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AMATEUR BASEBALL: Lastrup, Nisswa to play perennial powers

Perennial amateur baseball powers await the Lastrup Lakers and Nisswa Lightning in the second round of the Class C state tournament this weekend.

Lastrup plays Region 6 champion Jordan, which will be playing in its 26th state tournament, at 11 a.m. Saturday at Putz Field in St. Cloud.

Nisswa takes on Region 7 champion Green Isle, which will be playing in its 19th state event, at 5 p.m. Sunday at Putz Field.

Lastrup vs. Jordan

Jordan has won one Class C championship and has been a force in Class B, winning two titles, the last in 2004. The Brewers, who have been B runners-up three times, will make their first state appearance in four years.

Lakers manager Shawn Fischer said Lastrup has never faced Jordan but know they are a quality ballclub.

“They moved back down to Class C from Class B in 2012,” Fischer said. “They had success at the B level and they have had a very nice season their first year back in C, carrying a 29-10 record.”

Fischer expects to see Scott Hollingsworth on the mound for Jordan.

“Based on the stats on their team website, he carries a 1.49 ERA and 7-1 record with three saves,” Fischer said. “Based on what we have heard, they are one of the favorites to make a deep run in the state tournament.

“That being said, we are going to have to play a clean game on defense and come through with the big hits when the opportunities present themselves on offense.”

Lastrup is coming off a 5-0 win over Clear Lake in the opening round. Chad Weiss pitched a complete game, allowing just six hits with nine strikeouts and no walks. Dave Woitalla was 2-4 with a double and two RBIs.

“We played good fundamental baseball, Chad threw strikes, our defense played exceptional and we executed on offense,” Fischer said. “Chad pitched a typical Chad Weiss game. He was in control of Clear Lake hitters for a majority of the game. The only real threat he faced he was able to work out of, a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the third.

“With bases loaded and no outs, Chad struck out the No. 7 and No. 8 hitters and retired the ninth hitter for the third out with a fly ball.”

Lastrup lineup

Chad Weiss P, Reggie Litke C, Rick Schlieman 1b, Brandon Lochner 2b, Dan Saehr SS, Jason Sadlovsky 3b, Dustin Schmaltz LF, Nate Janson CF, Scott Janson RF, Dave Woitalla DH

Nisswa vs. Green Isle

Pat Moriarty leads Green Isle in hitting (.423) followed by Jackson Hallahan (.417). Pat Gullickson and Mac Zachow are the Irish’s top pitchers. Gullickson is 9-2 with an ERA of 1.16 in 70 innings; Zachow is 7-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 75 innings.

Green Isle, the C champion in 2003 and runner-up in 1999, will be making its first state trip since 2007.

“Green Isle is a very good team, they have been a state amateur baseball power for quite a few years,” Lightning manager Aaron Jenkins said. “They have a good hitting lineup, with depth in their pitching staff.”

The Lightning are coming off a thrilling 4-2, 15-inning win over Madison in the opening round.

“(That) game was the longest game I’ve played in (number of innings), and I would assume the same for most of the guys on the team,” Jenkins said. “Our pitchers, Logan Kalis and Luke Schumer, threw great, giving up only two hits combined, while striking out 21 batters.

“Madison’s pitcher, Chris Fellows (draftee from Ortonville), did a great job keeping our hitters off balance all night long, striking out 14 in 13 innings.  

“We had our chances in a couple different innings, we just couldn’t break through with a big hit. It wasn’t pretty, but we were able to get by and advance.”

Jeremiah Piepkorn leads Nisswa at bat (.378) with team highs of 11 home runs and 28 RBIs. Jenkins is at .356 with four doubles, three home runs and 20 RBIs. Jason Roepke is hitting .333 with nine home runs and 27 RBIs. Tyler Wittwer has hit six home runs with 14 RBIs.

Kalis, a draftee from Fort Ripley, has pitched three postseason games for Nisswa, with a 1.61 ERA and 1-1 record in 28 innings. He has allowed just 15 hits with 34 strikeouts.

Schumer is 3-5 with 50 strikeouts in 59.1 innings.

Lightning lineup

Drew Boland, CF; Luke Schumer, 1B; Jeremiah Piepkorn, DH; Jason Roepke, RF; Aaron Jenkins, 3B; Mark Germain, 2B; Tyler Wittwer, LF; Morgan Shepherd, C; Mike Zauhar, SS; Logan Kalis, P

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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