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Angels rally late to down Bluffton Braves in Hi-10 League playoffs

Angels pitcher Matt Huberty throws over to first in a game versus the Bluffton Braves in the Hi-10 League playoffs Wednesday in New York Mills. (Jason Adkins/DL Newspapers)1 / 2
Angels co-manager/outfielder Phil Kirchner gives shortstop Jake Kiebke a high five after scoring a run against Bluffton. (Jason Adkins/DL Newspapers)2 / 2

NEW YORK MILLS -The Detroit Lakes Angels hitting came on just in the nick of time in their 7-3 win in a Hi-10 League first-round playoff game in New York Mills Wednesday night.

With two outs and two strikes against him in the top of the eighth with the game tied at two runs apiece, Angels batter Phil Kirchner took an inside pitch from Bluffton Braves hurler Dustin Geiser that just missed the black of the plate.

Fouling off a couple of more pitches, Kirchner saw a pitch he could handle and lofted it into right-center field where it dropped safely.

"Us older guys need to get hits too," Kirchner said.

Taylor Fuhs and Chris Gilson would come in easily to score the first runs of the Angels rally.

The runners came aboard with two outs on the board as well. Fuhs doubled and Gilson walked. They advanced a base after a wild pitch from Dustin Geiser.

Phil Doll scored Kirchner from first when he hit a deep ball to right for a triple. Matt Geiser came in too far as he seemed to lose the ball in the lights.

Another issue with the lights came up in the next at bat when Nick Omberg hit a fly ball to center. His triple scored Doll to put the Angels up 6-2.

Jake Kiebke finished the rally with an RBI single that brought Omberg in.

Bluffton only got one of those runs back in the bottom of the eighth as Angels starter Matt Huberty picked up a second wind after struggling a bit in for the past few innings.

Huberty said the Angels' defense behind him helped immensely.

"I'm not a strikeout out pitcher," he said. "I need a good defense."

The Braves mounted their small challenge when Marc Sweere doubled, went to third on a sacrifice fly and then scored on a wild pitch.

In getting to the point where the Angels gave him a cushion, Huberty said he did what any pitcher is asked to do.

"I knew I had to keep the game close," he said.

Detroit Lakes took an early 2-0 lead in the third with two outs recorded before the rally began.

Gilson and Kirchner singled, while Doll walked to load the bases. Omberg then scored the two lead runners to put the Angels up first.

Bluffton halved the lead in its turn of the third when Cody Geiser hit an RBI single.

The Braves would tie the game at 2-all in the fifth when Brent Weller scored from a fielder's choice. Kyle Dykhoff hit a grounder to Jake Kiebke, back in his first game for the Angels in over a month since returning from Arkansas, who made a play to Fuhs at home trying to stop the run from scoring.

Dykhoff slid just underneath the tag.

The Angels had a chance to break the game open in the top of the fifth when they loaded the bases with one out.

Omberg, though, struck out, and Gilson grounded to second to end the inning without any runs coming in.

Bluffton had its own bases-loaded opportunity in the fourth. Omberg came up big on defense after diving for a ground ball and then threw from his bottom to Doll at first to get the third out.

Huberty pitched a complete game in earning the win. He gave up three earned runs on seven hits.

Taking the loss for the Braves was Dustin Geiser, who pitched well up until the eighth.

The Angels lost to the No. 1 seed Wadena-Deer Creek Shockers 10-0 Friday, but beat Perham 14-11 on the road Sunday. Detroit Lakes travels to New York Mills on Wednesday to take on the Bluffton Braves at 7:30 p.m. with the winner moving on to regionals and the loser's season being done.

Angels results

Detroit Lakes vs. Bluffton at New York Mills, Wednesday, July 22.

DL 002 000 050 - 7 14 1

Bluf. 001 010 010 - 3 7 4

Detroit Lakes


T. Fuhs 6 1 1 0

C. Gilson 3 2 1 0

P. Kirchner 4 2 3 2

P. Doll 4 1 2 1

N. Omberg 4 1 3 3

J. Kiebke 5 0 3 1

K. Danner 5 0 0 0

Z. Fullmer 5 0 0 0

B. Buhr 5 0 1 0

Totals 37 7 14 7

Pitching: DL - M. Huberty (WP).

Detroit Lakes at Wadena-Deer Creek, Friday, July 24.

DL 000 000 00 - 0 6 6

W-DC 121 003 03 - 10 5 0

Pitching: DL - C. Gilson (LP).

Detroit Lakes at Perham, Sunday, July 26.

DL 141 140 101 - 14 12 1

Per. 301 030 310 - 11 12 4

Detroit Lakes


T. Fuhs 4 3 4 3

C. Gilson 3 0 1 1

P. Kirchner 4 0 0 1

P. Doll 4 1 2 1

N. Omberg 4 2 1 0

J. Kiebke 5 1 2 0

D. Dickey 5 2 2 2

K. Danner 3 3 1 0

Z. Fullmer 5 0 0 0

B. Buhr 3 2 1 0

Totals 41 14 12 8

Pitching: DL - J. Berg, B. Buhr (WP).