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Luverne earns first-round bye at state amateur tourney

Luverne captured the Region 13 Amateur Baseball championship this past weekend and will be the region's top seed in the upcoming state tournament.

The Redbirds, who earned the top seed for the regional playoffs, stayed hot last week by taking care of the Jackson Bulls two games to none in the teams' best-of-three series. Luverne edged visiting Jackson 1-0 in the opener on Wednesday, then got past the Bulls 11-6 in 10 innings on Friday in Jackson. The Redbirds earned a first-round bye in the state tournament by topping the Bulls.

In the other Region 13 series last week, Fairmont won a pair of close games with Hadley to grab the region's No. 3 seed at state. The Martins earned a 3-2 home triumph on Wednesday against the Buttermakers and then won 11-9 on Saturday in Hadley.

While Luverne now has an opening-round bye at state, the region's three other qualifying teams next play on Saturday. Fairmont will meet the Hutchinson Huskies at 1:30 p.m. in Litchfield, Hadley will take on the Elrosa Saints at 1:30 p.m. in Dassel and Jackson will face the Green Isle Irish at 4:30 p.m. in Delano. Luverne will face the winner of Friday's game between the Plato Bluejays and St. Stephen Steves at a time and location to be determined.

The region's four state-bound teams each drafted two more pitchers from eliminated teams from the region. Luverne drafted Kobe Lovell and Alex Fink of Windom, Jackson selected Paxton Gravlin of Fox Lake and Brett Rossow of Lakefield, Fairmont picked Derek Smith and Kenny Morris of Milroy and Hadley drafted Tyler Peterson of Milroy and Greg Quist of Pipestone.

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