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Post 5 wins opening game in baseball playoff tourney

The Worthington Senior American Legion baseball team scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning and held on to top Marshall 4-2 on Tuesday in the first round of the sub-state tournament in Mankato.

Post 5, which improved its season record to 16-5, took a 2-0 edge with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning on hits to right field by Kent Lais, Brock Bruns and Cooper McCoy. Marshall answered with a single run in the bottom of the second and got one more in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings.

In the eighth, Jake Brandner led off for Worthington with a single to center field and stole second. Tate Gaul followed with an infield single that advanced Brandner to third base, and Gaul subsequently stole second. Coy Turner's line-drive single up the middle deflected off the Marshall and into the outfield, plating both Brandner and Gaul with the go-ahead runs.

Bruns closed out Marshall in the bottom of the eighth to finish off the win. Head coach Tim Gaul noted that starting pitcher Blake Ahrenstroff did an "absolutely outstanding job" in throwing the first five innings. Brandner then pitched the sixth for Post 5, and Triston Sauerbrei took the mound in the seventh.

Sauerbrei will be the starting pitcher Wednesday morning when Worthington plays in a winners' bracket game at 10:30 a.m. at Mankato’s ISG Field against either Sleepy Eye or Jordan. If Post 5 wins, it will play once again at 7 p.m. Wednesday. If it loses, it will play at 5 p.m.

The double-elimination tournament continues through Saturday.

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