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Sleepy Eye advances to district play

July 22, 2012
Jeremy Behnke - Journal Sports Editor ( , The Journal

HUTCHINSON - Sleepy Eye earned a berth in the District 2 Tournament next week by picking up two wins on Saturday in the Northwest Sub-District VFW baseball playoffs.

Carter Krzmarzick scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth against Glencoe as Sleepy Eye won 4-3 to advance to today's sub-district championship game against Dassel-Cokato.

Sleepy Eye defeated Hutchinson 12-8 in the first game before coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the second game to force a tie and eventually win.

Mike Hirsch earned the win in the first game. He pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed six hits and seven runs. John Mangen pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for Sleepy Eye.

Jon Kopacek picked up the win in the second game. He went seven innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs. He struck out three and gave up six hits. Mangen came in to earn the save in the eighth inning, striking out two.

In the first game against Hutchinson, Sleepy Eye scored a single run in the first inning off of Mangen's single that scored David Suprenant. Post 800 then added to the lead in the second inning, scoring six times, ending Matthew Keiser's one-inning stint on the mound.

Mangen again provided the big hit with a two-run single and Jon Kopacek followed with another two-run single as Sleepy Eye led 5-0 at that point. Sleepy Eye led 7-0 after the first two innings and 8-0 after scoring again in the third inning.

Hutchinson climbed back in bottom of the third, scoring five times to cut the gap.

Kopacek, who finished the first game with two hits and two RBI, said it was important to get those early runs against Hutchinson.

"We knew that they were having a hot streak lately, so we decided to just come out and get our hits going like we have [Sleepy Eye had 20 hits in Friday's win against New Ulm Silver] and we got out on top," Kopacek said.

Hirsch didn't allow too much damage to be done against him after the big five-run third inning.

"Hirsch did a real good job," Kopacek said. "We had a couple of errors but he always overcame them and pulled through for us."

Mangen was 3-for-5 i the first game with three RBI and Kopacek was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Lucas Heiderscheidt also had two RBI.

In the second game, Glencoe led 3-1 heading into the top of the seventh, but Sleepy Eye managed to tie the game to force extra innings. There, Krzmarzick scored the go-ahead run and Mangen shut the door on Glencoe.

Mangen was 2-for-5 in the second game and Brandon Helget was 2-for-4. Hirsch finished the game 3-for-3.

Sleepy Eye (13-10) has to defeat Dassel-Cokato twice in order to win the sub-district championship. Either way, Post 800 is guaranteed a spot in next week's District 2 Tournament beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday at Johnson Park. The tournament runs through Sunday at both Johnson and Mueller Parks.



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