe America is turning into a giant Jurassic Park.
Where will the symptoms of ODD take us in the political sphere?
Defiance in the '60s seemed healthy. Today there's a giant gray area as Norquist casts his shadow over Washington D.C.
Defiance can be in the form of the good, the bad and the ugly.
Polarization looks dangerous now, nothing like the Tip O'Neill vs. Ronald Reagan wrangling of a time that now seems buried in the past. Yes, quaint, like a Michael J. Fox movie.
What happens if compromise becomes not an option?
The island of dinosaurs will start to break down. We can only pray we can adjust.
Consider the tea party like one big Tyrannosaurus Rex.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Eagles win 6-4 in Sunday home affair

Eric Riley zips 'em in for Morris during the win over Monte. (Photos by B.W.)
Jamie Van Kempen bats for Morris during the 6-4 win.

Eric Riley made his first pitching appearance as an Eagle and ended up with the "W" next to his name in the boxscore.
Eric, coming up from high school ranks, pitched seven innings and Craig Knochenmus for the other two. Knochenmus got the save as the Eagles beat Montevideo 6-4.
This game was played on Sunday, July 24, at Chizek Field. It was an ideal day for enjoying baseball.
There's more to come. The Morris town team, fresh from two weekend triumphs, now plunges into Region 9C play.
The first order of business is to determine seeding. A full menu of baseball is set for our Chizek Field again this Saturday, July 30.
First, Montevideo will play Appleton at 1 p.m. The winner of that game will play the Eagles at 4 p.m. It's a one-game playoff to determine the #1 seed in the Division.
The Eagles are striving to stay on a roll.
Eric Riley was "effectively wild" in his pitching performance of this past Sunday, according to Eagles spokesman Matthew Carrington. He did walk seven batters but he struck out seven.
Maybe the occasional wildness disrupted the focus of the Montevideo batters?
None of the four runs that Riley allowed were earned. He gave up five hits.
Knochenmus got the save with three strikeouts, one walk and one hit allowed in his two innings.
The Eagles had lost twice previously to Montevideo this season. They began Sunday hitting on all cylinders as they assumed a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Knochenmus drove in a run with a single and Ryan Beyer doubled in a run.
Riley blanked Monte over the first five innings and then allowed three unearned runs in the sixth. So Monte had the lead at 3-2 but that didn't last long.
Nathan Gades rapped an RBI single. On that hit, the Monte rightfielder committed a miscue and Riley came around to score from first, so Morris now had the lead back at 4-3.
Then the score became 5-3 when Knochenmus connected for an RBI single in the seventh.
Montevideo broke through with another unearned run in the eighth vs. Riley, who seemed to be showing some fatigue signs. The potentially tying run was "90 feet away," Carrington recalled, as Riley exited from the mound and Knochenmus was handed the ball.
"Knochy's" fresh arm was good for setting down two straight batters on strikes. The Eagles then got out of the jam when a double steal attempt went awry.
The Eagles scored their final run in the eighth on an RBI double by the "in the zone" Dusty Sauter. Sauter had seven hits in ten at-bats on the weekend. His sizzling .433 average is tops on the squad.
Monte's faint hopes in the top of the ninth faded when Morris executed a double play, and then Knochenmus bore down to fan Monte's No. 3 hitter in the order.
Morris had a line score of six runs, eleven hits and two errors. Monte's numbers: 4-6-1.
Eagles with multiple hits were Sauter, Chris Boettcher, Knochenmus and Ryan Beyer.
Morris Eagles baseball anticipates continued success and excitement.
The more fans the better!
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's on to Region 9C playoffs!

Chris Boettcher bats for the Morris Eagles during the Sunday (7/24) win. (Photos by B.W.)
Ross Haugen gets set for his next at-bat.
Dusty Sauter of the Eagles makes healthy contact.

The humidity backed off a little, or so it felt, this past weekend for the Morris Eagles' playoff games. Yours truly (B.W.) was present for the Sunday game, played on a pleasant and classic midsummer day.
In these times of extreme weather, such a day was welcome and it was made even more pleasant by how the Eagles fared.
The Eagles won on both Saturday and Sunday.
Playing in Appleton Saturday, the Eagles disposed of Benson 11-6. Then in front of their friendly home fans Sunday, the Eagles made it a weekend sweep at the expense of Montevideo. Morris downed Monte 6-4.
These were playoff games. Now it's on to the Region 9C level of play.
They'll plunge into that level on a roll as they have triumphed in eight of their last nine games. This is what's known as "peaking at the right time."

Morris 11, Benson 6
Morris took the field at Appleton in the opening round of the Canvas Division. The Eagles and the rival Benson Chiefs vied.
Early-on things looked grim. Benson shot out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning.
The Eagles slowly righted their ship, rallying for two runs in the second and then enjoying a big five-run outburst in the fourth.
Now the momentum is in Motown's corner.
The Eagles pulled away in the seventh with two runs and tacked on two more for good measure in the eighth. All in all a satisfying day on the diamond.
Ryan Beyer doubled in the second inning, driving in a run. He then scored on Chris Boettcher's base rap.
The fourth inning story had six straight Eagle batters reaching safely. Benson pitching grew wild. Eagle batters were patient but they also got their bats off their shoulders for two hits.
Craig Knochenmus and Nathan Gades each worked the pitcher for a walk with the bases loaded. Mitch Carbert connected for a two-run single. Brett Anderson lofted a sacrifice fly.
Dusty Sauter drove in a run with a double in the seventh.
Ryan Beyer showed his homer swing in the bottom of the eighth, connecting with a runner on.
Gades pitched for eight innings and Jamie Van Kempen hurled for one. Gades struggled at times but he got the win.
Sauter was a monster at bat with his five hits in six at-bats including a double. He also stole a base.
Anderson was a perfect two-for-two. Beyer's double and round-tripper helped him finish with three RBIs.
Morris played errorless ball while Benson committed two errors.
Morris Eagles baseball rolls forward, anticipating more slick fielding and loud bats.
(I will be posting on the Montevideo game also - B.W.)
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Sunday, July 24, 2011

