Amateur Baseball: Fort Ripley, Nisswa clinch state berths
PIERZ -- The Nisswa Lightning and Fort Ripley Rebels clinched berths in the Class C State Tournament with seven-inning victories in the Region 8C winners’ bracket Saturday, Aug. 3, at Hellie Field in Pierz.
Nisswa crushed the St. Stephen Steves 20-0 and Fort Ripley sank the Avon Lakers 15-4 as both winners capitalized on extra base hits.
Meanwhile, in Saturday’s elimination bracket, the Pierz Bulldogs stayed alive with a 4-3 win over the Randall Cubs in 13 innings and the Buckman Billygoats continued their season with an 8-3 victory over the Upsala Blue Jays.
Nisswa 20, St. Stephen 0
PIERZ -- Adam Hardy and Sam Peterson belted home runs for the Nisswa Lightning in a 20-0 winner’s bracket victory over the St. Stephen Steves Saturday, Aug. 3 in the quarterfinals of the Region 8C Tournament.
Hardy finished 5-6 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Peterson ripped a grand slam in the sixth when Nisswa plated seven runs for a 16-0 lead.
Drew Boland went 4-5 with three doubles, five RBIs and two runs. Tory Miller was 3-5 and scored three times.
Starter Brett Jenkins picked up the win for Nisswa. He struck out four, walked one and allowed three hits over six innings. Aitkin draftee Logan Olson preserved the shutout as he pitched the final inning and struck out two.
St. Stephen 0 3 2
Nisswa 20 18 1
WP: Brett Jenkins. LP: Nick Krippner. 2B: N-Drew Boland 3. HR: N-Adam Hardy, Sam Peterson.
Fort Ripley 15, Avon 4
PIERZ -- Logan Kalis blasted a Grand Slam, one of four homers by the Fort Ripley Rebels, in a 15-4 win over the Avon Lakers in the quarterfinals of the Region 8C Tournament Saturday, Aug. 3.
Kalis finished 3-5. Zach Heidmann went 2-4 with a homer, double and four RBIs. Bill Sather belted a two-run shot and Ethan Branum ripped a three-run home run. Brian Sckluzacek doubled and finished 3-4.
Avon 4 6 1
Fort Ripley 15 14 1
WP: Brett Kramer. LP: Putter Harlander. 2B: FR-Brian Skluzacke, Zach Heidmann. HR: FR-Heidmann, Logan Kalis, Bill Sather, Ethan Branum.
Pierz 4, Randall 3
PIERZ -- Austin Dickmann led off the 13th inning with a double, went to third on a wild pitch and scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Dickmann to give the Pierz Bulldogs a 4-3 win over the Randall Cubs in an elimination game of the Region 8C Tournament Saturday, Aug. 3.
Preston Rocheleau, a draftee from the Pierz Lakers, pitched the final nine innings and earned the win for the Bulldogs. He struck out seven and allowed six hits without a run.
Austin Dickmann finished 3-4 with the double and reached base three other times with walks. Peter Schommer and Michael Leidenfrost also had multiple hits for the Bulldogs.
Bulldogs 4 11 2
Randall 3 10 5
WP: Preston Rocheleau. LP: Caleb Strack. 2B: P-Austin Dickmann; R-Matt Otremba.
Buckman 8, Upsala 5
PIERZ -- Matt Tautges pitched the Buckman Billygoats to an 8-5 victory over the Upsala Blue Jays in a Region 8C elimination game Saturday, Aug. 3.
Tautges tossed the first eight innings before giving the mound to Shawn Lanners for the final inning with the Billygoats leading 8-3. Lanners hit the first two batters he faced and Tautges was brought back in to pitch.
He got a strikeout and then gave up a single to load the bases. A fly out to center produced the second out before a two-run run single made it 8-5. That brought the potential tying run to the plate in Brandon Welinski who popped up to first to end the game.
Tautges finished with seven strikeouts, three walks and allowed five runs on nine hits. He also finished 2-4 with an RBI and sacrifice fly.
Luke Girtz and Matt Kummet each went 3-4 for Buckman. Aaron Weber doubled twice driving in three runs and Noah Boser collected two hits.
Buckman 8 14 1
Upsala 5 9 1
WP: Matt Tautges. LP: Eric Lampert. 2B: B-Aaron Weber 2. HR: U-Randy Burggraff.