PIERZ -- The Pierz Bulldogs appeared to be eliminated with two losses in the East Division playoffs Saturday, but instead are guaranteed a berth in the Region C Tournament after successfully reversing the Game Two loss that was played under protest.
The third-seeded Bulldogs opened play Saturday with a 13-3 loss to the No. 1 Buckman Billygoats in a game suspended last weekend by weather after four innings. That dropped the Bulldogs into a loser’s bracket game where they faced the No. 2 Pierz Lakers whom they had beaten 10-8 in the opening round last week.
Individual stats and plays for the elimination game were not available, but the Bulldogs seemed to be eliminated following a 5-4 10-inning loss to the Lakers.
The Bulldogs scored two runs in the top of the seventh to take a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, the Lakers scored one run to make it 4-3 and had a runner at second when a wild pitch bounced into a dugout, out of play. The Lakers runner at second was awarded not only third base by the umpires, but home as well, tying the game 4-4.
Bulldogs Manager Andy Leidenfrost appealed that ruling, saying the runner should only have been awarded third base. Leidenfrost and the Bulldogs then officially played the remainder of the game under protest.
Play continued with the game tied 4-4 and went into extra innings when neither team scored in the eighth and ninth innings.
The Bulldogs failed to score in the top of the 10th. The Lakers received an RBI single from Luke Girtz in the bottom of the 10th to win the game 5-4.
But then Bulldogs protest had to be dealt with. After consulting with the Victory League front office and the Central Minnesota Umpires Association, the Bulldogs protest was upheld and the game's final score was wiped out and the game reverted back to the bottom of the seventh with the Bulldogs leading 4-3.
The Lakers were unable to get the tying run home again in seventh.
The Bulldogs took the 4-3 lead into the top of the ninth where they got a two-out, two-run double by Austin Dickmann and an RBI single by Logan Meyer to take a 7-3 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Lakers got their first two batters on base with walks. Logan Meyer came on in relief and got a quick strikeout and then a fly out to left. A pop up to shortstop secured the Bulldogs 7-3 win.
The Bulldogs will be making their first region appearance since 2015. The loss marks the first time since 2006 the Lakers didn’t make the field of eight.
Buckman 13, Bulldogs 8
BUCKMAN -- Jeremy Monson finished off a complete game performance for the Buckman Billygoats who defeated the Pierz Bulldogs 13-3 in eight innings in an East Division game that had been suspended after four and one half innings last weekend by rain and lightning with the Billygoats leading 3-0.
Buckman added to its lead with a two-run single in the fifth by Mark Kahl and added two more on a two-run double by Aaron Weber in the sixth that countered a Pierz run in the top of the inning from Peter Schommer’s RBI single.
The Bulldogs plated two more runs in the seventh on an error and RBI single by Austin Dickmann. The Billygoats ended the game via 10-run rule with two runs in the bottom of the seventh and four more in the eighth.
Monson finished the eight innings with two strikeouts, one walk and three runs allowed on 14 hits.
Weber, Mark Kahl, Andrew Rueckert and Travis Kahl posted two hits apiece for Buckman. Mark Kummet, Peter Suska and Weber each contributed a double.
The Bulldogs were led by Logan Meyer and Austin Dickmann who went 3-4. Dylan Kummet and Craig Luberts also had multiple hits.
Bulldogs 3 14 2
Buckman 13 14 2
WP: Jeremy Monson. LP: Joe Strauch. 2B: Buck-Aaron Weber, Matt Kummet, Peter Suska.
Lakers 13, Royalton 0
PIERZ -- Chad Weiss and Peter Herman combined efforts for a two-hit 13-0 win in seven innings for the Pierz Lakers over the Royalton Riverdogs in another resumption of an East Division playoff game suspended in the second inning by weather last weekend.
Weiss allowed one hit over four innings and earned the win. Herman earned a save with one hit over the final three innings.
Reese Kapsner went 2-3 with a sacrifice fly, walked twice, scored twice and drove in two runs. Herman was 2-4 with a double and two RBIs. Preston Rocheleau and Reggie Litke also finished with two hits each.
Riverdogs 0 2 5
Lakers 13 13 0
WP: Chad Weiss. LP: Cole Jendro. 2B: Prz-Peter Herman.