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Bruins fall just short of state appearance

A scintillating second-half run for the Brownton Bruins came up one game short of the promised land after a heart-wrenching loss to Carver at the Region 7C Tournament on Friday, Aug. 10.
The Bruins entered the regional as the seventh seed out of eight teams, only to stun No. 2 seed Watertown in the tournament opener on Aug. 4.
Brownton narrowly lost its second round game to Young America the next day to drop into the one-loss bracket against Carver – setting up a showdown in which the victor goes to the state tournament and the loser sees its season end.
The Bruins had defeated Carver in both regular-season meetings this season, but the Black Sox took an early lead in the third matchup.
Down 1-0 to Carver after the third inning, Brownton tied the score at one run each in the fourth inning as Seth Schuette reached on an error before eventually scoring on a passed ball.
The Bruins went up 2-1 in the fifth inning as Grant Baumetz singled before scoring on an RBI double by Mason Goettl.
The Black Sox returned serve in the sixth inning, scoring a lone run on a double and a single to knot the count at 2-all.
Matters got a bit out of hand in the seventh, with Carver notching a pair of unearned runs off Bruins starter Ryan Grams to seize a 4-2 advantage.
Brownton sliced that edge in half in the eighth as a booming home run by Bryant Nordby drew the Bruins to within a run at 4-3.
After Carver threatened but did not score in the bottom of the eighth, Nordby set himself up as a black-and-yellow hero in the top of the ninth.
Jason Rosenau led off the frame with a leadoff single. However, his pinch runner, Bryce Lindeman, was still at first as the next two Bruin batters were cast down by strikeout.
However, walks to Schuette and Goettl loaded the bases for Nordby, who stroked a two-run single to put Brownton up 5-4 heading to the bottom of the ninth.
Nordby came on to close out the game in relief of Grams – who was making his third start of the tournament – for the ninth inning.
However, Carver was having none of it, loading the bases on three infield singles before Nordby claimed a strikeout.
With Brownton needing two more outs, instead it received a dagger. Black Sox first baseman David Dolan looped a single to right field, driving home two runs to hand the stunned Bruins a sudden 6-5 season-ending defeat.
Nordby, who took the loss, had done all he could at the plate to deliver Brownton a win with two hits, three RBI and one run scored.
But in the end, it was not enough as the curtain came down on the Bruins’ summer.
Brownton finished the season with a 17-16 overall record, 11-12 against league/region foes.