The Morristown Morries are still alive.
They won their second straight elimination game in the Region 6C amateur baseball playoffs, knocking off the River Valley League No. 5 seed Henderson Tigers 4-2 Friday night in Le Sueur.
The host Tigers were the better team early on, but could not take a lead in a scoreless game.
Both teams went down in order in the first inning. Brent Vollbrecht got the ball for 13/60 No. 5 Morristown (13-10) and Jayce Luna for Henderson (8-12).
Henderson threatened with runners on first and third base in the bottom of the second with one out. Vollbrecht induced a double play on a tight play at first met with disagreement from the Tigers’ side.
Morristown went down 1-2-3 in the first, third and fourth innings and did not get a hit off Luna until Kyle Green’s one-out single to left in the fifth. Green moved up a base on a pitch to the backstop and came around for the first run of the game on a two-out double by Tate Harmon.
Henderson surged ahead in the bottom half. With two outs, Zach Steuck hit a flair that landed in front of the second baseman in the infield for a hit on an in between play. John Parker followed with a double to right center field. It would’ve scored Steuck and perhaps been a triple, but the ball was caught in the outfield ivy and ruled a ground rule double. The Morristown outfielders threw their arms up to signal a lost ball, prompting the infield umpire to run out to the fence to make the ruling. The two runners who came in to score were brought back.
With runners on second and third, Greg Graham hit a two-RBI single down the right field line.
Vollbrecht was effective getting out jams for most of the night and kept the rally to two runs.
Morristown responded with three runs in the top of the sixth to force Luna out after 5 ⅔ innings.
Ben Lamont led off the inning with a triple to the fence and came around to score on the play on an errant throw into the third base side dugout.
With two outs, Vollbrecht helped his cause with a single to put runners on the corners. Vollbrecht stole second and came in to score along with Bradley Van Deinse on a two-RBI single from Green. Adam Arnst came in for relief of Luna after Green’s hit. He held the Morries scoreless to keep the Tigers within striking distance.
The momentum on the Tigers side through the first five innings shifted in the Morries’ favor.
Henderson threatened with runners on first and third in the seventh inning. The Tigers were set down in order in the eighth and ninth.
Both teams finished with eight hits and no errors.
A light rain fell for the last six innings, but never significantly enough to noticeably affect the game on an otherwise cool, comfortable night for baseball at Bruce Frank Field.
Henderson could not play at its home field, which does not have lights.
Morristown advances to play 11 a.m. Saturday at the Mini Met in Jordan against the RVL No. 2 Belle Plaine Tigers. Belle Plaine’s playoff path includes a 9-2 win over 13/60 No. 8 Janesville, a 12-2 win over No. 3 13/60 St. Clair and a 4-0 loss to No. 1 13/60 Waterville with the last game Aug. 4.
Morristown lost to RVL No. 4 St. Peter 4-3, beat RVL No. 7 Arlington 12-2 and now beat Henderson.
Also on Friday, the 13/60 No. 2 Blue Earth Pirates won at home 5-2 against St. Clair in the other elimination game. Blue Earth will play the 13/60 No. 4 Eagle Lake Expos in the game to follow Morristown/Belle Plaine at approximately 1:30 p.m. in Jordan.
These two winners will meet in a 4 p.m. game in Jordan to determine the third and final bid to the Class C state tournament out of the region.
The Waterville Indians and the RVL No. 1 Jordan Brewers play for the region championship approximately 6:30 p.m. in Jordan. Both have already earned state bids. All 16 region champions earn first-round byes at state.
Morristown Morries 4, Henderson Tigers 2
M -- 000 013 000
H -- 000 020 000
Morristown batting -- Kyle Green 2-4, R, 2 RBI; Brent Vollbrecht 1-3, R, BB; Bradley Van Deinse 1-3, R, BB; Ben Lamont 1-4, R, 3B; Tate Harmon 1-4, RBI, 2B; Matt Saemrow 1-4; Landon Harmon 1-4
Morristown pitching -- Vollbrecht (W) 9IP-8H-2ER-2R-1BB-4K
Henderson batting -- John Parker 3-4, R; Greg Graham 1-4, 2 RBI; Zach Steuck 1-4, R; James Van Buskirk 1-4 Chase Boehne 1-4; Grant Miller 1-4; Philip Champagne 0-2, BB
Henderson pitching -- Jayce Luna (L) 5 ⅔ IP-5H-4ER-4R-2BB-6K, Adam Arnst 3 ⅓ IP-3H-0ER-0R-0BB-0K