Amateur Baseball: 3 secure division titles

Three teams captured division titles over the weekend earning an automatic berth in the Region 8C tournament with one week left to play in the regular season.

Photo illustration, Metro Creative Graphics, Inc.

Three teams captured division titles over the weekend earning an automatic berth in the Region 8C tournament with one week left to play in the regular season.

The Fort Ripley Rebels defeated the Nisswa Lightning 8-7 in 10 innings to win the North Saturday, June 29. The Buckman Billygoats came from behind to beat the Pierz Lakers 3-2 Friday, June 28, for the East title and the undefeated Avon Lakers earned the South crown with a 5-2 victory over the Aitkin Steam Saturday, June 29.

The Sobieski Skis and Upsala Blue Jays are locked in a battle for the West Championship. The Skis, 8-2, hold a half-game lead with three games remaining. The 8-3 Blue Jays have two games left.

Fort Ripley 8, Nisswa 7

FORT RIPLEY-Jason Sather raced home on a wild pitch with the winning run in the bottom of the tenth to give the Fort Ripley Rebels an 8-7 come-from-behind win over the second-place Nisswa Lightning Saturday, June 30, to clinch the North Division title.


Sather led off the inning with a walk and two more walks loaded the bases with one out.

The Rebels scored three times in the first on four hits to take an early lead, but Nisswa answered to claim a 7-4 lead going to the bottom of the ninth. The Rebels then scored three times in their final at-bat, including a two-out, two-run game-tying single by Logan Kalis to make it 7-7 and force extra innings.

Brett Kramer earned the win in relief of Kalis. He shutout Nisswa over the final five innings and allowed four hits.

Kramer finished 2-5 with a double and scored two runs. Kalis was 2-4 with three RBIs and Jason Sather also drove in three runs with a pair of hits. Rhett Williamson contributed a double and a sacrifice fly.

Nisswa was led by Drew Boland who went 3-5 with a sacrifice, stolen base and three RBIs. Logan McElfresh doubled twice and Nick Cundy finished with two singles.

Nisswa 7 10 1

Fort Ripley 8 8 0

WP: Brett Kramer. LP: Sam Jenson. 2B: FR-Rhett Williamson, Brett Kramer; N-Logan McElfresh 2.


Buckman 3, Lakers 2

BUCKMAN-Matt Tautges struck out six and didn't walk a batter as he went the distance for the Buckman Billygoats who rallied to win the East Division championship with a 3-2 victory over the Pierz Lakers Friday, June 29.

Tautges and Laker Preston Rocheleau, both recent aces for Pierz high school, tossed shutout ball through 4 1/3 innings. Buckman broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth when Lane Girtz singled and later scored on an Aaron Weber sacrifice fly.

The Lakers grabbed the lead on a two-run homer by Reggie Litke in the seventh.

Trailing 2-1, Tautges led off the ninth with a single. Lane Girtz singled and Matt Kummet tied the game with a single to center to bring in Tautges with Girtz advancing to third on the hit. The Lakers then intentionally walked Aaron Weber to set up a force. With the infield in, Travis Kahl came through with a walk-off RBI single up the middle to bring in Girtz with the winning run.

Girtz and Kahl both finished 3-5 while Tautges and Kummet were 2-5. Mark Kahl and Jack Suska contributed doubles.

Rocheleau, Paul Herman and Reese Kapsner had two hits apiece for the Lakers and Litke's homer was the only hit for extra bases.

Lakers 2 8 1


Buckman 3 15 2

WP: Matt Tautges. LP: Reggie Litke. 2B: B-Mark Kahl, Jack Suska. HR: L-Litke.

Avon 5, Aitkin 2

AVON-Losing pitcher Will Olson led the Aitkin Steam with three hits in a 5-2 loss to the Avon Lakers who clinched the South Division regular season title Saturday, June 29, in a non-division game.

Jake Lynn's double for Aitkin was the only extra-base hit of the game for either team.

Aitkin 2 6 0

Avon 5 6 0

WP: Putter Harlander. LP: Will Olson. 2B: Ait-Jake Lynn.


Aitkin 3, St. Wendell 2

ST. WENDELL-Logan Olson pitched a complete game for Aitkin which defeated the St. Wendel Saints 3-2 Saturday, June 29, the second non-division contest of the day for the Steam.

Olson struck out eight, walked three and allowed 10 hits. The Saints threatened in the bottom of the ninth when they loaded the bases with one out before Olson finished with a strikeout and ground out.

Quin Miller, who was the only Aitkin player with multiple hits, smashed a two-run homer in the eighth. Jake Lynn added a double and his sacrifice fly in the ninth drove in the other Steam run.

Aitkin 3 7 2

St. Wendel 2 10 2

WP: Logan Olson. LP: Jake Ethen. 2B: A-Jake Lynn. HR: A-Quinn Miller.

Upsala 11, Brewers 1


UPSALA-Simon Gruber went 2-2 and drove in the only run for the Pierz Brewers who were defeated 11-1 in eight innings by the Upsala Blue Jays in a non-division game Saturday, June 29.

Jesse Marshik finished 2-3 with a pair of doubles and scored Aitkin's run.

Brewers 1 7 4

Upsala 11 11 1

WP: John Fuchs. LP: Simon Gruber. 2B; A-Jesse Marshik 2.

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