Kilowatts crank the power for League playoffs

Jess Gorman
Staff Writer
Teammates emerge from the dugout to welcome in Listul on home run.

The Kilowatts baseball team entered into the playoff season this past weekend with a roller coaster of battles riddled with wins and loses, starting the weekend in the 7th place seat in Cornbelt League.

Starting on Friday night, July 31, the team traveled to Willmar to face off against the Rails. The Watts started strong with a two run lead in the top of the first thanks to runs by left fielder Jordan Odegard and second baseman Brandon Grund.

By the bottom of the second the Rails came back with two runs of their own, keeping the game tied until the bottom of the fourth when the Willmar team scored six additional runs taking over the lead with an 8-2 game. In the top of the fifth the Watts came back with another two runs of their own by center fielder Kyle “The beast” TeBeest and third baseman Cole Richter. Colton Vein started the game's pitching roster with 43 strikes in just over 3 innings while giving up five runs.

Chris Kanten came in briefly to offer some relief, pitching 10 strikes and giving up three additional runs. To close out the Kilowatts pitching line up, Ty Schulte finished the last four innings with 49 strikes and letting go four more runs. The game finished 12-4 in favor of the Rails.

On Saturday August 1, the Kilowatts played closer to home, meeting the Wabasso Jaxx’s in Sacred Heart, ready to deal out a loss to the purple-clad players. Wabasso started early with a one run lead in the top of the 2nd inning but thanks to deftly executed field work and Cam Veins pitching, Wabasso’s couldn’t take the heat and eventually was forced out of the kitchen. With no runs scored for six innings and after a short delay due to rain, the Watts hit hard in the ninth with a homerun by designated hitter Craig Listul and another run by Cam Vein. Other game hitters were Odegard, Dammann, Vein, and Knapper.

The final score spelled victory for the Watts at 2-1, advancing the Granite Falls team to the next Cornbelt League round later that evening. Veins pitching carried through all 9 innings with Wabasso where after, the team waited anxiously to discover who they would play at 6:30pm the same night. Going into the next game with the Rails, Vein’s rocket of an arm stayed strong, pitching a no hitter through the first 5 innings.

In the Saturday 6:30pm game, the Kilowatts met the Willmar Rails once again, this time at the Sacred Heart fields. The first run, a home run, was made by Odegard in the 3rd inning, starting the team down the eventual path to victory. A second run by Tebeest also in the third kept the team ahead until the fifth and sixth innings where the Rails racked up five runs.

What could have appeared to be a repeat of Friday's game against the Rails was quickly shut down by the Watts as if they were turning of Willmar’s power with no notice posted to the door. The Granite Falls team dished out five additional runs by Knapper, Grund, Dammann, Listful and Tebeest all in the 9th inning. Pitcher Cam Vein put away 51 strikes giving up five runs, with pitcher Christen Kanten coming in for the last three innings dealing out 33 strikes, giving up no runs. The final score was 7-5 in favor of the Kilowatts.

With another win under their belts, the Kilowatts might as well set up camp on the Sacred Heart field as they returned again Sunday the 2nd to finally battle the home team, the Sacred Heart Saints. Sacred scored the first run in the third inning and a second run in the fifth with Granite Falls coming back hungry and fighting, putting up two runs of their own in the sixth inning by Cam Vein and Colton Vein bringing the game to a contentious tie.

Hits were made by Odegard, Listful, Richter, Knapper, Tebeest, Kanten, and Dammann. From the pitcher's mound, Dalton Anderson gave up four runs, with 54 strikes during six innings with his relief, Adam Brewer taking over the remaining two innings with 21 strikes and no additional runs allowed. Sacred pulled ahead with two runs in the 7th and held the 4-2 lead until the game's end.

The Kilowatts finished the season and Cornbelt playoffs in 6th place thanks to the Saturday win against Willmar. With some questionable calls from the umpires stance in playoffs, the Kilowatts suffered some considerably unfair blows leading to the seasons finished. “We are a young team, but watch us next year and in the coming 2021 season as the players grow and develop for an unstoppable future” said coach Mike Ritcher.

Grund makes catch to defend 1st base.