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Fast-paced, pitchers’ duel: Garretson edges Menno in under two hours

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Menno's Doug Hall pitches during a game against Garretson on Tuesday night during the Class B state amateur tournament at Cadwell Park.

Garretson’s Derek Fischer and Menno’s Doug Hall didn’t spend much time on the mound Tuesday.

Fischer and Hall were both efficient, quickly worked in and out of innings and both kept their opposing bats at bay during the Bluejays’ 2-1 victory at the Class B state amateur baseball tournament at Cadwell Park.

“I always kind of like to work fast on any given occasion,” Hall said. “I just think it keeps the game going and keeps your defense involved and they were the same way. The exact same way. They kept it going and their pitcher worked awfully fast too and it’s more fun that way, I think anyway.”

Fischer struck out nine batters, scattered four hits and gave up one run (unearned) in 116 pitches. Hall, meanwhile, gave up four hits, two earned runs and struck out one batter in 108 pitches.

“That’s kind of what we expected,” Menno manager Ryan Liebl said. “Doug works fast and we knew Fischer would work fast. We saw him last year, too. So two great pitchers battling it out. That’s all you can expect. It’s going to be tough to get hits, tough to get runs.

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At one-hour and 47-minutes, it’s currently the shortest game of the tournament.

“It’s not bad,” Fischer said about the pace. “Sometimes it’s nice to get a little rest in between innings, but when it goes that quick and you keep getting back out there, you get into a real rhythm in the game and you start to feel all your pitches. So it’s good and bad.”

Garretson’s bats finally broke through in the sixth inning. In the bottom of the frame, Nick Bruning belted a two-out, solo home run over the 340-foot right field fence to even it up at 1-1.

In the seventh, Brad Ulmer smacked a two-out, RBI single for a 2-1 lead.

“I gave them an opportunity to fit one down the line with the wind blowing out,” Hall said. “It’s the pitch you can’t make in that situation, but it’s the game of baseball, I guess.”

Nick Bonte and Austin VanHove each finished with a hit apiece for Garretson.

“We have been hitting the ball all year,” Fischer said. “So I knew it was going to come around. I just had to do my job and keep us in the game and they came through.”

Menno’s Dylan Lehr finished with two hits. Cody Ulmer and Macon Oplinger each finished with a hit. In the fourth inning, Tyler Edler drove in Lehr for Menno’s lone run of the game. It was Menno’s second straight season being eliminated by Garretson, which has advanced to three straight semifinal appearances.

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“We got a lot of players experience this year,” Liebl said. “So that was nice.”

Garretson will play the winner of Northville and Clark at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in the quarterfinals.

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