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Luverne exits VFW state tournament

BRAINERD -- The Luverne VFW baseball team made an early exit Thursday in the 2018 Minnesota state VFW baseball tournament.

The team, playing in its third consecutive state tourney, lost its opener 5-2 to Litchfield, then lost 10-2 to Winona later in the day.

All tournament games are being played in Brainerd.

Errors killed Luverne in the first game, played at 10 a.m. Walks were the culprit in the 6 p.m. second game.

"I've always said that if you throw strikes, play defense and have timely hitting, you'll do well," said head coach Mike Wenninger. "We did not play defense in the first game, and we didn't throw strikes in the second game."

Isaiah Bartels pitched the full seven innings for Luverne in Game One, and he pitched well, allowing seven hits while walking two and striking out eight. But four of the five runs scored on him were unearned. Luverne committed eight errors altogether.

Luverne had three hits in the game, including two each by Bailey Cowell.

In the second game, Colby Crabtree got the start for Luverne on the mound. He went five innings, allowed three hits, and walked eight. Winona scored six runs in the sixth inning.

Cowell and Cade Wenninger led Luverne at the plate with two hits each.