Dodge County scored twice in the top of the ninth to edge Owatonna 3-2 in the Region 5C baseball playoff opener at Fuller Field. The Aces face elimination Saturday afternoon.

Brandon Wolf of the Aces and Kasey Krekling for Dodge County each tossed a complete game and got some help from their defenses. Some questionable base running from both teams snuffed out a rally or two and made for a quick evening at Fuller Field at Dartt's Park in Owatonna.

Krekling threw a six-hitter, with half of those hits leading off the fourth inning. Riley Thompson singled, Matt Simon doubled and Quinn Christenson singled to drive in his teammates for a 2-0 lead but got thrown out at second by a wide margin on the play. The Aces also had two runners tagged out at third by the catcher in the second inning on one play in a rundown gone terribly bad. Owatonna stranded runners at third on three occasions. Krekling retired the side in order three times, including in the eighth and ninth innings.

Wolf faced just two batters over the limit through the first five innings. He got help from three runners getting thrown out on the bases. The Diamondbacks broke through in the sixth. A lead-off single was followed by a sacrifice, a single and a fielder's choice to cut the deficit to 2-1.

In the ninth, Dodge County got a lead-off walk. Jayden Prigge hit a long double that tied the game at 2-2. After a ground out moved Prigge to third, Jordan Vale doubled to put the Diamondbacks ahead.

The fifth-seed Dodge County plays at 10AM Saturday in the winners bracket. The fourth-seeded Aces face elimination Saturday at 4PM. If they win they will need to win again Sunday at 11AM to stay alive. All remaining games in the Region 5C tournament will be at Fuller Field. The top two teams in the eight-team tournament advance to state.

Roy Koenig, Townsquare Media