On jails, enlightenment and financial reality

One of the arguments we heard against the new jail here had to do with the concept of jail itself.
There will always be some people who have to be separated from normal society. But America has a relatively large portion of its citizens locked up.
This fact is getting greater scrutiny.
Simply locking so many people up, people of disparate backgrounds and levels of wrongdoing, may be judged unreasonable. The cost ($) may expedite this process.
The feared cost of a Stevens County jail raised ire in great many people.
Small towns occasionally have controversies like this. They are unfortunate because they leave scars.
The jail skeptics won. Along the way they constructed some quite elaborate and well thought out arguments.
My, they got philosophical. They talked about the purposes of jail and whether they were all well-grounded.
An example: Couldn't more non-violent offenders simply be referred for mental health attention?
So, the problem of jail or prisons is that it's too much of a one-size-fits-all principle.
Maybe prisoners who aren't dangerous in a back alley don't require the same confinement as ones who are.
Would Bernie Madoff scare you in a back alley?
Prisons are meant to protect society. Simply locking people up as punishment is going to come under greater scrutiny as we gain more knowledge about mental health disorders and especially as we look at the cost.
Stevens County went through a horrible episode of weighing a new jail. Vociferous elements of the public rose up.
I'm not sure what spell certain county commissioners came under to think this facility was a good idea. It seemed like the whole cacophony was against the jail.
A prominent Morris individual did inform me, though, that the jail had its backers around town. Their argument?
"We have to keep building Morris," the individual told me (in a church basement setting).
We need to reflect on that statement. Do we really want growth if it's just spurred by government?
Do we want growth if it's in the form of a jail which has no redeeming good qualities? Do we want growth even if it's depressing?
So, all growth is not good growth.
Jail opponents put in writing their skepticism in a prescient way. Will we find better means of dealing with non-violent offenders than "locking them up?"
Much has been said about how the "war on drugs" is bleeding us. We need to listen to the libertarians who argue that drug laws need to be loosened.
I read recently there is one state that is doing this simply because minor drug offenses were clogging their court system.
Where did this onerous punishment come from? Is this just more of the legacy of the '60s and early '70s, i.e. the culture war of that time, when youth decided drug use might be part of their badge of rebellion? Like wearing blue jeans to school?
It's time to knock it off. The war on drugs has ended up like the war on poverty.
Certainly drug use can be discouraged by means other than onerous jail time. Lumping all sorts of prisoners together reminds me of the old large mental health institutions like the one in Fergus Falls.
We gained more insights into mental health. People began getting treated for their special conditions. They were segregated off in much the same way prison inmates could be.
The "worst of the worst," i.e. sociopaths could stay locked up in the stereotypical prison situation.
People who are dumb or who have screwed up or for whom life has given them no advantages could be guided along a different path.
In the meantime the jail opponents have won in Morris.
Certainly we all had to feel some skepticism about the proposal. Stevens County is such a placid place, thank God.
Surely these inmates would be coming from other places to a degree, and why? Why should it become our responsibility?
I look at the new courthouse and wonder whether the substantial renovation was even necessary. I thought the old courthouse was attractive.
We are approaching a time when the revamping of government at all levels is going to happen. These pressures were one reason why state government shut down.
The pressures for change are going to meet stiff resistance in the form of advocates of the status quo. The shutdown ended up accomplishing nothing in terms of pushing us toward that change. Too many oxes would get gored. The status quo won for now.
The forces of change are going to be inexorable.
The reason: disruptive technology.
It is a joke for Minnesota to have so many counties and for auditors to be sprinkled all over the place.
Yes we are seeing some consolidation. But the fundamental changes haven't pushed through yet.
The forces of change are evident in subtle ways around us. A friend told me a while back that the reason why Morris churches are struggling with attendance is that the younger generation of adults doesn't find it necessary to go to "a building" to affirm their faith.
The bricks and mortar element of government is going to be reduced.
I have written several times on this site that higher education is dealing with the same kind of tremor. It isn't necessary to go to a "campus" to learn. It seems elementary really.
But the youth get the idea. As they get older and gain power, their values will get instilled in our collective systems.
Eventually state government and state institutions will be redesigned. It's just that we're not quite ready yet.
It's too unsettling for many of us. It can seem scary.
My boomer generation promoted values that seemed scary to many of the older folk. "Make love not war."
It seems elementary now. The U.S. still engages in foreign conflicts but there is no draft. It's more like police actions (nation building?) and certainly not like the grand war of attrition in Viet Nam.
What do we way to those who say "we need to keeping building Morris?"
I'd say maybe we should be thankful we're just a small, quiet rural community.
I'd say the new jail could in no way compensate for some of the retrenchment we've seen in our local business community.
We have other needs like tearing down the old school. What in God's name is delaying that? Funds for that should have been included in the new school referendum.
Surely we're going to do it at some point. The sooner the better.
What happened to the "green community" that was going to be developed on the old school property? I'm told it "lacks investors." In other words, there's no economic impetus for expansion of Morris.
So those who feel "we have to keep building Morris" are going to have to sit on their hands longer.
A big new jail wouldn't have helped one speck. It would have been a curiosity, a nuisance and a financial drain, but nothing good would come of it.
The county jail building boom in Minnesota has been judged a big white elephant. It has been judged a "prison industrial complex."
Financial austerity is causing a new hard look. Jails and prisons may go the way of that mental health facility in Fergus Falls.
We will fine-tune corrections. The specter of jail won't be what it once was.
Society will find a gentler way to deal with people who wouldn't scare you in a back alley. And Morris will be just fine without a big new jail.
Now let's get the Coborn's building occupied.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, July 22, 2011

Legion team wraps up - Eagles, VFW win

Morris Legion baseball: 6-3 defeat
Two losses and you're out in the district tourney. Unfortunately for the usually high-flying Morris Legion Nine, loss No. 2 came Thursday night. So the season is over.
The Thursday foe was Granite Falls, in Montevideo, where the District 7 tourney is reaching a climax.
Granite Falls seemed to want to hand this game to Morris on a platter. Granite Falls looked disoriented in the field at times and committed seven errors. Seven errors!
But alas, Post #29 couldn't exploit this weakness well enough. Morris was defeated by Granite Falls 6-3.
Morris committed two errors in this less-than-a-masterpiece game.
Morris is known for showing power bats. Their fans watched with chagrin Thursday as this game grew into an exception. Morris was quite out of character as all eight of their hits were singles.
So let's give some credit to the Granite Falls pitcher. This was Dylan Lindstrom, who worked six innings before giving way to the closer Aaron Zieske who threw one.
Lindstrom gave up the three Morris runs but two were unearned. He struck out two batters and walked three.
Tyler Hansen was the Morris starting pitcher and was hurt badly by unearned runs. All five of the runs that Hansen allowed were unearned. He gave up four hits, struck out four and walked one in his 2 2/3 innings on the hill.
Sam Mattson pitched the other 3 1/3. Mattson allowed four hits, struck out three batters and walked one while allowing one run which was unearned.
Add 'em up and there were six unearned runs scored by Granite Falls which constituted their whole run total.
Yes, it was a heartbreaking way for the curtain to come down on the Post #29 season.
All the Granite Falls runs were scored in the third inning. Hansen got the hook in that inning. A wild pitch allowed two runs to score. Garrett Cole hit a two-run double. Austin Thorstad and Brandon Grund singled.
Morris fans had their hopes lifted in the top of the seventh when their team got two baserunners on with no outs. At this point, Lindstrom is relieved by Zieske.
Zieske responded to the pressure, first striking out a batter and then inducing a double play.
With a thud the Morris season ended. But on the whole, Morris fans can embrace many special memories from the 2011 summer.
Tyler Hansen had one hit in three at-bats. Ditto Ryan Beyer. Cole Riley's hitting eye was sharp as he connected for three hits in four at-bats.
Brady Valnes and Mitch Kill both went one-for-four. Ethan Bruer had a one-for-two evening and drove in a run.
Thanks for the memories, Post #29 boys! Try to stay cool.

Morris Eagles baseball: 12-2 triumph
The Eagles took command vs. Benson to capture the #1 seed in the Canvas Division. They plated 12 runs in this July 20 game played in Chiefs country of Benson.
You might say the Eagles painted a fine picture of victory on this canvas! It was achieved 12-2 and saw the Morris bats sizzle for 14 hits, compared to five by Benson.
The Canvas Division is part of the Land O' Ducks League.
This game was originally slated for Saturday but the obstacle was - you guessed it - the weather conditions of late.
Johnny Carson might have quipped: "How hot was it?"
Well it was too hot for the game to be played to completion on Saturday. This was a suspension and not a total postponement.
The resumption of the action saw the temperature in a much more tolerable range. Mid-game "it actually cooled off a bit," spokesman Matthew Carrington said.
Morris was already in good shape, leading 4-2, at the time of the resumption.
Morris seemed to put the game out of reach with a four-run fifth inning, achieved on just two hits. There were three bases-loaded walks. Benson's woes were compounded by a passed ball.
The Eagles had fuel left in the tank for a four-run ninth. When the dust cleared, this was clearly Morris' night. Morris committed just one error.
Benson's error with two outs in the ninth opened the door for that late rally. Ross Haugen took advantage by walloping a two-run double. Craig Knochenmus connected for an RBI triple down the right field line. The lefty Knochenmus pulled that ball with authority.
All this offense made the pitching job kind of a pipe (whatever that means) for Matthew Carrington.
The veteran Carrington set down the final 16 batters he faced. He finished the night with five strikeouts, he walked just one and he allowed five hits and two runs (one earned).
Knochenmus went to work on the hill for the ninth and he was untouched. "Knochy" fanned two Chiefs.
Dusty Sauter had a boxscore line of all 2's: at-bats, runs, hits, RBIs. The Nathan Gades line was 3-2-1-1.
Chris Boettcher: 3-2-2-1. Ross Haugen: 4-1-3-3. Craig Knochenmus: 3-0-1-3.
Brett Anderson: 5-0-1-0. Mitch Carbert: 1-1-1-0. Ben James: 4-1-2-0.
Jon Jallo: 1-1-1-0. And Tony Schultz: 3-2-0-0.
What's next? The Eagles will face Benson again at 4 p.m. Saturday (7/23) in Appleton.
Then on Sunday, regardless of the Saturday outcomes, the Eagles will play in the late game (4 p.m.) here at Chizek Field.
The Eagles are now eyeing the Region 9C playoffs. They're on a roll, having won six of their last seven games.

