Detroit Lakes gains bye in State Playoffs
Although Detroit Lakes slugger Mark Gulseth wasn't able to play much during the Hi-10 League regular season, saving up his hits for the Region 14C playoffs wasn't such a bad thing for the Angels.
Gulseth's pillaging of the Region 14C opposing pitchers continued into the championship game Saturday in New York Mills, wasting the Bertha Blazers for five RBIs as the Angels cruised to an 11-0 victory and a bye through the first round of the Class C state tournament.
The Class C state tournament will be held at Putz Field and Faber Field in St. Cloud, starting Saturday and running through Sept. 3.
Gulseth's grand slam in the fifth inning put DL over the top, which came at the heels of a seven-run second to seal the Angels' Region 14C championship, their third since their reformation in 2007.
The Angel slugger earned Region 14C MVP honors after he finished the playoffs with 14 RBIs and four home runs.
Backing up the Angels' offensive explosion was their ace Brock Johnson, who struck out 12 Blazer batters for a complete-game shutout (the game went seven innings due to the 10-run mercy rule).
The wrappings of the championship started in the second inning, as the Angels scored seven runs.
Taylor Fuhs started the inning as he reached on an error on the second baseman, while Doug Dickey drew a one-out walk.
Reed Oistad doubled in Fuhs, Buhr singled in Dickey, and the hits continued with Trevor Tappe singling.
Gulseth drew a two-out bases-loaded walk, forcing Bertha to replace Jared Hoemberg with Ethan Bakken on the mound.
Fuhs came up with a two-run single and Dickey singled in Kirchner to put the Angels up 7-0.
The game was put to rest on the swing of Gulseth, as he picked up four quick RBIs with his fifth-inning grand slam.
Bertha previously beat Carlos to advance to the championship game earlier on Saturday.
The Hi-10 League has been a force in Region 14C since the emergence of Bertha and DL, as Angels' co-manager Mark Jorgenson wrote on the Angels' website.
Bertha will also play in the state tournament as a No. 2 seed.
Bertha and the Angels each formed teams and entered the Hi-10 League in 2007.
The Angels have won Region titles in 2007, 2008 and 2012. Bertha won titles in 2010 and 2011.
This is the first year since the realignment of Regions 14 and 16 back in 2002 that two teams from the same league have advanced through the Region tournament into the state tournament.
"Both teams have solid players with some veteran leadership and lots of youth," Jorgenson said.
"With the improved play of Perham, who finished fourth in the Region tournament, the Hi-10 should be strong in the Region tournament for the next several years."
The Angels drafted Neil Jenzen and Alex Brocphaler. They previously drafted Wadena-Deer Creek pitcher Travis George before the region playoffs.
DL will await the winner of Blue Earth and Chanhassen in the second round of the state tournament. The Angels will face the winner of that game Saturday, Aug. 25, at 5:30 p.m. on Faber Field.
Bertha opens in the first round against Maple Plaine this Saturday at 5 p.m., while Midway will face Shakopee in the first round Sunday at 4 p.m.
Countryside and Region 16C champion Fergus Falls will face the victor between Richmond and Prior Lake Saturday, Aug. 25, at 1:30 p.m.
Region 14C championship: Bertha vs. Detroit Lakes in New York Mills, Saturday, Aug. 11.
Bertha 000 000 0 - 0 5 1
DL 070 040 0 - 11 10 0
AB R H Bi
C. Gilson 5 1 2 0
P. Kirchner 2 2 0 0
M. Gulseth 3 2 1 5
T. Fuhs 4 1 2 2
B. Johnson 0 0 0 0
C. McLeod 2 0 0 0
D. Dickey 3 1 1 1
R. Oistad 4 1 2 1
R. Buhr 2 2 1 1
T. Tappe 3 1 1 0
Totals 28 11 10 10
HR: Gulseth...2B: Fuhs, Oistad (2).
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL - B. Johnson (WP) 7-5-0-0-4-12.
(Follow Brian Wierima on Twitter at DLSportsGuy.)