By PATRICK SLACK
Lastrup 5, St. Stephen 3
Lastrup used a fast start to jump out to a lead it would not relinquish in a state play-in game against St. Stephen in Avon, Saturday, winning 5-3 in an elimination game.
The Lakers struck for three runs right away in the first inning, as Chad Weiss singled home Reggie Litke and Jason Sadlovsky and Dustin Schmaltz belted back-to-back RBI doubles.
St. Stephen got on the board in the top of the third inning when Travis Phelps drove in Adam Tschumperlin with a two-out double, but Lastrup responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning to push its lead to 5-1.
Schmaltz hit an RBI single, then with two outs and runners on the corners, Sadlovsky dashed home from third on a double steal to tally the final run of the afternoon for the Lakers.
The Steves would close the gap with a run in the sixth, scoring on a two-out single by Ben Omann, but left the bases loaded still behind by three.
Omann drove in another run with a double to bring home Austin Guggenberger in the eighth, but Weiss finished off the rest of the game without allowing another base runner to preserve the 5-3 win.
Sadlovsky finished 3-for-4 with a double and Schmaltz had two hits for Lastrup.
Weiss racked up 14 strikeouts while earning the complete-game victory.
Nisswa 6, Buckman 0
With the game scoreless in the fifth, Nisswa finally broke through with a sacrifice fly, then proceeded to tack on five more runs to blank Buckman 6-0 and wrap up the Victory League’s final state tournament berth.
Mike Zauher drove in the first run with a bases-loaded fly ball in the fifth, then Jeremiah Piepkorn slugged a two-run homer in the sixth.
Piepkorn knocked in another run in the seventh, followed by a bases-loaded walk from Aaron Jenkins, before Drew Boland hit an RBI single to plate the Lightning’s final run in the eighth.
Fort Ripley draftee Logan Kalis tossed a four-hit shutout, striking out 11 to guide Nisswa on the mound.
Boland, Piepkorn and Zauher all had two hits.
Joe Kahl, Ben Boser, Jeremy Monson and Pete Oldakowski collected Buckman’s hits.
Sobieski 5, Avon 0
Cole Jendro and Tyler Jendro teamed up to toss a one-hit shutout as Sobieski blanked Avon 5-0 to earn a third consecutive trip to the Region 8C championship.
With the score tied at 0-0 after four innings, Sobieski broke through on a two-run double by Tyler Jendro in the fifth, who then scored on a single by Riley Hirsch.
Tyler Jendro drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh and singled home the Skis’ final run in the ninth.
Cole Jendro fired five shutout innings, striking out four to earn the win, and Tyler Jendro retired all 12 batters he faced to record the save.
Joey Hanowski went 2-for-4 for Sobieski, while Jon Czech, Andrew Gurbada and Isaac Smieja also added base hits.
Avon picked up its only hit on a single by Rick Hendrickson in the third inning.
In consolation action, Sunday:
Nisswa 6, Lastrup 4
Jeremiah Piepkorn homered twice and Jason Roepke added three hits and a solo shot to help Nisswa overcome six errors and knock off Lastrup 6-4 in 10 innings.
It was the second meeting of the region tournament between the two squads, with Lastrup topping Nisswa 9-8 in the first round.
Lastrup took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Piepkorn went deep in the third and fifth as Nisswa went ahead 4-1.
The Lakers regrouped quickly, scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth to close within a run, then tied the game on Rick Schlieman’s fourth hit of the game in the bottom of the eighth.
Neither team scored in the ninth, forcing extra innings, where Nisswa brought in two runs in the top of the 10th to pull out the 6-4 win and advance to the consolation semifinals.
Jason Sadlovsky also had a multi-hit game for Lastrup and drove in a run, while Scott Janson reached base three times and Reggie Litke drew two walks and scored twice.
Brandon Lochner added a double and a run.
Roepke held Lastrup to one run in four innings of relief to notch the win.
Avon 9, Nisswa 3
Clinging to a 4-3 lead in the eighth, Avon sent 10 batters to the plate, scoring five to put away Nisswa 9-3 and earn a spot in the region finals.
Jeff Swenson and Matt Meyer provided the bulk of the power for Avon, teaming up to go 7-for-8 with three extra-base hits, four RBIs and three runs.
