VFW Baseball: Ploof, Hallberg combine for 24 strikeouts as Little Falls sweeps season opening doubleheader

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The Little Falls VFW baseball team rode the arms of Gabe Ploof and Adam Hallberg to sweep a season-opening doubleheader at Brainerd, Thursday.

Ploof tossed a six-hitter in a 3-1, eight-inning win in the opener, fanning 14 batters.

Brainerd took a 1-0 lead in the third and held it until the sixth, when Alec Zack singled and later stole home on a squeeze attempt.

The Flyers took the lead in the top of the eighth after Ploof dropped down a squeeze bunt to bring home Ben Witt with the tiebreaking run.

Michael Fregin tacked on an RBI single to give Little Falls its final margin of victory.

The second game appeared as if it would produce another pitchers’ duel, with neither team scoring through four innings of play.

But the Flyers broke through with seven consecutive singles with one out in the fifth to score five runs, then put the game away with three more in the sixth.

Hallberg carried a no-hitter into the seventh, allowing only one hit on a slow roller for an infield single. He also racked up 10 strikeouts in the win.

Thomas Bell, John Lukasavitz, Mark Brezinka, Tyler Athmann, Witt and Hallberg had two hits apiece for Little Falls, which finished with 14.