Morris VFW baseball: 15-4 triumph
It's always gratifying to beat the "big town." Morris VFW baseball came up against Willmar on Tuesday (7/19) and showed a superior caliber.
As the visitor, Morris erupted big-time in the second and third innings with rallies that helped bury the host. The final score: 15-4.
Willmar was shaky in the field, handing Morris opportunities by committing seven errors. Morris by contrast committed one.
The 15 Morris runs came on 12 hits while Willmar was held to five hits.
Morris Post #5039 scored five runs in the second inning and seven in the third. The score was 12-2 entering the fifth inning.
Morris plated three runs in the top of the fifth and Willmar answered with two, but a ten-run bulge had opened up that ended the game via "the rule" (ten-run rule).
Jake Torgerson pitched the whole way for Post #5039 and fanned five batters while walking none. He gave up five hits and four runs (earned).
The losing pitcher was Brandon Christenson.
Tyler Henrichs supplied lots of punch with his bat for Motown. Tyler posted three-for-four numbers while scoring three runs and driving in one.
Chandler Erickson had two hits in four at-bats. The following batters went two-for-three: Jordan Staples, Tom Holland and Mac Beyer.
Beyer's bat resonated with a home run and triple, and he drove in two runs and scored two.
Staples drove in two runs. Holland picked up a ribbie.
Buzzy Tollefson led Willmar's hitting at two-for-three including a double.

Legion ball: defeat vs. Madison
The normally potent Morris American Legion team offense was humbled on Tuesday, July 19. The Post #29 crew was embarking on districts. The site: Montevideo.
Morris was fresh from two weekend triumphs in which their offense earned that "potent" description.
But on Tuesday their bats became relatively silent in a 4-1 loss.
Double-elimination would allow Post #29 to see another day. (But they would lose to Granite Falls.)
The Tuesday roadblock was thrust by Madison, the long version of which is "Madison Lac qui Parle Post #158."
Madison needed some time to get going. Through five innings it looked like Morris and its accomplished pitcher Alex Erickson might own the day.
It was Erickson who homered in the first and then his pitching arm took over to throttle Madison through the first five innings. But of course a 1-0 lead can be precarious.
Morris couldn't chip away any further because opposing hurler Joey Schreck was quite in command. Erickson and Schreck would both pitch the distance (seven innings).
It was Schreck who would get the "W" next to his name in the boxscore. That's because after giving up that Erickson homer in the first, he totally shut the door. There was a string of zeroes on the scoreboard after that.
Madison had a string of zeroes through five innings but that changed in the sixth. Madison summoned a decisive three-run rally, then proceeded to add an insurance run in the seventh.
Madison had a line score of four runs, seven hits and no errors, while Post #29 put up 1-6-5 numbers.
The telling stat there would appear to be the "five" for Morris errors. Ouch.
Two of the runs that Erickson allowed were unearned. He struck out eight batters, gave up seven hits and walked one.
The winner Schreck had six strikeouts and walked two, while giving up six hits and one run (earned).
Erickson wielded his bat for a double in addition to his home run. Four of his teammates went one-for-three: Eric Riley, Mitch Kill, Brody Bahr and Brady Valnes.
The Haas boys, Sam and Seth, both had two hits for Madison. Other Madison hits were off the bats of Jacob Redepenning, Eric Paulson and Brandon Weber.
For Morris the loss had a sting because Morris prevailed twice vs. Madison previously this summer.
In the other District 7 "Final 4" game on Tuesday, it was Eden Valley-Watkins downing Granite Falls 6-2. Winning pitcher Kevin Kramer struck out ten batters.
Matt Geislinger socked a two-run homer to stoke EV-W's winning fortunes.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Was it just a pie in face of newspapers?

It wasn't quite as dramatic as watching John Dean testify about Watergate.
The panel questioning Rupert Murdoch Tuesday was striving to get at the bottom of wrongdoing, as in Watergate.
The drama seemed more to come from a juvenile pie-throwing gesture than any revelations. That gesture took attention away from any possible revelations.
The media couldn't resist that. Fox News was glad because it diverted attention.
Fox News is part of the Murdoch media empire and flexes its muscle in U.S. politics.
Murdoch has been attracted to the political sphere. I consider it almost an eccentricity. "News" has little to do with the bottom line of News Corp. "News" is anything but a growth proposition today.
Information is becoming free and the public loves it.
We say we revere old journalistic institutions but that's only an ingrained notion. The notion was implanted in years past when the corporate media were indispensable. Families would arise in the morning and consume the daily paper.
Often I would even acquire the afternoon Minneapolis Star, you know, the paper that had "Star" in that little yellow block at the top. Jim Klobuchar would have another tome-length piece on the Minnesota Vikings.
Because we accepted newspapers into our families, we deferred to them and might be inclined to be defensive on their behalf.
Naturally there has been a relentless onslaught over the past several years vs. the essential role of newspapers.
Nobody wants to say anything bad about them. It's also hard to say anything bad about someone in his 80s like Murdoch. When he gropes to answer a question or appears to draw a blank, we understand.
Many of us assume that because he owns the likes of the Wall Street Journal, he's a power player on the world stage. But you could argue that news is a drag on the far-flung operations of News Corp.
News Corp. is primarily an entertainment company and a successful one. The news stuff just gives elder statesman Murdoch a bully pulpit. He enjoys it the way an adolescent boy might enjoy a slingshot.
He gets a feeling of power and brings attention to himself and his operations. Until he slings a rock into someone's window.
And this is what has happened, in effect, in the current mess.
Murdoch pleads ignorance because his empire is so far-flung. When asked if he simply takes responsibility, he answers with a sharp "no," even though the manly and politically proper response would be to take responsibility for his own company.
But remember, he's in his 80s. His son James doesn't have that excuse.
Seated next to the patriarch, James evades, rationalizes or takes any other maneuvers to avoid a John Dean moment. A common refuge is to say that because of ongoing police investigations, "I cannot answer at this time."
Rupert and James may escape true culpability. They may not end up talking to the portraits on the wall like Richard Nixon.
Their exact fate may end up not meaning much. There are forces within News Corp. that will fix things according to the usual business pressures. All things being equal, this is always the desirable outcome.
Business doesn't want to bother with news reporting anymore.
All of us have heard news reports about the declining fortunes of newspapers.
A very knowledgeable media observer reports that those pesky paper advertising circulars that are flung at us all the time, have about two years left before they're gone. Like everything else, this info is migrating to the much more efficient and environmentally friendly electronic media.
The pace of newspaper decline has been the subject of analysis and speculation over the last 6-7 years. It has been said newspapers had a "near death experience" in 2009.
Media maven Michael Wolff, a biographer of Rupert Murdoch, once predicted (wrongly) that 80 percent of all newspapers would be gone within 18 months.
Newspapers used some tricks. Cuts and consolidation bought some time. But they haven't righted the ship. The numbers are still coming in on a downward course.
Newspapers are betting that their legacy customers can sustain them a while longer - people who have it ingrained in their heads that newspapers are good, wholesome and pillars of democracy and, well, everything upstanding.
It serves none of us to be deferential to the likes of Murdoch. He's knee-deep in trouble, mainly because of misdeeds at News of the World, which I have never seen.
I had to think twice to realize this wasn't the same paper as Weekly World News.
The latter is the uproarious publication that gave us "Batboy" and proclaims things like Dick Cheney is a robot. I used to peruse copies at the employee lounge at Quinco Press in Lowry.
Weekly World News with its cast of space aliens is now online only. It's as good a harbinger as any for understanding where the print media is going.
Our community of Morris is a pretty good little laboratory too. We have a chain paper here which contradicts the underlying spirit of community newspapers. It has halved its production, now coming out once a week in comparison to twice when it was locally owned.
They will spin this so it's seemingly not so bad, naturally. But I would compare such a move to, say, Willie's Super Valu shutting down half its store and then telling people "hey, it's no big deal."
("No big deal" is so Scandinavian and Upper Midwest. Nobody likes a "big deal" because it's discomforting.)
Now, a lot of towns have a "weekly" paper, towns like Chokio and Clinton. But historically, Morris has exuded more vitality than these sleepy rural towns.
I don't know, given some developments here maybe we just aren't that vital anymore. Coborn's sits empty and decaying. Ditto UBC.
The newspaper is owned by a company out of Fargo. The management strings are often pulled out of Detroit Lakes.
Detroit Lakes is a tourist town unlike Morris. I think the perspective there is different from here. But so what? The management strings are going to be pulled based on numbers, not on being attuned to the community.
Forum Communications will make some decisions based on consolidation, which I understand is why two employees were laid off here not long ago.
The company will say they had to do it. But what are their profit criteria?
In the short term, newspapers can still make money. In business there's the term "harvesting" which some say applies to newspapers. They're bringing in the crop now and the ground will lay bare henceforth.
And the public is played for a sucker, at least that portion of the public that ascribes "legacy" value to newspapers.
I smiled early this week when entering Willie's Super Valu and seeing a "sign of the times," a sign asking customers to "sign up and receive our weekly emails with links to our weekly ad and website."
There's a chance to win prizes. I have already signed up.
I'm sure the parent company would love it if everyone would just avail themselves of this now. The cost and hassle of those awful paper circulars, strewn out and about every week, would be eliminated.
Super Valu knows this probably cannot be accomplished overnight. But the expert I cited earlier says "two years" - the lifespan likely remaining for paper ad circulars.
If you get the Morris newspaper you get a pile of these. They appear to be buttressing the Forum's business model. In time we won't care what the Forum wants to foist on us, any more than we'll care how Murdoch operates his business empire.
The old "institutional media" which enjoyed flexing its muscles will atrophy, and is in fact atrophying as we speak.
It might be a headline in the Weekly World News: "Newspapers mysteriously disappearing."
Willie's Super Valu won't have to pay to advertise. They could lower prices or maybe (preferably) give employees a bump upward in salary.
"Eureka!" Paul Martin might proclaim.
Paul follows in the iconic Willie's footsteps much more gracefully than James Murdoch relative to his old man.
And Fox News? It can just go away or at least quit behaving like a rabid dog from the far right politically. What we need is a dose of the "people loving" that Willie's Super Valu has made famous in its slogans.
"Love ya."
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Monday, July 18, 2011