Jake Eichten settled in after allowing a run in each of the first three innings to work into the seventh to pick up the win.
Jeremiah Piepkorn went 3-for-4 with two doubles and Tyler Wittwer homered for Nisswa.
Sobieski and Avon are scheduled to play again for the region championship in Avon, Saturday, Aug. 11, at 1 p.m.
If Sobieski wins, the Skis will earn the region championship.
If Avon wins, the two teams will meet a final time later Saturday evening, with the winner earning the region title.
The region champion will have a bye past the first round of the state tournament into the second round, where it will play Saturday, Aug. 25, at 8 p.m. at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud.
The region runner-up will open state tournament play Saturday, Aug. 18, at 5:30 p.m. at Joe Faber Field.
Nisswa’s first round game will take place Sunday, Aug. 19, at 1 p.m. at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud.
Lastrup’s opening game will be Friday, Aug. 17, at 5 p.m. at Dick Putz Field.
St. Stephen 3 6 1
Lastrup 5 7 1
St. Stephen—Ben Omann: 2-4, 2B, 2-RBI; Travis Phelps: 1-3, 2B, RBI, R; Austin Guggenberger: 1-4, R; Adam Tschumperlin: 1-4, R; Aaron Tschumperlin: 1-4.
Lastrup—Jason Sadlovsky: 3-4, 2B, 2-R, SB; Dustin Schmaltz: 2-4, 2B, 2-RBI; Brandon Lochner: 1-3, SB; Chad Weiss: 1-4, RBI, R; WP-Weiss: 9-IP, 3-R, 6-H, 1-BB, 14-K.
Buckman 0 4 3
Nisswa 6 11 2
Buckman—Joe Kahl: 1-3, BB; Ben Boser: 1-3; Pete Oldakowski: 1-3; Jeremy Monson: 1-4.
Nisswa—Jeremiah Piepkorn: 2-5, HR, 3-RBI, R; Aaron Jenkins: 2-3, 2B, RBI; Mike Zauher: 2-3, RBI, R; Drew Boland: 2-5, RBI, R; WP-Logan Kalis: 9-IP, 0-R, 4-H, 4-BB, 11-K.
Sobieski 5 8 1
Avon 0 1 3
Sobieski—Tyler Jendro: 2-4, 2B, 4-RBI, R; Joey Hanowski: 2-4; Riley Hirsch: 1-5, RBI, SB; Jon Czech: 1-4; Andrew Gurbada: 1-4; Isaac Smieja: 1-4; Jake Kluver: 0-0, BB, R; WP-Cole Jendro: 5-IP, 0-R, 1-H, 3-BB, 4-K; SV-Tyler Jendro: 4-IP, 0-R, 0-H, 0-BB, 4-K.
Avon—Rick Hendrickson: 1-4; Kyle Collins: 6-IP, 3-R, 6-H, 0-BB, 4-K.
Nisswa 6 12 6
Lastrup 4 8 1
Nisswa—Jason Roepke: 3-5, HR, RBI, 2-R; Mark Germain: 3-5, RBI, R; Jeremiah Piepkorn: 2-5, 2-HR, 3-RBI, 2-R; Tyler Wittwer: 2-4, 2B, RBI; Drew Boland: 0-2, R, 2-BB, HBP; WP-Roepke: 4-IP, 1-R, 3-H, 1-BB; 4-K.
Lastrup—Rick Schlieman: 4-5, RBI, R; Jason Sadlovsky: 2-4, RBI; Scott Janson: 1-3, RBI, 2-BB; Brandon Lochner: 1-5, 2B, R; Janson: 7-IP, 4-R, 8-H, 2-BB, 3-K.
Nisswa 3 10 2
Avon 9 13 3
Nisswa—Jeremiah Piepkorn: 3-4, 2-2B, RBI, R; Tyler Wittwer: 2-3, HR, RBI, R.
Avon—Jeff Swenson: 4-4, HR, 3-RBI, R; Matt Meyer: 3-4, 2-2B, RBI, 2-R; Neil Manthe: 2-4, RBI, 2-R; Luke Manthe: 1-5, 2B, 2-R; WP-Jake Eichten: 6 1/3-IP, 3-R, 8-H, 2-BB, 4-K; SV-Troy Wunderlich: 2 2/3-IP, 0-R, 2-H, 1-BB, 1-K.