COLD SPRING -- It took extra innings to decide Tuesday night's playoff game between the Rocori Spartans and the Willmar Cardinals in the first round of the Section 5-3A playoffs.
Willmar ended up coming back to top Rocori 8-7 in nine innings to take the opening playoff game at the Cold Spring Baseball Park.
The Spartans exploded out of the gate, scoring seven unanswered runs to begin the game. Rocori scored once in the first inning and tallied three runs in each of the third and fourth innings.
The Cardinals ended up fighting back, scoring six runs in the sixth inning, one in the seven inning and the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth to come away with the win.
William Huls led Rocori at the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with three runs scored, one RBI and a home run in the first inning. Dylan Tebrake went 1-for-5 with two RBI, David Holbrook went 3-for-4 with one RBI and Brandon Gill went 2-for-5 with one run scored and one RBI.
Eli Emerson pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief and took the loss for the Spartans. He gave up two hits, one run, one walk and struck out five.
Dylan Tebrake started the game on the mound for Rocori, earning a no-decision. He gave up just one hit, no runs, three walks and struck out eight in the first five innings. Eli Backes pitched 1/3 of an inning in relief and Nick Penick pitched one full inning in relief for the Spartans.
Austin Boller went 3-for-4 with four RBI to lead Willmar at the plate. Tyler Johnson pitched five shutout innings in relief to get the win. He gave up one hit, two walks and struck out six.
With the loss, Rocori falls into the losers bracket of the Section 5-3A tournament and will face No. 3 Monticello on Thursday in Cold Spring. Game time is TBD.
Here are the complete Section 5-3A results from Tuesday night's opening round:
- No. 1 St. Cloud Tech 4, No. 8 Becker 0
- No. 4 Big Lake 4, No. 5 Sauk Rapids 2
- No. 6 St. Cloud Apollo 3, No. 3 Monticello 2 (8 innings)
- No. 7 Willmar 8, No. 2 Rocori 7 (9 innings)