BY DAVID PEDERSEN
Delano and Rockford both won three baseball games in three days to win Sub-section 5AA tournament titles last week.
That means the teams will square off at 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 4 in Loretto. The winner advances to the section title game, 5 p.m. Thursday, June 7 in Loretto, with the "if game" (if unbeaten team loses) to follow.
Two-time defending section champion Delano received the No. 1 seed in the east sub-section and opened with a 10-0 romp over No. 8 seed Brooklyn Center Tuesday.
The Tigers next defeated Mound-Westonka 4-2 Wednesday and Breck 3-0 Thursday showing off its depth in pitchers with only two runs allowed in three games.
Rockford took a 5-13 record into the playoffs, receiving the No. 7 seed in the west sub-section. The Rockets avenged a loss to No. 2 Litchfield the week prior by pulling out a 5-3 decision in eight innings.
Senior Tyler Barningham pitched all eight innings. John Redepenning and Josh Green drove in runs in the eighth and Brent LaMere provided a 2-run double in the second inning.
In the 5-2 victory over Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, sophomore George Faue pitched all seven innings, allowing just three hits with nine strikeouts. Ben Arens provided a key hit with a 2-run double.
Trailing Annandale 4-2 with two outs in the top of the seventh, Green lined a 3-run homer to take a 5-4 Rockford lead. LaMere struck out two of the four batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh to complete all seven innings. He allowed six hits total.
Rocket coach Randy Griffin said he will start Barningham Monday, going with Faue in the second game, which he hopes is all that will be needed to claim the section title. Barningham recently recovered from a dirt bike accident that severely damaged his nose.