Brent Heinen started on the mound and was tagged with the loss. Tyler Wuertz threw relief for Paynesville.
Adam Miller led the Bulldogs in hitting going 3-3 with two doubles in the game. Ben Bork also contributed going 1-4 with three RBIs.
The Bulldogs got off to a rough start committing five errors in the game. Each of the Bulldog errors led to Melrose runs. In the first inning two Paynesville errors led to four Melrose runs. One run was earned off Heinen in the first.
"We did not play well to start the game," said coach Brad Skoglund. "We couldn't make those mistakes against a good ball club like Melrose."
Paynesville fell behind 6-0, in the third after another Bulldog error put a runner on base, and Nathan Klaphake followed with a two-run home run for Melrose.
However, the Bulldogs battled back getting two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Miller doubled to lead off the inning and to third when Jon Lieser reached on an error. Bork followed with a double that drove in both Miller and Lieser, to make the score, 6-2, Melrose.
The Dutchmen got two more back in the top of the sixth to take an 8-2 lead.
The Bulldogs did not go down without a fight, though. Chad Fleischhacker, pictured at right catching the ball, led off the bottom of the seventh with an infield hit. Miller then followed with a double, moving runners to second and third with nobody out. Lieser then singled and Fleischhacker scored. On the play Miller moved to third. Lieser was able to advance to second on a pitch in the dirt.
Bork then hit a ground ball to the second baseman that was the first out of the inning, but Miller scored on the play, to make the score 8-4. Heinen then singled to drive in Lieser. Looman was hit by a pitch, then Wuertz followed with another single.
Down by three, Scott Braun singled to score Heinen, then Doug Fuchs reached on a fielder's choice which drove in Looman. Wuertz represented the tieing run and was on third base. Fuchs was the winning run on first base, and Fleischhacker was at the plate with one hit already in the inning.
Fleischhacker sent a hard line drive deep down the right field line, that looked like it would be an extra base hit, but Melrose right fielder Charlie Huot made an excellent over the shoulder catch to end the game and give the win to Melrose, 8-7, despite the huge comeback by the Bulldogs.
"I was really happy the way we came back," said Skoglund. "It showed we never gave up until the end." Melrose also went on to beat Albany 10-0 in the sub-section championship game on Thursday night in Cold Spring.
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