Amateur Baseball: Fort Ripley, Nisswa advance at state
BELLE PLAINE - Bill Sather scored the winning won in the 12th inning and Logan Kalis picked up the win in relief as the Fort Ripley Rebels squeaked out a 2-1 victory over the Spring Hills Chargers in opening-round play at the Class C state tournament Sunday.
The game was scoreless until the top of the 12th when Jim Kramer drew a lead-off walk for the Rebels. After Dustin Littlefield struck out, Sather ripped a double advancing Kramer to third.
Rhett Williamson walked on four pitches and Ethan Branum came in to run for Kramer. Brian Skluzacek reached first on a fielder's choice that scored Branum and sent Sather to third. Sather scored the winning run two pitches later on a passed ball.
The Rebels continued to threaten as Brett Kramer drew another walk to load the bases again before Kalis hit a grounder to shortstop Jamie Terres who was able to force Williamson at home and Logan Jones popped out to first to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 12th, Spring Hill's Shawn Schoenberg drew a lead-off walk and went to third on Corey Schoenberg's double. After Kalis notched his second strikeout, Cody Eichens hit a sacrifice fly to center driving in the Chargers' only run. Kalis then got Louie Opatz to ground out to second for the final out.
Kalis and starter Ethan Branum limited Spring Hills to just six hits (three each) while Branum struck out seven over the first eight innings.
Jason Sather finished 3-4 while Bill Sather and Brett Kramer had two hits each.
The Rebels next face Region 4 No. 1 seed Blue Earth at Belle Plaine 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Fort Ripley 2 9 0
Spring Hill 1 6 1
WP: Logan Kalis. LP: Brad Mergen. 2B: FR-Bill Sather, SH-Corey Schoenberg.
Overall: FR 14-5. Next: Fort Ripley vs. Blue Earth at Belle Plaine 7:30
• Nisswa 4, Cannon Falls 3
BELLE PLAINE - Player/manager Aaron Jenkins went 3-for-4, driving in three runs
with a double and home run, to lead the Nisswa Lightning past the Cannon Falls Bears 4-3 in the opening round of the Class C state tournament Saturday.
Jason Roepke pitched a complete game, improving to 6-0. He struck out five and walked two while allowing 11 hits and three earned runs.
Lefty Keith Meyer suffered his first loss for the Bears after coming in with a 10-0 record and 0.95 ERA.
Nisswa, the No. 2 seed out of Region 8, improves to 24-6 and will face Region 5 champion Waseca at Jordan 11 a.m. Saturday in the second round.
The Lightning opened the scoring in the third when Brett Jenkins reached first on a grounder that was misplayed for an error. He reached second on a sacrifice by Luke Schumer and scored when brother Aaron Jenkins ripped a double into the right-field corner.
Cannon Falls countered with four hits, including two doubles, in the top of the fourth, but sharp defensive play by the Lightning limited the Bears to just one run.
Nisswa took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth. Drew Boland led off with a single and promptly stole second. He went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Bears second baseman Jamie Stay made an errant throw to first on Brett Jenkins' two-out grounder.
Aaron Jenkins blasted his fourth homer of the season over the left field wall in the seventh, scoring Schumer, who had reached base on an infield hit.
Nate Otto had three hits and Taylor Pagel drove in all three runs for Cannon Falls with two doubles.
Cannon Falls 3 11 5
Nisswa 4 6 0
WP: Jason Roepke (7-0). LP: Keith Meyers (10-1). 2B:N-Aaron Jenkins;
CF-Taylor Pagel (2), Nate Otto. HR: N-Jenkins. Overall: N 24-6. Next:
Nisswa vs. Waseca at Jordan 11 a.m. Saturday.