Post #29 powers through weekend games

The Morris baseball athletes are dealing with everything Mother Nature churns out.
This past spring it was overpowering wind on at least one occasion. That was the prep campaign when they played under the moniker "Tigers."
That campaign ended in Marshall on an anticlimactic note. The MACA defense broke down at the very end.
But the athletes have pulled themselves up by the bootstraps to excel in summer Legion play. As in the spring, they're fighting to cope with Mother Nature with nearly the same focus they apply in battling the opposition.
Two key playoff games were played Saturday and Sunday, July 16-17.
The weather? It was unforgettable mainly from the standpoint of humidity. Yours truly (B.W.) has never seen anything like it.
Window panes seemed to be frosted over everywhere. It certainly could be bad news for camera lenses too.
Obviously it was hot also. Sunday night we got a dose of lightning and the kind of thunder that can rattle your house.
The weekend ended with the Morris Legion Nine in quite good shape.
The Saturday story: a 13-2 win over Wheaton, the top seed. The Sunday story: more of same as the focused Legion unit squared off vs. Wheaton again and prevailed 10-5.
Double-digit run totals bode well. There were lots of highlights for our fans to cheer at Chizek Field.
Morris is one of four finalists at the district level now. They'll seek the District 7 crown beginning tomorrow (Tuesday, July 19) at Montevideo.
Morris will vie with Madison at 5:15 p.m. The late game will match Eden Valley-Watkins and Granite Falls.
It's double-elimination now. Action will continue on Thursday through Saturday.
The Post #29 crew takes a 12-2 season record into this next phase of playoffs.

Morris 13, Wheaton 2
Ryan Beyer stayed "in the zone" with his potent bat, helping to humble the No. 1 seed at the sub-district level. Beyer homered, tripled and singled.
He's accumulating ever more impressive power stats. His homer total on the summer is six, this after walloping seven homer blasts in the spring.
Morris took charge after the scoreless first two innings. Morris rallied for five runs in the third and went on to score two in the fourth, four in the sixth and two in the seventh.
They scored their 13 total runs on eleven hits and fielded cleanly, committing just one error.
The Wheaton line score was two runs, five hits and three errors.
Tyler Hansen was busy on the basepaths and he scored four runs. He had two hits in five at-bats and drove in two runs.
Alex Erickson scored three of the Morris runs. He had a one-for-three morning (yes, it was morning).
Ryan Beyer's extra-base blasts were part of a three-for-three boxscore line. He drove in a whopping six runs and scored three.
The always-reliable Eric Riley came through at two-for-five and two RBIs. Cole Riley had a one-for-three morning.
Ethan Bruer had a hit in his only at-bat and drove in two runs. Brody Bahr doubled and scored two runs.
Eric Riley got the pitching win, working six innings and striking out six batters. He gave up five hits and walked four. One of the two runs he allowed was unearned.
Mitch Kill finished things up on the hill, going one inning. He walked two but allowed no runs or hits.
Mason Lampe was the losing pitcher.

Morris 10, Wheaton 5
Sunday afternoon at the height of the heat-humidity phenomena, Morris took the field again to face Wheaton.
Morris made even faster work of it this time. Post #29 scored six runs over the first two innings while blanking the stunned and top-seeded Wheaton nine.
Morris padded its total with two runs each in the fourth and sixth.
Again Morris showed reliable gloves in the field with but one error. They scored their ten total runs on 12 hits. The Wheaton line score was five runs on eight hits and one error.
Morris batted around in a big second inning that netted them five runs. Wheaton pitching had some wildness that helped sink their own fortunes. There was a balk call too.
Eric Riley hit the ball through the humid air to post three-for-three numbers including a double. He scored two runs and drove in two.
Alex Erickson drove in a run to go with his two-for-five numbers. Tyler Hansen doubled and scored three runs.
Ryan Beyer socked a triple, scored two runs and drove in one. Cole Riley went one-for-two with two RBIs.
Brady Valnes had two hits in four at-bats. Tanner Picht had a hit and an RBI, and Ethan Bruer had a hit in his only at-bat.
The pitching department saw Sam Mattson get the win with his five innings, defying the heat and humidity. He struck out one batter and walked one. He gave up five hits and two runs (earned).
Ethan Bruer pitched for 2/3 of an inning and got roughed up, so the job of completing this game went to Alex Erickson who got the save. Erickson fanned a batter, walked none and gave up no runs or hits.
Mason Lampe was tagged with his second pitching loss of the weekend for Wheaton. Lampe did have a good game hitting, going three-for-four.
Tyler Schwagel and Riley Wilson also hit safely for Wheaton.
The district tourney is proceeding toward a crescendo!
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, July 15, 2011

