LANGDON - Renville County was inches away from taking an early lead in the first round of Wednesday's Class B state tournament against LaMoure.
With Connor Brackenbury on third base after a one-out walk, Doug Winzenburg stepped to the plate two batters later against Post 19 starter Parker Stemen. The Renville County catcher blasted Stemen's first offering over the wall in left field, but it trailed just outside foul.
Had that drive stayed fair, Wednesday's result may have been different. But it didn't, and 13 LaMoure runs over the next three innings lifted the Southeast Region champion to a 14-1 win at American Legion Field.
Fresh off last weekend's West Region tournament run - a stretch that saw the Muskrats defeat each of the top three seeds - Renville County coach Roger Erickson said his team seemed dazed in the early going.
"I just think we had that deer-in-the-headlights look today," he said.
"That first at-bat that Doug got, if that stays fair and we get the two runs, that would have been big. But credit to LaMoure, they've got a great team. They've got good hitters all through the lineup."
LaMoure (30-8) moves on to play Thompson at 4 p.m. today. The Muskrats (10-13) head to the loser-out bracket for a 10 a.m. bout with Nelson County.
Post 19's top performer at the plate was right fielder Anthony Olson, who took Renville County starter Riley Brown deep to center during the second inning for a three-run bomb.
Olson finished 2-for-2 with four RBIs and a run scored.
"It feels right being back here again, and this year I think we can win it," he said.
A walk and three straight singles plated LaMoure's first three runs of the game in the first. An inning later, Post 19 doubled that output to take a 9-0 lead.
Renville County starter Riley Brown allowed nine runs on six hits, four walks and one hit batter. He was pulled in favor of reliever Talon Thompson after Olson's home run.
Thompson didn't fare much better. He walked four batters in the third inning en route to four more LaMoure runs.
Renville County scratched its lone run in the fourth inning after a Statler Olson single to center, scoring Brown from third.
Now slated for another early start this morning, Erickson hopes his players can find the composure to move on from Wednesday's loss.
"It doesn't matter whether you're playing in the state tournament or the season opener, it's still a baseball game," he said. "When the outcome comes out, it doesn't matter if you win or lose as long as you compete, give 110 percent and are proud of what you did."