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Tom Mix, Published August 10 2013

Burnsville defeats Carroll County at Central Plains Regional baseball tournament

FARGO – Three has been a magic number for Burnsville (Minn.) at the American Legion Central Plains Regional baseball tournament this week.

A three-run inning helped Burnsville set up a walk-off win over in-state rival Eden Prairie on Friday. A day later another three-run inning – this time in the bottom of first – helped Burnsville to a 4-3 victory over Carroll County (Iowa) at Jack Williams Stadium.

The victory clinches Burnsville a spot in Monday’s championship. Burnsville (34-10) plays Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.) at 6 p.m. today.

“All aspects of the game were involved in this win,” Burnsville starting pitcher Tyler Hanson said. “Defense, offense and pitching. I thought it was one of our best games of the season overall. We played our hearts out in this one.”

Bo Hellquist knocked in Burnsville’s first run with a single that scored Eric Watters in the first inning. Shortstop Cooper Maas followed with a two-out, two-run double that scored Hellquist and Tyler Hill.

Burnsville added another run in the third inning when Brandon Dorshak connected for a sacrifice fly that scored Hanson.

With a four-run cushion in hand, Hanson was allowed to get settled in on the mound. Hanson, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound right-hander headed to play baseball at the University of Minnesota, said his changeup was his best pitch on Saturday.

Hanson scattered nine hits and struck out seven in a complete-game effort.

“Tyler is a big-game pitcher,” Burnsville head coach Greg Nesbitt said. “He is one of the best players I have coached, and he makes coaching really easy, because you don’t have to think about a pitching change for six or seven innings. That’s huge.”

“He wants the ball and he wants to challenge every hitter,” Nesbitt added.

Carroll County didn’t go quietly, scoring two runs in the fourth inning. In the eighth inning Carroll County’s first two hitters reached base. Hanson was an out away from getting out of the jam unscathed, but Carroll County catcher Dylan Nelson muscled a single to right field that scored lead runner Carter Ludwig. Burnsville right fielder Zach Smith threw out Carroll County’s Brandon Brittain at the plate to prevent the tying run from scoring.

Nesbitt said his team’s situational hitting needs improvement, but stressed the importance of the early runs.

“Anytime you can limit some of the stress in a game so not every pitch is life or death or every play isn’t life or death is huge,” Nesbitt said. “Every run we score is important and every run we stop from scoring is important.”

Carroll County plays Omaha West at 3 p.m. in a loser-out game.

CC 000 200 010–3 9 2

B 301 000 000–4 7 3

Brittain and Nelson. Hanson and Traetow. W–Hanson. L–Brittain.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562