Eric Riley's bat "Hobbsian" in 14-4 win

Eric Riley's bat was explosive Thursday night. The multi-sport standout was at the top of his game for Morris American Legion baseball.
He performed just like Roy Hobbs at his best in the Robert Redford movie "The Natural."
Eric connected for two three-run home runs and a two-RBI single as he harvested eight RBIs total. Morris was the 14-4 winner over Osakis.
The post-season is now on. Morris fans can anticipate more success if the bats stay as loud as they were Thursday. Morris pounded out 15 hits in the five innings.
Morris brought "the rule" (ten-run rule) into effect with a five-run rally in the bottom of the fifth. Once that ten-run bulge was created, the game instantly ended.
Morris began the game with a five-run first. They added one in the second and three in the third.
Their line score was a brilliant 14 runs, 15 hits and one error. The Osakis numbers were 4-4-2.
Tyler Hansen was active both with the bat and his pitching arm. This seasoned athlete went three-for-four including a triple. He scored two runs and drove in two.
Pitching-wise, Tyler got the win as the starter, going the first four innings. He struck out two batters and walked four. He allowed four hits and four runs which were earned.
Tyler gave way to Ethan Bruer for the top of the fifth. Bruer allowed no hits and no runs and he fanned a batter while walking one.
Ryan Beyer had another memorable outing with the stick, on this night going two-for-three with an RBI.
Alex Erickson went one-for-three with two runs scored.
Brady Valnes brought a wave of cheers out of the Chizek Field stands with a solo homer. Brady finished the night two-for-three with two runs scored and an RBI.
Tanner Picht showed focus at the plate and went two-for-three.
Also stoking the attack were Brody Bahr and Mitch Kill, each of whom went one-for-three. Kill drove in a run.

More on baseball: the Clemens (non) trial
Does anyone else have the feeling of late that the defense has too many advantages in celebrated trials?
Now we have Roger Clemens.
The prosecution screwed up in a manner remindful of The Three Stooges.
So justice is denied, it seems. The mistrial declared by Judge Reggie Walton means Clemens might be off the hook for good.
There may be a new trial eventually but there might not.
If the defense screws up, I suppose there might be a sanction of some kind but the trial would go on, and the defense could eventually win. The smart money is with the defense in these big trials that get splashed all over TV.
The defense just scatterguns relentlessly. It seems like putting just a graze wound on the prosecution is good enough.
Meanwhile the prosecution seems to have to perform flawlessly. And even then, their work can be nitpicked.
In the Clemens case, the jury was exposed to some evidence that was a no-go. It's not that the evidence was non-factual, just that. . . Oh, I don't know, it takes a lawyer to fine-tune all the language surrounding this.
If what the jury heard was factual and not fabricated or malicious, it should absolutely be no big deal.
But in courtrooms, a prosecution's misstep seems to instantly become a "bombshell," to use a word that defense attorneys are fond of when some new wrinkle goes their way. Every point in their favor is a "bombshell."
All the jurors heard, was testimony from Andy Pettitte's wife about what Andy told her about what Clemens had apparently claimed. Oh it's roundabout to be sure.
But just let the jurors weigh that. Is that reasonable?
Clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin cried "foul," in effect, requested a mistrial and got it. I don't know if he was waving his arms but that's what defense attorneys do.
So Laura Pettitte didn't have "direct knowledge" of what Clemens allegedly said? That's what Judge Walton asserted.
Yes, and we don't have a videotape of the Caley Anthony murder either.
If you feel Clemens is innocent, you might consider believing in the Tooth Fairy too.
The steroid era has created a fog for baseball fans. I grew up when players began losing their reflexes ever so slightly beginning at about the age of 33. You basically judged a player's career by the numbers he put up over a span of about 12 to 14 years.
A pitcher who learned to throw "junk" might be an exception. Power hitters were especially challenged to stay sharp.
I'm bitter that Harmon Killebrew now must be judged next to Barry Bonds.
The controversial substances not only extend a career, they expedite getting over an injury. Killebrew might have been able to deal with his sprained toe.
But the recently-deceased Harmon played under the old rules. He was still "The Killer" even without the likes of steroids. Let's elevate him to an even higher pedestal.
And Clemens? He can stay outside the Hall of Fame like Mark McGwire, trying to rationalize the decisions he made the rest of his life. Maybe the Tooth Fairy can console him.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sports: Legion ball, "Coach Ek" & the media

Hancock sprayed singles all over the field, 15 in all, in an attack that bested the Morris American Legion nine on Thursday, July 7.
There was a time when Hancock joined hands with Benson for Legion ball. Not any more. Hancock fields a quite capable team on its own.
"Capable" certainly describes the work of pitcher Brendon Foss. Foss set down 12 Morris batters on strikes.
Hancock was the 8-2 winner.
Virtually all of Hancock's hits were singles. Morris employed three pitchers but none could really blunt the Hancock attack.
Alex Erickson was tagged with the pitching loss. Hancock's Foss worked the full seven innings for the victor and he allowed just one earned run. He allowed eight hits and walked one.
Each team committed one error. The Morris hit total was eight.
Austin Steege was one of three Hancock batters with three hits. Steege posted three-for-four numbers and scored two runs.
Dylan Reese was also three-for-four and he drove in two runs. Luke Schwarz had three hits in four at-bats and drove in two runs.
Bryan Shaw contributed two-for-three numbers and picked up two ribbies. Collin Cunningham had a two-for-four showing and crossed home plate three times.
For Morris, Tyler Hansen was able to get to Foss for two hits (one a double) in four at-bats. Cole Riley's bat was activated for two-for-three numbers and he drove in a run.
Ryan Beyer had a double and an RBI.
The Hancock batters had Erickson figured out on this day, and Erickson lasted just two innings, giving up six hits.
Sam Mattson got roughed up in a two-inning stint, giving up six hits and five runs (four earned). Tyler Hansen had his pitching arm called on, but he too struggled as he gave up four hits and two runs in two innings.
Yours truly (B.W.) used to receive Morris Area junior varsity football reports signed "Coach Ek" at the bottom. Coach Mark Ekren had the JV reins.
It was neat covering Tiger JV football because these games were played in daytime hours. If only the High School League knew how challenging it is for football photography to be done in the blackness of night.
Fall temperatures can be considerably cooler at night too.
Some things are hard to figure, but for whatever reason, JV football is played under conditions more illuminating and fun for photographers and fans. Eventually these players "graduate" to the more visible and prestigious varsity ranks and they plunge into the darkness of night.
Last fall, at the first game I had photographed in years, one of the BOLD players jogged just a short distance to relieve himself. This might have not been practical in daytime. I was sort of lurking off to the side because I wasn't sure how I would be received as a non-corporate media photographer.
With time I realized no one was going to make an issue of it. I was welcomed with open arms by season's end.
God bless you all.
News flash: Now we have "Coach Ek" as Morris Area athletic director. He was a pleasant and dedicated person for me to work with in my younger days when I could withstand the rigors of working for the corporate media.
The corporate media are under tremendous stress these days. People can get the information they need in their day-to-day lives through myriad electronic platforms that involve no cost to them.
Personally I'd like to see Tiger athletics find an online home or homes that are separate from the corporate media. To an extent this process has already begun.
Kudos to Lyle Rambow, Morris Area baseball coach, for taking advantage of everything the Pheasant Country Sports website had to offer last spring. This was very empowering for him. It's far advantageous to dealing with a newspaper that only gets published once a week.
A newspaper's agenda is to sell advertising - especially a chain newspaper which unfortunately is what Morris has. Management decisions are made in distant offices. It's all about profit and numbers.
In a sense you can't blame them - it's a business - but there are alternatives that aren't built around advertising and profits. My website is one.
My only agenda is to supply some lively and colorful coverage of Morris area teams.
Would I go back to the corporate media? Of course I would, because it would be a job. And if I went back to print I'd actually be an advocate of the print media again.
But right now I can size up the whole media landscape objectively. Right now I'm on the winning side.
"Coach Ek" knows something about winning. I wrote the profile article of him when he first came here. I learned right away he's an old Breckenridge Cowboy.
I used to tease him about how he looked and carried himself like Jim Kelly, the Buffalo Bills quarterback. I'm not sure anyone else ever told him that. I hope it was considered flattering.
Jim Kelly was unquestionably a great quarterback, Frank Reich notwithstanding, but he's one of those athletes who'll be remembered for never winning the "big one."
The only other time I ever typed Ekren's name on this blog was in reference to softball. I was recalling how Dick Siebert, the iconic U of M Gophers baseball coach, came here to conduct a clinic for kids in the mid 1960s. Siebert referred to softball as a "sissy game."
Forgive him because that was his generation. I wondered in my previous post how Ekren would react to that. He's a slow-pitch softball fanatic.
I don't know if "Coach Ek" still unwinds at the Met Lounge from time to time. I'm at an age where that just doesn't fit my routine any more.
Considering the pressure Mark will feel as AD, a little "unwinding" at the Met might be therapeutic.
Keep in mind that this establishment's name is inspired by a great athlete whose background is in the Morris area: Jerry Koosman. Athletes are welcome. Sportswriters? I don't know.
Speaking of which, it looks like the company that owns the Morris newspaper is playing some musical chairs now. Regardless of what they say, I think their objective is to reduce what they're spending on the Morris-Hancock Division.
It has been a relentless race to the bottom for that company here. It's best for all of us to just ignore it and move on to the limitless possibilities of the new media, which is what the "Stevens Forward!" organization wants us to do.
One of the "Destiny Drivers" is the creation of a "virtual community." I don't think this includes receiving an Elden's Food Fair advertising circular every week - an item that then has to go through some sort of disposal process.
You should see how some of these circulars first arrive, as a virtual mountain of boxes jammed with these pesky circulars which are the equivalent of "junk mail." What a business.
Chain newspapers are just squeezing their legacy advertising customers (i.e. "suckers") with whom they developed a bond through their monopoly years, for every nickel they can get while the business model stays alive.
Please, let's put the newspaper business out of its misery. We could demonstrate for "Stevens Forward!" that we are truly a forward-looking community in this respect.
Isn't this what Morris always strives for?
The individual who has been the paper's editor here is going to Willmar. Both papers are in the chain. Perhaps he was offered a parachute to keep his career alive.
The person he is replacing in Willmar appears to have been let go, based on reports I've seen from there.
This is a company that doesn't hesitate to turn thumbs-down on people. You wake up one morning and you're persona non grata. All that's missing is the boiling oil.
I'm sure the Morris newspaper will try to put frosting on whatever new arrangement it has for the news department here. But it's a sinking ship regardless - a fate sealed when it went from twice a week to once a week.
"Coach Ek" always called me "B.W.," which I think derived from a sporadic column I wrote in the late 1980s. I had a little graphic that I used at the top, actually stolen from a poker magazine I picked up in Las Vegas - no kidding. It's also from that magazine I learned the expression "If 'ifs and buts' were candy and nuts, life would be a party."
This was back in the days before you could "copy and paste" graphics like that. Back then, "pasting" meant you were probably using Elmer's Glue.
The graphic I used, was of an old-fashioned typewriter in which I inserted "B.W." in the paper space. Cute.
I never did establish a regular column in my corporate media years. It was hard to balance that with all the other obligations. Maybe it's good, because some people might consider my writing style idiosyncratic.
But thanks for reading.
Good luck to "Coach Ek" in this definite adventure that awaits him, guiding Tiger athletics through interesting campaigns throughout the school year. He replaces Mary Holmberg who "served her hitch" with commitment too.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Home field just the ticket for our raptors

