Durfee powers Mudhens to weekend sweep
Adam Durfee hit four home runs and drove in 14 runs in two Minneota Mudhens victories in the Region 9C playoffs this past weekend.
The Mudhens scored 27 runs in the two wins while collecting 30 hits.
Durfee hit two home runs and drove in seven runs in each game. His grand slam homer in the bottom of the eighth inning rallied the Mudhens from an 11-2 deficit to a 12-11 win over the Cottonwood Cardinals on Saturday.
Minneota then routed top-seeded Rosen Express 15-4 on Sunday.
Durfee went 7-for-10 in the two games. Tyson Sonnenburg had four hits, including a two-run homer; and Danny Hennen and Brock Buysse also each had four hits in the two games.
The Mudhens, fighting their way back in the elimination bracket after losing to Dumont last week, will take on the Chokio Coyotes at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Rosen. If Minneota wins that game, it will advance to play the winner of Dumont and Clinton at 4 p.m. Sunday. A weekend sweep would put them against the loser of Morris and Ortonville, with a win there advancing them to the Class C state tournament. Region 9C advances the top two teams to state.
(Saturday, Aug. 1 at Rosen)
Mudhens turn back Rosen to advance
The Mudhens scored nine runs in the first three innings, then added three more in the seventh and three in the ninth.
Durfee hit three-run home runs in both the third and ninth innings, while chipping in a run-scoring single in seventh. He finished 4-for-6.
After Durfee reached on a single in the first inning, Sonnenburg cracked a two-run homer to get things started for the Mudhens. Sonnenburg also drove in another run with a single.
Brock Buysse and Jake Leighton were each 3-for-5 and drove in a pair of runs. Danny Hennen rapped a pair of doubles.
"We knew we had a better team than we showed during the regular season," said Sonnenburg. "We had some guys miss some games during the season. When we have everyone there, we have a very good hitting lineup and we showed that this weekend."
Preston Nuy earned the win on the hill for the Mudhens. He scattered eight hits over 62/3 innings, while walking five and striking out seven. Zach Nuy pitched the final 21/3 innings and did not allow a hit or a run. He fanned three of the seven batters he faced.
(Saturday, Aug. 1 at Rosen)
Minneota, down 11-2, rallies past Cottonwood
Adam Durfee's grand slam home run with two outs in the eighth inning gave the Mudhens the win and kept their playoff hopes alive.
Trailing 11-2 heading into the last of the seventh inning, it was looking like the end of the season was near for the Mudhens. But they slowly chipped away, plating five runs in the seventh and five more in the eighth to advance.
Durfee also slugged a two-run homer in the second inning and added a run-scoring single in the seventh to give him seven RBI on the day.
Zach Nuy, the third Minneota pitcher, tossed two hitless innings of relief for the win. He walked one and struck out three. Durfee made his first start of the season and lasted five-plus innings before the Cardinals got to him for five runs in the sixth. Danny Hennen relieved and was touched for four additional runs in the Cardinals' nine-run sixth.
In the Minneota seventh, Sam Buysse and Beau Buysse had run-scoring singles to whittle the deficit to 11-4. Jake Leighton then plated a run with a sacrifice fly before Durfee and Tyson Sonnenburg each had a run-scoring single to make it 11-7.
"It was a tough mindset being down that far," said Sonnenburg. "But after we got the five runs in the seventh, we knew we had a chance with two more innings left."
As it turned out, the Mudhens only needed one more inning. Alex Pohlen, Hennen and Brock Buysse all singled before Beau Buysse walked to force home a run. Durfee then ripped a curveball for a grand-slam home run to left field to clear the bases and give the Mudhens a 12-11 lead.
Nuy then closed it out, striking out the final two batters of the game.
"Zach has done a nice job in that closing role for us," said Sonnenburg.
The Mudhens were without Austin Buysse and Preston Nuy in this game.
It was the second time in as many years that the Mudhens rallied from a large deficit to beat Cottonwood. Last year, they trailed the Cardinals 7-2 after six innings of the final regular season game before scoring six times in the seventh and go on to a 9-7 win.
Minneota 12, Cottonwood 11
Cottonwood......001 009 100 - 11 5 1
Minneota..........002 000 55x - 12 12 0
Minneota hitting: Beau Buysse 1-for-3, rbi; Jake Leighton 0-2, rbi; Adam Durfee 3-for-4, 7 rbi; Tyson Sonnenburg 2-for-4, rbi; Austin DeVlaeminck 1-for-5; Alex Pohlen 1-for-4; Danny Hennen 2-for-4; Brock Buysse 1-for-3, rbi; Sam Buysse 1-for-4, rbi
HR-Durfee 2. SAC-Leighton, Brock Buysse. BB-Beau Buysse, Leighton, Sonnenburg, Pohlen. HBP-Beau Buysse, Leighton.
Minneota pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Adam Durfee 5-3-6-6-5-8, Danny Hennen 2-4-4-4-0-1, Zach Nuy (W) 2-0-0-0-1-3