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Angels to open league tourney Friday vs. Bluffton

Taylor Fuhs tags out an Audubon Zephyr runner during Saturday’s doubleheader at Washington Ballpark. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE
sports Detroit Lakes,Minnesota 56501
Detroit Lakes Online
Angels to open league tourney Friday vs. Bluffton
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The Detroit Lakes Angels’ quest to defend their Region 14C title starts as the western No. 2 seed in the Hi-10 League playoffs.

The Angels (13-11) will face the east’s No. 3 seed Bluffton (6-13) Friday at 8 p.m. in Audubon, since Washington Ballpark is being used for the Legion Water Carnival Tournament this week.

The Hi-10 League’s parody is as close as it ever has been, with up to five teams having a good chance to advance to the regions. Four Hi-10 teams will earn spots in the regional bracket this year.

The top five include DL, Perham, Wadena-Deer Creek, Bluffton and Bertha.

“This year, the league is very strong and very balanced,” said Angel co-manager Phil Kirchner. “If you want to advance, you will need to come and play every game.”

The Angels will have to win two games in the Hi-10 playoffs to advance to regions and it starts Friday against Bluffton, which is a very solid team.

The Angels have relied on newcomer Derek Zitzow as their ace, who has been basically lights out in the majority of his starts.

The batting lineup is as potent as any in the Hi-10, with league leader Taylor Fuhs, who is hitting the cover off the ball with a stellar .447 average.

One through nine, the Angels can score runs and put runners on the bases, with top hitters including Connor McLeod (.400), Chris Gilson (.328), Mark Gulseth (.326), Kirchner (.321, three homers), Trevor Tappe (.316) and Reed Oistad (.295).

“We’ve had our full lineup just once this season, so hopefully we can have the majority of our players for the playoffs,” Kirchner said. “We have 13 to 14 quality players and it will all come down to defense and pitching, because we can hit the ball well.”

Zitzow has a 3-1 record with a 2.45 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 33 innings of work. The Valley City College product will be DL’s top pitcher heading into the playoffs, followed by University of North Dakota hurler Brock Johnson, Bryan Buhr, Trevor Tappe, Nick Polejewski and Concordia College product Chris Gilson.

“The region playoffs are our goal, no matter how we get there,” Kirchner said. “But with how even every team is we need to be ready and show up to play.”

Angels finish regular season with sweep

Detroit Lakes had their way with visiting Audubon Saturday, with a pair of shutout wins 10-0 and 4-0.

Matt Huberty pitched three strong innings in game one, while Trevor Tappe added the save with the final four frames in a 4-0 win.

DL rang out eight hits, with Fuhs going 2-3 with an RBI.

In game two, Zitzow pitched four scoreless innings and struck out five, while Buhr cleaned up the final two frames, with three strikeouts.

Fuhs drove two doubles in the game with two RBIs, while Doug Dickey was 2-4 with a double and RBI.

Buhr and Huberty also had a pair of hits, as well.

Angels results - Audubon at Detroit Lakes, Saturday, July 13

Aud    000 000 0 – 0 4 1

DL      031 000 0 – 4 8 1

Detroit Lakes

                        AB    R      H      Bi

T. Tappe           2      0      1      0

T. Fuhs             3      0      2      1

M. Gulseth       4      0      1      0

D. Dickey          3      1      1      0

D. Zitzow          2      0      0      0

R. Berg             3      1      0      0

B. Buhr            1      1      1      1

M. Jorgenson   1      0      0      0

N. Polejewski    2      1      1      1

N. Eidenschink 2      0      0      0

M. Huberty       1      0      1      1

Totals               24   4      8      4

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL – M. Huberty (WP) 3-1-0-0-2-7; T. Tappe (SV) 4-3-0-0-3-5

Aud    000 000 – 0    3  3

DL      220 222 – 10 11 0

Detroit Lakes

                        AB    R      H      Bi

Tappe              4      1      1      1

Fuhs                3      1      2      2

Eidenschink      0      0      0      0

Gulseth            1      1      0      1

Dickey              4      0      2      1

Zitzow               1      1      0      1

Buhr                 4      1      2      0

Berg                 3      1      1      1

Huberty            4      2      2      1

Polejewski        3      2      1      0

Totals               27   10   11   8

2B: Fuhs (2), Dickey

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL – Zitzow (WP) 4-2-0-0-2-5; Buhr 2-1-0-0-0-3

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.