Cottonwood falls to GFW

COTTONWOOD – After outscoring No. 4 seed Cottonwood Legion 3-2 in the sixth inning, the fifth-seeded Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop Legion baseball team didn’t waste any time, batting around the lineup and padding their lead with six more runs in the seventh.

Chris Berg sparked a rally with two outs in the seventh, but Cottonwood wasn’t able to complete its comeback attempt and fell 9-4 in the District 7 playoffs.

GFW earned three runs in the sixth on five hits and one hit-by-pitch. In the seventh, the team collected six runs on five hits, two Cottonwood errors and one walk. Tanner Buettner earned the win the mound.

“We just didn’t hit the ball,” Post 503 coach Mike Rausch said. “When I looked at it, and they had 15 hits and we had three, I would have said the score was more lopsided than it was. We just have to make the plays. We had a lot of groundballs that we threw away. But this group has come a long way in a year and a half, and there’s room for a lot more improvement.”

Though Seth Boerboom took the loss on the mound for Cottonwood, Rausch had good things to say about Boerboom’s pitching effort.

“We’ve really got four of them that we’ve been throwing all year,” Rausch said. “Seth is our senior and he’s a work horse, though. You give him the ball and he’ll throw as many innings as you ask him to. He’s good to have on the mound. He’s an all-around good athlete and player.”

Boerboom gave up 14 of GFW’s 15 hits and all nine runs (six earned).

“I felt pretty good on the mound,” he said. “My arm wasn’t 100 percent, but it felt good. My curveball was working pretty good, but they were still able to put it in play somehow. We missed a couple of plays that might have helped, but we were hitting the ball pretty good. We didn’t strike out very much, but we just hit it right at them.”

Boerboom and Cody St. Aubin both singled in the sixth and, along with Jacob Neu’s hit-by-pitch advancement and Travis Varpness reaching on an error, helped the team put up two runs. Then, after Berg’s base hit in the seventh, Boerboom drew a walk, followed by back-to-back singles from Jacob Rausch and Jacob Neu. But that was as close as Cottonwood would get.

“They just knocked the ball around the yard,” Coach Rausch said. “If you get 15 hits, you’re going to score some runs.It was good to see us bounce back in the seventh. Hopefully that’ll carry over to Thursday and we’ll start hitting the ball better on Thursday.”

Cottonwood (9-10 overall) is hoping to stay alive on Thursday and continue competing in the tournament on Saturday in Granite Falls.

“It’s been a good season,” Boerboom said. “It’s been fun. As long as we can keep hitting the ball well and make some more plays, not four errors, we should do better (on Thursday).”

St. Aubin finished the game 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Boerboom and Berg were 1-for-3. Rausch and Neu each contributed a hit and an RBI apiece.

For GFW, Nolan Huiras was 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Alex Howe was 3-for-5. Seth Schuette went 2-for-4 with two RBI and Zach Black was 2-for-4 with one RBI. Cody Huiras, Jaden Katzenmeyer, Gustavo Munoz, Kolten Pingeon and Buettner each added a hit apiece.

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Hitting: GFW (Nolan Huiras 3-for-4, two RBI, run; Alex Howe 3-for-5, double, two runs; Seth Schuette 2-for-4, two RBI; Zach Black 2-for-4, RBI, run; Cody Huiras 1-for-4, RBI, run; Jaden Katzenmeyer 1-for-5, RBI; Gustavo Munoz 1-for-4; Kolten Pingeon 1-for-4, two runs; Tanner Buettner 1-for-3, two runs); Cottonwood (Cody St. Aubin 2-for-3, RBI; Jacob Neu 1-for-3, RBI, run; Seth Boerboom 1-for-3, run; Chris Berg 1-for-3, run; Jacob Rausch 1-for-4, RBI, run).

Pitching: GFW (Tanner Buettner 7-6-4-2-1-3); Cottonwood (Seth Boerboom 6-14-9-6-0-0; Randy Louwagie 1-1-0-0-1-0).