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Renville County wins two counters against Garrison/Max

LANSFORD — A tantalizing mix of sunshine and clouds loomed over Richardson Field during Thursday evening’s doubleheader between the Garrison/Max Titans and the Renville County Muskrats. The steamy heat and refreshing rain created an air of uncertainty.

The weather was mercurial, but Renville County’s Brock Depute left no doubt on the mound. Depute tossed a complete-game shutout in the Muskrats’ 5-0 Game 1 win over the Titans.

“The big thing about pitching is confidence in the fastball,” he said. “I’ve really tried to key on that my whole life. I think I really focused on that today.”

Renville County earned a 5-3 victory over Garrison/Max in the nightcap. Both games lasted seven innings, but Depute’s efficiency kept the first game at just under an hour and 20 minutes.

The Muskrats hurler threw 90 pitches, allowed just two hits and struck out nine batters in the gem. After the game, Depute acknowledged a source of inspiration — two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom.

“I knew it was a good team, just like every MLB team he faces,” he said. “I knew I had to make my pitches. I really focused on hitting my spots. It turned out well for me.”

Nursing a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning, Depute helped himself with a strong RBI single to center field. The Muskrats had no intentions of relinquishing that advantage.

When the Titans reached base in the late innings, Depute stifled their efforts. As the light rain sprinkled over the first-base dugout, Renville County players and coaches celebrated the victory.

“Brock was dealing today,” Renville County head coach Bart Savelkoul said. “He’s our ace. He’s our No. 1.”

The pitching performance marked Depute’s first complete-game shutout of his career.

“I’ve come close a few times,” he said. “I’ve sort of struggled in the seventh inning a little bit in the past. It certainly feels good to get over that hump and finish it out today.”

Batting as the visitors in the next contest, the Muskrats tallied three runs in the second frame. Dalton Moberg’s RBI double preceded two runs off errors.

The Titans got a run back in the bottom of that inning. In the third, another Garrison/Max run came home on an error.

Gannon Hall added another run for the Muskrats with an RBI knock in the top of the fourth. Trailing 4-2, Devon Crawford cut Renville County’s lead in half with a deep drive to right field.

Depute came home after a ball skipped to the backstop in the top of the fifth. Moberg rewarded the offense with a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of that frame.

After a scoreless sixth inning, Moberg finished the job with another strong showing in the seventh. The Muskrats put the finishing touches on the 5-3 victory.

“We made a few errors in the field,” Garrison/Max head coach Luke Gehring said. “What killed us the most today was probably mental mistakes on the base paths. Especially against a team like Mohall, they’re very solid all around. You have to show up and play a perfect game to beat them.”

Both teams will play their next games on their home fields. Garrison/Max will host Beulah at 4 p.m. on Monday, June 29, while Renville County will welcome Surrey at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30.

Jimmy Lafakis covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JJLII30.

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