Brett Arne bats for the Morris Eagles at Chizek Field.

The Morris Eagles have reversed course and taken advantage of a homestand to find winning ways. Such as been the success, the raptors have arrived at .500 and then climbed above it.
To what extent has the home field been the factor? Whatever the cause, our beloved raptors have a chance to finish the homestand at 6-0.
Whatever the cause? How about superior play?
The sixth game in the stretch is presented this Friday, July 15. Montevideo will be the visiting team Friday.
More is at stake than just finishing the homestand unblemished, as the Eagles can clinch the regular season title outright. The Eagles have clinched at least a tie for the top seed in the Canvas Division.
The success on July 8 was with a 9-6 win over the Appleton A's. Chris Boettcher supplied the main offensive fuel.
Boettcher drove in a run with a single in the first inning. He was back to work in the second inning with a double that drove in two runs. He continued a bid for "the cycle" with a triple in the sixth, and he went on to score.
He may not have finished with the full "cycle" but what a day it was for him, as his boxscore line was three-for-four with those extra-base hits.
He drove in three runs.
The Eagles had an eighth inning rally that was essential for the winning outcome. It netted four runs. Jamie Van Kempen brought his lumber to the plate with two outs and drove in two runs with a single.
Mitch Carbert drove in the other two runs in that rally, also with a single, his third hit of the game.
The eighth inning success gave Morris some breathing room, so Appleton's three-run rally in the top of the ninth was insufficient for them.
The Morris line score was nine runs, 13 hits and one error. Appleton's numbers were 6-9-1.
The following Eagles had multiple-hit games: Boettcher, Ross Haugen, Matthew Carrington, Van Kempen and Carbert.
Brett Anderson got the pitching win and Van Kempen got the save. Anderson struck out three batters and walked three in his six innings. He gave up four hits and two runs which were earned.
Van Kempen fanned five batters and walked two in his three-inning stint. He withstood five hits and four runs (earned) to get the save.
The Eagles made it five wins in a row on July 10 with a 15-5 home win over Wheaton. It was a classic hot July afternoon.
You might say the game was part of our Prairie Pioneer Days.
There was little suspense in this game as Morris scored nine runs over the first three innings, while Wheaton put up zeroes.
Boettcher continued with his hot bat, singling to drive in two runs in the second frame. The Walleyes hurt themselves with an error. Ross Haugen drove in a run with a single.
The barrage in the third inning included RBI singles off the bats of Matthew Carrington, Dusty Sauter and Ross Haugen.
Carrington put his seasoned pitching arm to work as the starter and did great over the first five innings. He had a shutout going.
But the Walleyes got untracked vs. him in the sixth. This is the inning in which Wheaton scored all their runs. Carrington gave way to reliever Nathan Gades who wrapped things up.
Carrington ended up with the "W" next to his name.
Any thoughts the Walleyes might have had of being back in this game faded. Morris scored two runs each in the sixth through eighth innings, and the game never made it to the ninth as the ten-run rule was invoked.
An RBI single off the bat of Craig Knochenmus created the ten-run bulge and ended the game.
Morris scored its 15 runs on a whopping 17 hits. Just as pleasing was the final number in the line score: zero errors.
Wheaton struggled in the field with six fielding miscues.
Dusty Sauter made noise with his bat, finishing three-for-six including a double, and he drove in a run while scoring two.
Boettcher scored two runs and drove in three. Haugen scored one run and drove in three. Knochenmus had an RBI total of two with his two hits.
Ryan Beyer had two doubles and scored three runs. Gades picked up a ribbie. Carrington was a perfect three-for-three with three runs scored and one RBI.
Cole Riley had a two-for-five boxscore line and he scored a run. Jamie Van Kempen scored two runs, and Brett Anderson went one-for-one with a run scored and an RBI.
Morris Eagles baseball will host Montevideo at 7:30 p.m. this Friday.
Eagles baseball fever - it's catching!
Cross your fingers for the win streak to grow.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Friday, July 8, 2011

Eagles beat Chokio, Dumont and Benson

Jon Jallo bats for the Morris Eagles during the June 29 home win over Benson. (B.W. photo)

