Cologne upsets Brownton in Crow River Valley League Playoffs

Posted on Sunday, August 2 by Trent Jackson

In game three of the Crow River Valley League-South playoff matchup between the No. 2 seed Brownton Bruins and No. 7 seed Cologne Holldanders, Cologne upset Brownton 6-3 after rallying in the ninth inning to punch their ticket into the Region 7C tournament for the first time since 1993.

Cologne previously won game one of the series 2-1, followed by a 10-2 Brownton victory. In the final game of the series on Sunday afternoon, Cologne defeated Brownton by a score of 6-3, outhitting the Bruins 11-7.

“We knew coming into the weekend that Brownton was a team that we could compete with. We played with them earlier in the season,” said manager Craig Pexa.

Kyle Twait started on the mound for Cologne and pitched six solid innings, allowing three Brownton runs and six hits. Carter Clemensen pitched the final three innings for the Hollanders, allowing only one hit and earning the win.

The Sunday afternoon playoff game started off as somewhat of a pitcher’s duel, as the game was tied at 1-1 through six and a half innings. Both Twait of Cologne and Bryant Nordby of Brownton had strong starts on the mound. Nordby finished 6.2 innings, allowing two runs off seven hits, with three strikeouts.

Cologne got the scoring started in the third inning. After a strikeout, Nordby struggled to hit the zone and walked the bases loaded. Cleanup hitter Tim Swanson then grounded out to third base, scoring Casey Clemensen to give Cologne a 1-0 lead.

Brownton answered in the fourth inning after a walk and an errant throw to first allowed Taylor Schuette to score on a close play at the plate to tie the game 1-1.

The Bruins would add another two runs in the sixth inning off four hits from Taylor Schuette, Deryk Randt, Mason Goettl, and Chad Lenz.

Cologne cut the Brownton lead to 3-2 in the seventh. Alex Eichner led off the inning with a single to left field and with two outs Carter Clemensen ripped a double to left center, scoring Eichner. Ryan Grams came in to relieve following the Hollander run scored and escaped the inning with help from two great defensive plays by third baseman Lenz and first baseman Matt Switchenberg.

Grams looked great in the eighth, sending down Cologne via three strikeouts after a leadoff base on balls. He then had a chance to close out the game in the ninth but would struggle as he loaded the bases on two hit batters and a single from Twait. Dylan McCormick then came in to pitch. Tim Swanson then came through with another clutch at bat, singling through the left side to give Cologne a 4-3 lead. An RBI single by Alex Meeker and a wild pitch would score two more to give Cologne a 6-3 lead.

Carter Clemensen shut the door on Brownton in their last chance to come back. After striking out the first batter, he allowed a base on balls and a bloop single by Jason Rosenau. Lenz then lined out to second baseman Casey Clemensen, who threw to first to complete the double play to end the game.

“We knew we could keep in with these guys and we just battled,” said Pexa.

Twait, Carter Clemensen, and Kraig Peterson all had multiple hit games for Cologne.

Cologne moves on to the Region 7C tournament for the first time in 1993 and will face No. 1 seed Winsted. ”It’s exciting, we’ll see what happens,” said Pexa.  “We need to have a good pitching performance and not beat ourselves. When we get an opportunity to score a run, we need to score a run.” 

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