The Luverne Cardinals scored five runs in the top of the eighth and then held off Worthington in the bottom of the inning to earn a wild 13-11 triumph Thursday night.
Casey Sehr’s RBI double put Luverne, now 6-4, ahead to stay in the eighth with an RBI double, and the Cardinals scored five runs on just two hits in the inning to take what appeared to be a comfortable lead. The Trojans, though, kept fighting as singles by Blake Ahrenstorff and Isaiah Noble followed by a Jake Brandner triple made it a 13-10 game. Coy Turner followed with an RBI single to make it 13-11, but Luverne catcher Braden Ripfka gunned down Turner trying to steal third and – on the same play – Triston Sauerbrei was caught off first base for an unusual double play.
Kaden Anderson picked up the pitching win in relief, going the final three innings. He survived a long Trojans’ sixth during which WHS scored five times thanks in large part to a two-run double from Blake Ahrenstoff, an RBI groundout from Sauerbrei and a couple of Cardinal fielding errors.
Up to that point, it had been the Connor Connell show. Connell crushed a three-run homer to left in the first and a two-run blast to center in the third. He also tossed the first five innings for Luverne, allowing two earned runs on four hits to go along with three walks and eight strikeouts.
Brandner started on the mound for the Trojans, pitching five innings and allowing six runs on seven hits with a pair of walks and eight strikeouts. Sauerbrei pitched the sixth and Grimmius threw the final two frames.
Noble had three hits in the game for WHS, and Brandner and Ahrenstroff had two hits each. The Trojans are now 2-6.
Haley Grimmius hit a home run to right-center on the second pitch of the bottom of the first inning, and that was all WHS needed as the Trojans topped St. James Area 1-0 Thursday afternoon.
Grimmius went the distance for the Trojans pitching, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out 14. The Trojans got four hits at the plate in the pitchers’ duel while striking out 11 times themselves.
WHS, now 3-0, is scheduled to play on the road today against New Ulm.
Andrew Mulder’s 46 was lowest for the Worthington boys golf team Thursday at the Big South West Division meet in Redwood Falls.
The Trojans finished sixth of six teams at 189; Marshall and Luverne tied for first at 152.
Also recording scoring rounds for WHS were Spenser Braaksma (47), Tyler Jaycox (48) and Spencer Nickel (48). Luke Ehlers of Marshall and Henry Hartquist of Luverne tied for low round with 35s.
In girls golf, the Trojans finished third of four teams in a meet at Luverne. WHS had 201 strokes; Redwood Valley came out on top with 183.
Tarren Spartz and Ellie Weg each had 49s for the low Worthington score. Madison Beckmann fired a 51, and Kendall Nixon had a 52.
At the Worthington Invitational track and field meet Thursday, the WHS boys took first out of 11 teams with 139.5 total points. Luverne was second at 100.5.
Filmon Wolday took first in the 1600 meters and Fanuel Wolday was victorious in the 3200 meters for the Trojans. Also winning was the 4 x 800 relay team of Isaac Kinser, Fanuel Wolday, Filmon Wolday and Mason Bobb. The Trojans also had 15 other top-five placings in individual events and two other relay teams earn second-place finishes.
In girls competition, Worthington wound up third of 11 teams with 103 points. Luverne was first at 177.5 points.
For the Trojans, Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor was triumphant in both the 200 meters and the triple jump, and Bailey Newman won the long jump. The 4 x 100 relay team of New Gora, Newman, Pham Gora and Brooklyn Scheitel-Taylor finished in first place, as did the 4 x 200 relay team of New Gora, Addison Gerber, Pham Gora and Newman. WHS also had seven other top-five placings.
In high school tennis Thursday afternoon, Luverne defeated host Worthington 4-3.
Luverne had each of its four singles players win as Pierce Cunningham, Griffen Jarchow, Blake Frahm and Ethan Nath all captured straight-set victories.
The doubles matches, meanwhile, were swept by the Trojans. The No. 1 doubles tandem of Tyson Henkels and Quentin Burns won in three sets, while the teams of Levi Kuhl and Jacob Ahrenstroff and Matthew Becker and Steven Adams both came out on top in straight sets.