The Morris Eagles town team put together a nifty win skein recently. Let's look at the dramatic win over Chokio (the Coyotes) in a game played on July 6, here.
How dramatic? The Eagles were on the ropes through much of the game, trailing 5-0 after seven innings and 5-1 after eight.
The pressure was on in the ninth to get something going. The odds didn't look good.
But the Eagles had the clutch tools to surge and thrill their home fans. What a rally it was in the bottom of the ninth.
The Eagles played like there was a bounty on Coyotes (LOL). They rallied for five runs and came away with a 6-5 win.
The Eagles had only four hits through seven innings. Finally Craig Knochenmus hit an RBI single to put Morris on the scoreboard in the eighth. But with the score 5-1 the odds still looked long.
Knochenmus had his pitching arm called on in the top of the ninth and he survived a jam to blank Chokio. Craig worked out of a bases-loaded crisis, as Chokio had a chance to put this game away. Chokio would bemoan that failure.
Momentum built slowly for the Eagles in the bottom of the ninth. First there was a hit-by-pitch and then an error. Two baserunners were on but there were two outs!
Chokio might have been hesitant to pitch to Ross Haugen because he walked on four pitches.
Was Chokio hesitant to pitch to Ryan Beyer too? Beyer also walked and this of course forced in a run.
Craig Knochenmus then made a big statement with his bat. Eagles' fans had their eyes open wide as Knochenmus socked a double to right-center. This cleared the bases.
It's a whole new ballgame with the score tied!
Chokio had some trouble fielding the Knochenmus blast and this hurt their cause.
Up to bat stepped Eric Riley. Riley, fresh from his stellar prep season, showed he's quite at home in town ball as he singled to allow Knochenmus to pull in at third. It's getting more interesting all the time.
Now the bat is toted to the plate by an Eagle at the other end of the age spectrum from Eric. In the old days sportswriters used the term "graybeard" but I think that's trite. We'll just say that "veteran" Matthew Carrington, looking at a 3-2 pitch, hit a liner up the middle good for bringing the winning run in.
It's a victory for the Eagles - quite unforgettable. I hope this blog post helps preserve it.
Matthew is in his 22nd summer of amateur ball. (Holy cow, I remember covering him when he was in high school.)
Knochenmus got the pitching win. He was preceded on the hill by Nathan Gades (seven innings) and Carrington (one inning).
"Knochy" went three-for-five at bat including that essential double, and his RBI total was a robust four.
Carrington had a two-for-three showing as did Ross Haugen, and Ross trotted down to first on two walks.
The win allowed the Eagles to draw within one game of .500 in overall.
The Eagles also came from behind in their June 25 home game against rival Dumont (the Saints).
Dumont got the 2-0 edge. But in the end, it was the Eagles winning 6-4.
The Eagles got their engines humming in the third inning as Chris Boettcher with his authoritative double and Matt Carrington and Nathan Gades with singles drove in runs.
The Eagles were up 3-2 after three innings.
The Eagles assumed the lead for good in the fifth. Gades doubled in a run, and an error borught another run in.
Craig Knochenmus' bat made noise with a double in the eighth to plate Morris' final run.
As in the win over Chokio, Knochenmus played the closer role on the hill in the ninth, getting the save by blanking the Saints. In fact, "Knochy" struck out the side.
The Saints had to be wringing their hands over leaving 14 runners on base in this game. They left the sacks full three times!
But Morris had its share of woes in this regard too. Morris stranded 13 runners.
It was Carrington getting the pitching win. He was the starter and worked five innings.
Gades had a three-inning pitching stint. At the plate, Gades went two-for-four including a double.
Ross Haugen and Jamie Van Kempen also connected for two hits.
The Eagles got relief from all the recent suspense with a big 19-3 laugher over Benson on June 29, here.
Morris had 18 hits led by the red-hot Chris Boettcher who went five-for-five with five runs scored and four RBIs. He also drew a walk. He had a double and two stolen bases.
Ross Haugen connected for two doubles. Gades pitched the distance for the win.
Eagles fever - catch it! We're coming down the home stretch of the regular season.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

To the winning attorneys go the spoils

Call it our "murder trial Fourth of July."
The media usually go into slowdown mode for a holiday weekend. People are too busy with personal commitments to consume much media.
But the media gravitated to quite the irresistible story for the 2011 Independence Day.
This wasn't a novelist's conception of a murder trial. Reality trumps fiction.
A novelist would be hard pressed duplicating the kind of twists and turns we saw in Florida.
We all had flashbacks to the O.J. trial. But that seems like eons ago in terms of the development of the media.
We are awash in media now, so a riveting murder trial becomes a truly larger than life spectacle.
I'm guessing the HLN network had a breakthrough weekend. I'm not sure the event was good for Nancy Grace, who many of us feel may have "jumped the shark," but it elevated the profile of Jane Velez-Mitchell and Jean Casarez. The latter two won high grades.
Grace's outrage has become old. She reminds me of the kind of second grade teacher we might have nicknamed "Battle Axe."
The dust has cleared in the Casey Anthony trial. There is a winner and loser. America loves winners. Stand up and salute, everyone.
The lead defense attorney seemed on the ropes for a long time, coming under some negative scrutiny, but in a flash he emerges as a sort of hero (or model to emulate). The verdict was not guilty on the major charges.
There are spoils that await a winning attorney in a case like this. He can go on Larry King - Excuse me, Piers Morgan. He might appear on the cover of People Magazine.
This particular attorney, Jose Baez, might choose not to avail himself of such things. That would be commendable. But the public would eat it all up.
It sure ate up the dramatics through the July 4 weekend.
As with the O.J. trial, there are a whole lot of personalities that get ingrained in the public's mind, leading me to think a trading card series could be inspired.
But "trading cards" may be so 1960s. Excuse me, but consider my age (56).
There could even be a card for the guy who found the body. I feel sorry for that guy. Unless there's suspicion he was somehow involved, he shouldn't be forced to testify. His life will never be the same.
He came under pressure because there was suspicion his behavior could have been affected by reward money. If that's the case, stop offering rewards. If authorities feel money corrupts, don't dangle out corrupting temptations.
But the state does that with the lottery all the time.
A cast of lawyers was at the forefront again. The rather attractive blonde woman who delivered the prosecution's closing argument had a real shot at fame. I was imagining her on the cover of magazines.
But she lost. She'll fade into the obscurity of losers.
Again, America loves winners. Johnnie Cochran RIP was a celebrity after the O.J. trial. So was Robert Shapiro who is now a pitchman for "Legalzoom."
I think defense attorneys have the most to gain in these high-profile trials. Defense attorneys look for diversions, and their own bravado can become a diversion.
My, they are gifted at bluster. They make mountains out of molehills. They'll take a minor point of contention and refer to it as a "bombshell" if it goes their way.
Few attorneys can make the prosecution glamorous, but Vince Bugliosi is a big exception. Could Bugliosi have fared better in this trial?
After reading his book "Outrage," I'm convinced he would have gotten O.J. convicted - no doubt. I loaned that book to probably our most esteemed local legal mind, Charlie Glasrud.
Kudos to Charlie for remembering to return it. The odds of a friend returning a loaned book are rather long. Glasrud is headed into the judging realm.
Speaking of which, the trial we just followed was fascinating in that no one found it necessary to pat the judge on the back as an "African American judge." I heard no such comments.
In other words, he was accepted as an immensely capable judge without regard to race - a real testament to how far we've come in terms of color blindness.
In the O.J. trial we were all conscious of the judge being Japanese. A well-known politician got in trouble doing an imitation of Judge Ito using a faux Japanese accent (a la "Amos and Andy").
Such behavior in the year 2011 would be considered far more unacceptable.
I have argued on this site before that the old "melting pot" ideal is what we should strive for. This principle seemed to be supplanted for a time by the "diversity" mantra, which called for us to be race and ethnic conscious but to love everyone anyway.
With all due respect, the University of Minnesota-Morris got caught up in the "D" word. But since when has consciousness of differences ever helped us get along better?
The melting pot ideal may be boring because it's so simple to grasp. So what, it has merit.
F. Lee Bailey once wrote a book entitled "The Defense Never Rests." I would suggest instead "The defense never hesitates to throw tons of mud up against a wall to see if any of it sticks."
Snow the jurors with myriad details, getting them to think maybe it's all so complicated, they'd better just give the defense the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe that's what happened in the Casey Anthony trial.
I remember a chat I once had with our Sheriff Randy Willis, way back when the Minnesota Timberwolves were new and we were discussing basketball a lot. This was at the old main street restaurant that has since been eaten up by a bank.
I noted to Randy that the NBA's most famous heckler was a defense attorney by occupation. The fellow's last name was Ficker. I asked if that occupation was logical for the guy.
Randy said "well, they're loud-mouthed and they don't know what they're talking about!"
I should emphasize here that the comment was made in a light mood. A rimshot was called for.
The jury didn't want to talk to the media after the Anthony trial. My God, I can't blame them. Who would want to get his/her name caught up in this kind of infamy?
This trial was a circus with a capital "C."
I had to laugh at the TV talking head Tuesday night who talked about the need to "cross your i's and dot your t's." There was no correction. It was allowed to mercifully pass. Maybe it was a case of holiday weekend work overload.
Holiday weekends are hard on unemployed people. While the whole world seems to slow down, our world stays slow like it always is. We breathe a sigh of relief when "routine" returns.
This year's July 4 weekend will not only be associated with the celebrated trial, there's the Minnesota state government shutdown.
I have an open mind, so I may end up admitting that the Republicans were right after all. That's a tough sentence to write. But maybe we're not as dependent on state government as I thought.
Maybe austerity is an easier pill to swallow than I thought.
The world hasn't ended. The sun rises in the east. If Canterbury horse racing is the biggest issue, well my goodness.
There is a new trial about to unfold now: Roger Clemens' perjury trial. Maybe some new lawyers will step into celebrity.
"Weird Al" Yankovic once wrote lyrics inspired by the original Jurassic Park movie. A lawyer character who had sought escape in a restroom gets eaten by a T-Rex, showing that "dinosaurs aren't so bad after all."
I have never had to hire a lawyer. My blatant lawbreaking by not wearing a seat belt has yet to be discovered. I have survived the alleged "stings." (Imagine the "Dragnet" theme music playing now.)
For a long time I avoided Atlantic Avenue and took "evasive action" whenever seeing a law enforcement vehicle, even pulling over to the curb if I had to.
But now I hear through the grapevine that law enforcement is no longer treating seat belt as a primary offense,
What took so long?
I haven't needed a defense attorney. It might be fun to appreciate the talents of the likes of our Ken Hamrum. But such talents are better appreciated from a distance.
For now, I'm comfortable consulting with Ken, mainly about jazz music, at the McDonald's Restaurant. His skills could be a godsend, even though he represents a class of people who are "loud-mouthed and don't know what they're talking about."
Let's all salute defense attorneys. The Casey Anthony trial is another chapter in the glory.
"If the glove doesn't fit, then you must acquit."
How can the prosecution counter such artistry?
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Legion boys' offense like July 4 fireworks

