Class C Roundup (Dundas): Brownton outlasts Gaylord behind 155-pitch complete game from Grams

By Michael Hughes

ScoreMonster Contributor

*Photos courtesy of Jim Wellbrock

A dominant ace can turn any team into a postseason dark horse.

The Brownton Bruins proved that Friday night in the opening game of the Class C state tournament at Memorial Field in Dundas, where the No. 4 seed out of Region 7C topped the Gaylord Islanders 7-3 to advance to next weekend’s second round.

Brownton ace Ryan Grams danced in and out of trouble to eventually finish off a complete game to knock off the No. 2 seed out of Region 6C. 

The Bruins did defeat the Islanders in a non-league game earlier in the season.

Grams allowed eight hits and four walks, but struck out three batters and induced enough weak contact at key times to evade trouble and earn Player of the Game honors from the Minnesota Baseball Association. On top of that work on the mound, Grams provided the Bruins with the lead in the top of the third, when he lined a two-out, two-strike double to other way to drive in three runs.

Gaylord pushed Grams to the limit in the bottom of the eighth, when the Islanders pushed across a pair of runs thanks to an RBI single from Josh Gasow, who finished with four hits, and a sacrifice fly from Jake Schmidt, who drove in a pair of runs.

Grams stranded runners on second and third with a groundout to second to end the inning and preserve a 4-3 lead. Taylor Schuette provided some extra breathing room in the top of the ninth with his two-out, three-RBI double to make it 7-3. In the bottom of the ninth, Grams put a runner on first base with a hit by pitch, but quickly ended the inning with a 6-4-3 double play.

Gaylord, meanwhile, was unable to consistently locate that two-out hit against Grams.

Gaylord did score first Friday night courtesy of the Schmidts. Travis Schmidt drew a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the second, before Jake Schmidt eventually forced him home with an RBI groundout to second base.

The Islanders started St. Clair Wood Ducks draftee Wilson Magers on the mound Friday. He worked five innings while allowing only the three-RBI double to Grams. He struck out three batters, allowed five hits and walked five batters.

Erik Goetsch pitched three innings out of the bullpen for Gaylord while allowing only a solo home run Scott Finberg that easily cleared the wall in left field. Ed Reichenbach tossed the final inning for the Islanders.

Brownton advances to play at 11 a.m. Sunday Aug. 28 in Dundas against the Isanti Redbirds.

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