Isanti Redbirds rally on Brewers to open 8B playoffs

Isanti veteran Tyler Schaff had two hits, including a double in the big seven-run fifth inning, to help the Redbirds win their playoff opener. Photos by Greg Hunt

Isanti veteran Tyler Schaff had two hits, including a double in the big seven-run fifth inning, to help the Redbirds win their playoff opener. Photos by Greg Hunt

The 2013 playoffs got off to a rocky start for Isanti, but a big rally sent the Redbirds past host Forest Lake on Saturday, Aug. 3.

No. 3 seed Forest Lake began the Section 8B playoffs with a 4-0 win over No. 6 East Bethel. The Brewers and No. 2 seed Redbirds were tied 1-1 when the Brewers exploded for five runs  on five hits and a hit-batsmen in the third inning off Isanti starter Adam West. Matt Duong came on in relief and retired the next batter to get out of the inning, but the Brewers touched him for a run in the fifth to own a 7-1 lead.

In the bottom of that inning, the Redbird bats finally came to life against Brewer starter Mike Swenson. Stacking up hits and taking advantage of FL errors, the ‘Birds put up seven runs to take the lead for good at 8-7. Duong got the win with 3.6 innings on the mound, finishing with two strikeouts and allowing five hits. Joe Ramberg came back from his shoulder injury to get the save by throwing 2.6 innings of shutout ball (two strikeouts, one hit).

Matt Duong pitched well in relief for the Redbirds to get the Aug. 3 win against Forest Lake. Duong finished with two strikeouts and allowing one earned run in his 3.6 innings against the Brewers.

Matt Duong pitched well in relief for the Redbirds to get the Aug. 3 win against Forest Lake. Duong finished with two strikeouts and allowing one earned run in his 3.6 innings against the Brewers.

Wyatt Soderquist led the Isanti offense with a sweet 4-for-5 day. B.J. Samuelson, Tyler Schaff (double) and Jake Maros (double) all added two hits in the Redbirds’ 12-hit attack.

Isanti (22-9) will next face top-seed Blaine (26-12) at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8, back at Forest Lake’s Schumacher Field. The winner of that game receives an automatic berth in the following weekend’s Minnesota Class B Super Sections.

In 8B losers’ bracket action on Sunday, Coon Rapids eliminated St. Francis 5-0, then the CR squad knocked out Forest Lake 11-0. Coon Rapids will take on the loser of the Isanti/Blaine game on Friday, Aug. 9 (7:30 p.m.) to determine the other team to reach Super Sections. The Section 8B championship will then follow at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10 back at Forest Lake which will determine seeding position for Super Sections.

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