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RCTC opens district baseball play with victory

The RCTC baseball team opened district play with a win on Thursday and is now two victories away from earning a berth in the Division III NJCAA National Tournament.

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ST. CLOUD — Andrew Simmons of Stewarville pitched the Rochester Community and Technical College baseball team past Ridgewater Community College 10-2 in seven innings in the opening round of district play on Thursday.

The win advances RCTC into the winners bracket final of the four-team, double-elimination event. The Yellowjackets (29-12), who have yet to lose a postseason game in region or district play, are now two wins away from a berth in the Division III NJCAA National Tournament.

Simmons (7-3) allowed 10 hits and walked two, but the right-hander yielded just two earned runs. He struck out six.

RCTC opened the game up early by scoring seven times in the second inning as six different players hit run-scoring singles.

Lewiston-Altura grad Blake Schilling finished a perfect 4-for-4. He had two RBIs and scored a pair of runs. Gustavo Gonzalez was 3-for-4 and he also had two RBIs and scored twice. Jovan Marrero-Soto and Gabe Sepulveda both had two hits and an RBI while Carlos Martinez and Yanseph Llanos both had run-scoring singles.

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RCTC will face St. Cloud Technical and Community College at 11 a.m. Friday in the winners bracket final of the tournament. The winner advances to Saturday's championship game. The loser faces the Ridgewater and Central Lakes winner later on Friday, and that winner will advance to meet RCTC in the title game.

Lefty Alec Dietl is expected to start on the mound for RCTC against St. Cloud. The Yellowjackets beat St. Cloud 6-0 last week during region play.

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