Delano takes control of conference and wood bat tournament

Section playoffs open Friday for 13-2 Tigers

by Dave Pedersen

Sun PRESS Newspapers

Delano started last week by overtaking Glencoe-Silver Lake for the top spot in the Wright County Conference baseball race. The Tigers never looked back, winning four more games, including all three at its ninth annual Dick Traen Memorial Wood Bat Classic.

The victories that featured some pitching depth launched Delano toward the Section 5AA tournament that starts Friday, May 24 with games in both the East and West sub-sections starting at 4:30 p.m. at the home of the higher seed. The ranking was not set before this issue went to press.

Junior Justin Oja of Delano beats the throw to first base. The Tigers cruised to a 13-2 record as the playoffs start Friday. (Photo by Bill Nord)
Junior Justin Oja of Delano beats the throw to first base. The Tigers cruised to a 13-2 record as the playoffs start Friday. (Photo by Bill Nord)

The second round is Tuesday, May 28 with games at 4:30 and 7 p.m. at Delano and Loretto. The sub-section title games are at 7 p.m. May 29 at Delano and Loretto.

A repeated theme in all five victories was how leadoff batter Jon Dahl had at least two hits in every game, getting three in the last one. The senior center fielder is now second on the team with 19 hits, upping his batting average to .422.

The offensive leader continues to be junior Toby Hanson at .535 with 23 hits, 24 runs batted in and seven home runs. The catcher is errorless in the field, throwing out five of the nine attempted base stealers.

In the 6-4 win over GSL, the Tigers got all six runs in the fourth inning. Dahl was 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs. Zach Muchenhirn was 2 for 4, Adam Schleper 2 for 3, Noah Stone drove in two runs and Hunter Hart and Hanson each drove in a run. Muchenhirn pitched all seven innings, allowing nine hits.

Seven Tiger batters had at least two hits each in the 17-2 romp over Dassel-Cokato. Stone was 3 for 4 with 4 RBIs. Dahl was 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs. Providing two hits was Muchenhirn, Christian Triplett, Hart, Brett Norling and Schleper. Justin Oja, Hanson both drove in two runs. Triplett pitched the first four innings, allowing five hits.

Moving on to the three-game sweep at the Delano wood bat tournament, the Tigers opened with a 4-2 win over St. Paul Harding. Nate Meyers, Kurtis Burley and Muchenhirn combined on a 5-hitter. Delano only had eight hits, two each by Dahl and Schleper. John Celander drove home two runs.

Hart pitched a 2-hitter over six innings in a 3-1 victory over Minneapolis Southwest with Muchenhirn working the final inning. Hanson and Muchenhirn had two hits along with Dahl and Hanson. Sam Harris drove in a run.

In the final tourney game Saturday, Delano won 5-2 over St. James when Dahl broke had to be different and got three hits instead of two, driving in two runs. Schleper also had two hits. Taylor Larson worked the first six innings, allowing four hits. Muchenhirn again closed out the final frame.

Delano was scheduled to end the regular season with games against Orono and Hutchinson this week before the Friday playoff opener.

Contact Dave Pedersen at [email protected]