By PATRICK SLACK
Defending Region 8C champion Sobieski embarked on its title defense with a strong performance in its season opener, April 22, topping Randall 7-2.
The game was tied at 2-2 in the seventh when Isaac Smieja delivered what proved to be a game-winning double to put the Skis in front.
Smieja finished the game with five hits, including three doubles, and three RBIs.
Jake Kluver and Ben Hanowski each added a single and a double, while Tyler Jendro worked five scoreless innings to pick up the win.
Chad Stadum went 3-for-3 to lead Randall.
In other Victory League action April 22:
Upsala 16, Flensburg 0
Justin Lampert homered twice and drove in five runs and Matt Swanson went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored to fuel a 16-0 win for Upsala over Flensburg.
Scott Biniek added two RBIs and four runs while reaching base four times for Upsala.
Swanson also tossed five scoreless innings to earn the win for the Blue Jays.
Lastrup 9, Pierz Bulldogs 0
Scott Janson and Jason Sadlovsky teamed up to throw a four-hit shutout as Lastrup defeated the Pierz Bulldogs 9-0.
Rick Schlieman provided more than enough offense for the Lakers, going 4-for-5 with two runs batted in, while Janson and Dave Woitalla each added two hits, a run and an RBI.
Buckman 7, Pierz Brewers 1
Mark Kahl went 4-for-4 with a homer and threw four scoreless innings of relief to lead Buckman to a 7-1 victory over the Pierz Brewers.
Nate Neeser also went deep for the Billygoats and collected two RBIs.
Jerron Boser and Mike Poser each had a pair of hits for Pierz.
Nisswa 5, Royalton 0
Jeremiah Piepkorn doubled twice and homered and three pitchers combined on a shutout as Nisswa defeated Royalton 5-0.
Zach Lanners collected two of Royalton’s four hits.
St. Wendel 7, Avon 4
St. Wendel put together a five-run ninth inning to rally to a 7-4 win at Avon.
Damien Dumonceaux hit a go-ahead double in the ninth and earned the win in relief and Brent Van Heel homered for the Saints.
Jeff Swenson went 3-for-4 for Avon.
Opole 15, Holdingford 1
Keaton Gustin and Nick Bialka each had three hits and two RBIs to power Opole past Holdingford 15-1.
Max Posch added two hits, two RBIs and two runs and Jake Eichten picked up the win for the Bears.
Freeport 8, St. Mathias 2
Freeport topped St. Mathias 8-2 in its VL debut, with the help of Peter Burg’s 13 strikeouts over seven innings of work.
Offensively, the Black Sox were led by Ryan Tschida and Eric Evaslage with three hits apiece.
Matt Aberle and Zach Heidmann each had a hit and an RBI for St. Mathias.
Fort Ripley 3, Cuyuna 1
Fort Ripley’s pitching staff picked up where it left off last year, defeating Cuyuna Range 3-1.
Brett Kramer came out on top in the pitchers’ duel, fanning nine batters over six innings while giving up only one hit.
Bill Sather reached base three times at the plate and worked three scoreless innings to notch the save.
Mac Jones allowed just one run over 5 1/3 innings for Cuyuna Range.
All 20 teams are scheduled to be in action Sunday, April 29.
Games include Harding at Avon; Upsala at Cuyuna range; St. Mathias at Flensburg; Fort Ripley at Freeport; Pierz Brewers at Lastrup; Buckman at Pierz Bulldogs; Nisswa at Randall; Royalton at Sobieski; Opole at St. Stephen; and Holdingford at St. Wendel.