Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since April of 2010. During that time, Williams has had the privilege of covering multiple state championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, atheltic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools. For the most up to date information, more photos, and live game coverage, follow @PerhamSports on Twitter.
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One run can make all the difference in a game and even more in a tournament. A first round 1-0 loss to eventual state champions Browerville sent the New York Mills 13-15s Babe Ruth team on a long haul to the final four. Eight wins would be needed to get through the loser's bracket to the title, including, due to inclement weather Saturday night, four possible games on a swampy Sunday. NY Mills outhit Browerville 5-3. "We just couldn't put the hits together," said Head Coach Tim Kupfer. "We did face a very good pitcher as well." Browerville scored in the first inning.
In compiling this week's Time Capsule, I ran into a story about Lund Boats being used to aid the clean up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, at that time, in 1989, the worst oil catastrophe in the country's history. It was also in this week, 21 years ago, that Exxon pulled clean up crews from the Alaskan area due to potential danger, mainly rough seas and weather. What a mess. Exxon's president told Congressional leaders, an oxymoron, of the company's plan to suspend activity and maybe return in the spring of 1990 to "inspect the area." That's like me saying I'm going to go on a bender for a f
Saturday night Saturday night's game was postponed due to severe weather in the Fergus Falls area. Play will resume at M-State (MSCTC) field at 10 a.m., Sunday. Legion Field at DeLagoon Park is under water. The score in the fifth inning was 10-5 in favor of Pearl Lake. Saturday morning New York Mills staved off elimination again handing a 4-3 comeback defeat to Litchfield at the In-Tact State Babe Ruth tournament in Fergus Falls. The loss was only Litchfield's third of the season. "We continue to fight," Head Coach Tim Kupfer said.
The Perham Babe Ruth team got off to a hot start with two wins, but met a streaking NY Mills team and a hefty-slugging Minnetonka team getting bounced out in the quarterfinals. At Krueger Field, in the opening round, Abe Bickell led off the sixth inning with a double and scored the game winner on a base hit by Adam Altstadt in the 3-2 win over Fergus Falls. Ryan DeConcini pitched a complete game for the win. He struck out five batters. "Ryan pitched his best game of the year when we needed him most," said Head Coach Tyler Soderstrom. "He threw strikes and our defense backed him up.
The semi-final matchup between New York Mills and Dassel-Cokato got off to a rough start for NY Mills. Down 5-1 in the first inning a pitching change and a welcome 45-minute rain delay changed the course of what was beginning to look like a potential blowout. Dassel-Cokato would eventually win 10-7, but not before a scare was put into the Chargers by the boys from Mills. "This year I had a team that never gave up, even when we were down by more than a run or two," said Head Coach Greg Esala.
The New York Mills 13-15 Babe Ruthers took a longer road than anticipated to the championship of District 2. They head to Fergus Falls Thursday, August 5, to begin state tournament play at 5:30 p.m. at the MSCTC College field, as the top seed from the district. "Overall we played a great tournament," Head Coach Tim Kupfer said.
People are drawn to enigmatic individuals and Tuffy Nelson was obviously that. So much so, many of the participants of the 26th annual Tuffy Nelson Golf Classic, friends or family, did not want to share stories of the man. It was almost like they wanted to hold onto those tales for themselves. Don't get me wrong, from what I heard, some of those stories were not safe to print, which is a viable excuse. Not everyone was tight-lipped and many people who were asked had a finger pointing to one guy. Buzz Nelson. Buzz had a story. "10-12 of us were up north hunting deer and I shot one.
I have covered so many baseball games the past fortnight that when I try to sleep I hear nothing but chatter in my head. "Trade places with him!" "Twist it!" "Not your pitch!" "Base hit, ball four!" It's like there are multiple teams of teenagers in my head and they are all screaming. But I love baseball. Getting paid to watch hardball games is hardly work, especially, when one gets to cover winners. Much of the credit for all those wins can be laid directly on the coaching staffs.
Of the participants of the first annual Tuffy Nelson Golf Classic, one truth was said that stands out among many of the great comments from that day, as reported by Chuck Johnson. "There wasn't a guy out there who he (Tuffy) hadn't whipped on the golf course." That was a quote from Tuffy's brother Arvid back in 1985. Another brother, Bill and Tuffy's son Kenny, did most of the recruiting of that first group of golfers. Their strategy was simple. "'You round up that that bunch of guys' and 'You round up that bunch of guys.'" 82 golfers were rounded up in 1985.
Saturday games New York Mills got down early and any attempt at a comeback fell short, as they lost 11-5 to Albany. Damon Tumberg was 2-4 at the plate and scored two runs. Albany advances to Sunday's championship game to await the winner of NY Mills' next game. They will face the winner of Saturday night's elimination game between Dassel-Cokato and Minnetonka. The semi-finals will be played on Krueger Field Sunday at 11 a.m. The championship game(s) against Albany will begin at 1:30 p.m. Albany will have to be beaten twice to lose the title.