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Wessington Springs Owls fall 8-3 to Lake Norden

Wessington Springs' Adam Kaus throws a pitch against Lake Norden in a first-round game of the South Dakota Class B state amateur baseball tournament at Cadwell Park in Mitchell. (Eric Mayer/Republic)

Lake Norden exploded for six runs in the fifth inning and went on to defeat Wessington Springs 8-3 in first-round play at the South Dakota Class B state amateur baseball tournament Saturday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.

The Owls had chances to score early, putting runners in scoring position in the first four innings, but were unable to get a run across.

“I think the difference in the game was they got hits with two outs and we didn’t,” Owls manager Nathan Hainy said. “We had somebody at third base the first three or four innings and we just couldn’t push them across.”

Lake Norden (13-12) advances to take on Crofton (Neb.) at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Cadwell Park. Wessington Springs is eliminated and finishes the season at 11-8.

Wessington Springs pitcher Tyler Waddle mowed down the first 10 Lakers hitters, but Lake Norden got a double from Tim Kuphal and and single from Ty Fuller to give the Lakers a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Wessington Springs broke through in the fifth inning, with Zach Cranson drawing a walk and advancing to third on a hit by Adam Kaus. After a fly out to the second baseman and a throw out at home, Anthony Wahl hit a two-run single to tie the score for the Owls.

The bottom half of the fifth inning saw Lake Norden open the game up, sending 10 batters to the plate. The Lakers had six hits with sacrifice flies from Tony Campbell and Fuller. Jordan Johnson and Mick Tulson added RBI singles for the Lakers.

For Laker manager Burt Tulson it was a matter of his players cutting down on their swings.

“He (Waddle) was throwing a very good fastball and we noticed he was coming in mostly with fastballs,” Tulson said. “I told them to cut down on their swings and let’s start hitting the ball, putting it in play and anything could happen.”