The Starbuck Stars won the 2022 County Line League Championship this past Sunday, defeating Paynesville 6-5 and then beating Atwater 4-1. In the front row from left are: Mitchell Gruber, Kayo Aslakson, Mike Andreas, Andy Toop, Blake Andreas and Torii Johnson. In back, Jackson Hendrickson, Darion Alexander, Matt Gruber, Aaron Ver Steeg, Drew Olsonawski, Michael Gruber and Bob Hendrickson. Not pictured: Austin Ver Steeg, Collin Richards and Jared Freese.

The Starbuck Stars won two games on Sunday, beating Paynesville 6-5 and then defeating Atwater 4-1 to become the County Line League champions.

In the first game of the day, the Stars trailed Paynesville 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning when Andrew Toop singled to score two runs and that was all they needed to win that game.

Starbuck scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Darion Alexander went 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs, a walk and a stolen base for the Stars. Austin Ver Steeg also homered for Starbuck.

Michael Gruber took the win for the Stars.  Drew Olsonawski threw one third of an inning and Gruber record the last four outs to earn the save.

Matt Gruber started on the mound for the Stars and surrendered two runs on eight hits over seven innings of work.  He struck out five and walked one.  

Paynesville 000  200 030-5  13   1

Starbuck   000   002   04x-6   8   2

Hitting – Starbuck: Michael Gruber 1-4 sb, Darion Alexander 2-3 hr r-2 rbi bb sb, Matt Gruber 1-4 r sb, Austin Ver Steeg 1-4 hr r rbi-2, Mike Andreas 1-3 r rbi bb, Andrew Toop 1-4 rbi-2, Mitchell Gruber 1-4 sb, Jackson Hendrickson 0-2 r bb-2

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Starbuck: Matt Gruber 7-8-2-2-1-5, Drew Olsonawski 0.1-1-2-2-1-0, Michael. Gruber (W) 1.1-3-1-1-1-2, Alexander (Sv) 0.1-1-0-0-1-0

In the second game of the day, the Stars defeated Atwater  4-1 to take the league championship. The win gives Starbuck the top seed coming into Region 4C playoffs in Spicer.  Atwater will be the number 2 seed.

Drew Olsonawski and Aaron Ver Steeg combined on a five-hitter. Olsonawski went seven shutout innings, striking out seven and walking one. He allowed four hits. Ver Steeg got the save, allowing an unearned run.

Matt Gruber and Jackson Hendrickson led the Stars offensively. Gruber went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Hendrickson was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Starbuck plays Willmar, the fourth seed from the Corn Belt League, at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer.  Starbuck   001   003   000-4   5   2

Atwater     000   000   010-1   5   1

Hitting – Starbuck: Matt Gruber 2-4 2b-2 r rbi-2, Jackson Hendrickson 2-3 rbi, Torii Johnson 1-2 r bb, Michael Gruber 0-2 r bb-2 sb, Aaron Ver Steeg 0-3 r bb 

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Starbuck: Drew Olsonawski (W) 7-4-0-0-1-7, Ver Steeg (Sv) 2-1-1-0-1-1 … Atwater: Kingery (L) 6-5-4-3-3-2, Holtz 3-0-0-0-1-5.