Trailing 2-0 when the rain came Saturday, Aug. 10, moving the final two games of the Region 7C Tournament to Sunday, Carver outscored its opponents 16-1 to earn the second seed into state.

Carver, the regular season Crow River Valley League champion, draws Region 15 third seed Luverne in a 7 p.m. nightcap in Maple Lake on Saturday, Aug. 17.

The Redbirds of the Gopher League were the second seed in Region 15, but needed a victory over the Milroy Irish in the final game to clinch a spot in state.

On Aug. 11, Carver scored in four of six at-bats versus Green Isle in game one, winning 9-3. Carver runners crossed home plate in five-of-eight innings in game two, a 7-0 shutout of Cologne.

David Dolan was the star of the final day, throwing five shutout innings of relief. He entered in a 3-0 game in the fifth inning, Cologne having loaded the bases on a single, hit by pitch and walk.

A hot shot up in the middle snared down by the bare hand of Dolan to start a putout at home plate. Following a foul ball catch from catcher Cody Christensen, Carver left the inning unscathed with a pop out to first base.

Cologne mustered just three base runners the final four innings, an infield single from pinch hitter Brandon Fritz the lone blemish in Dolan's seven-strikeout, one-hit relief performance.

At the plate, Dolan connected for three RBIs in game two, a pair of doubles, including an opening inning gap shot. His fifth-inning double over the head of the Cologne outfielder extended the lead to 4-0.

A Weber sacrifice fly and back-to-back eighth-inning run-scoring singles from Sam Warner and Bailey Melz finished off the scoring for the Black Sox.

Ross Tichy, who entered the playoffs with just three-plus innings of work this season, pitched into the fifth inning, setting down 10 of 11 batters at one point. He exited having given up four hits.

Cologne was held scoreless in consecutive games over the final weekend, claiming the third seed out of Region 7C. It is the first state tournament appearance for the Hollanders since 1972.

Carver opened the final day with four unearned runs against Green Isle, staking a lead for good on a Dolan two-run double.

Carver drafted pitchers Ryan Grams of Brownton, Shane Khan of Winsted and Jonah Lewis of Watertown.

The Hollanders will play the Hadley Buttermakers out of Region 13 at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17 in Delano. Hadley topped Luverne in two games to claim the second spot behind Fairmont.

Cologne is expected to get back top arm Christian Johnson, who spent the last month with Kalamazoo of the Northwoods League.

In addition, the Hollanders drafted extra arms in Zach Iten of Watertown, Spencer Nelson of Cologne and Jacob Volness of Winsted.


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