Whew! The Morris American Legion baseball team entered the July 4 holiday weekend deserving of a break.
They were coming off a stretch of eight games in as many days. And they didn't lose a single time!
The Post #29 crew sits at 9-1 on the summer.

Morris 21, Elbow Lake 2
Victory No. 9 came Thursday evening in a game pushed later than the announced starting time. The Legion athletes took the field once the Babe Ruth League had taken care of its business.
Morris defeated Elbow Lake in a romp, 21-2, with bats making as much noise as the upcoming July 4 fireworks.
Morris posted its football-like run total buoyed by 20 hits.
The barrage included another home run by Ryan Beyer. It was Beyer's fourth round-tripper in a three-day span.
Each team committed three errors.
Morris batted in just four innings, making the offensive onslaught that much more impressive. Obviously the ten-run rule came into play.
Elbow Lake scored its two runs in the top of the third.
Alex Erickson's bat was sizzling with three-for-three numbers, and he crossed home plate three times. He also picked up an RBI.
Tyler Hansen scored four times while posting two-for-four numbers. One of his hits was a double. He stole two bases and drove in three runs.
Ryan Beyer's homer highlighted his perfect two-for-two line. He had three RBIs total.
Mac Beyer had two hits in as many at-bats. He doubled and drove in a run.
Eric Riley doubled as part of his two-for-two evening. Cole Riley went two-for-five with an RBI. Mitch Kill fueled the attack at two-for-five with two runs scored and a ribbie.
Brody Bahr doubled, scored three runs and drove in two. Aaron Vold socked a double as part of finishing two-for-two. He scored three runs and drove in three.
Ethan Bruer had impact going two-for-three including a double, plus he scored two runs and drove in three.
All that offensive support made pitching kind of a breeze. Mitch Kill pitched four innings and was the winner. He struck out five batters and walked two. He gave up two runs neither of which were earned.
Mac Beyer pitched one inning, struck out two batters and walked none. Eric Blehr took the pitching loss.

Morris 5, Willmar 4
Willmar shot out to a fast start but it was our Post #29 winning as the visitor on Wednesday, June 29.
Willmar assumed a 3-1 lead in the first inning but Morris came on strong in the later innings. Morris rallied for two runs each in the fourth and sixth and prevailed 5-4.
This was despite getting outhit by Willmar 8-4. It was also in spite of getting out-fielded, as Morris committed three errors to none by Willmar.
Four different Morris players accounted for the four hits. Ryan Beyer slugged a solo home run in his only official at-bat. He worked the Willmar pitching for two walks, plus he scored three runs and drove in one.
Beyer's round-tripper came in the first inning and was his fourth of the season. Two of his blasts came Tuesday when Morris prevailed 8-7 over Detroit Lakes.
Eric Riley's bat went "pow" for a two-run home run. Eric netted two RBIs on the day, plus he was the winning pitcher.
Eric's pitching arm was called on when starter Tyler Hansen had a little trouble finding the strike zone. Riley struck out five batters and walked one in his 6 2/3 innings on the hill. He allowed seven hits and one run which was earned.
Willmar hurler Nathaniel Swoyer, a curveball master who worked the distance, was tagged with the loss despite striking out 13 batters.
Hansen's bat came through with one-for-three numbers.
Tanner Picht connected for a double and drove in two runs. His double made it to the right field fence in the fourth inning and got the score tied at three-all.
Jake Rambow spurred the Willmar hitting with three-for-four numbers including a double and an RBI.
Willmar was hurt by eleven stranded baserunners. They left the bases loaded in the first and third frames. Morris by contrast stranded just one.
Eric Riley has been a most busy athlete this summer. He plied his football skills most impressively on Saturday (6/25) when his North All-Stars vied at TCF Bank Stadium on the U of M-Twin Cities campus. Riley was named Defensive MVP for the North.
In the Wednesday baseball challenge, the multi-sport standout whacked a Swoyer delivery over the left field fence in the sixth inning. It was a timely blow, breaking the 3-3 tie and delivering what turned out to be the decisive burst of momentum.
Swoyer, who also played in the all-star gridiron showcase, for the South, fanned seven straight Morris batters before the Eric Riley home run.
It was Riley's first round-tripper of the summer.
News flash: The following MACA Tigers have been named all-conference in the WCC-South: Ryan Beyer, Eric Riley, Tyler Hansen, Cole Riley and Alex Erickson.
Alex is the conference MVP.
Congrats all.

Morris 5, Osakis 2
A first inning rally propelled the Post #29 squad to a 5-2 victory over Osakis on Monday, June 27, here. That rally netted three runs.
The Morris line score was five runs, seven hits and two errors, while the visitor posted 2-5-2 numbers.
Three of the seven Morris hits were off the bat of Ryan Beyer. Beyer finished three-for-four with one of his hits a double, plus he drove in a run.
Tyler Hansen came through with a triple. Alex Erickson slugged a double and drove in a run. Ethan Bruer had a hit and an RBI, and Eric Riley had a one-for-four line.
The pitching arms of Ethan Bruer and Eric Riley did the job. It was Bruer getting the win with his stint of five innings, in which he fanned four batters and walked one. He gave up five hits and two runs (earned).
Eric Riley pitched for the save, fanning three batters in the process and walking two. He gave up no hits and no runs in his two innings.
Ky Zimmel was the losing pitcher. With the bat, Ky connected for a triple. Drew Fearing doubled for Osakis.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com