By PATRICK SLACK
Sobieski and Avon were the last two out of 20 Victory League (VL) teams standing for the Region 8C championship.
At that point, a quick look at the rosters made determining the winner pretty simple.
One team had the Jendro brothers.
The other didn’t.
By combining to throw 16 scoreless innings with only three hits allowed over two games, Tyler and Cole Jendro led Sobieski to its third consecutive region title and a first-round bye in the Class C state tournament.
After blanking the Lakers 5-0, Aug. 4, the Skis duplicated the feat with a 9-0 triumph to clinch the title in Avon, Saturday.
A weekend after following Cole’s five shutout innings with four perfect frames of his own, Tyler Jendro got the nod to start the rematch.
Following a quick three-up, three-down top of the first, the Sobieski offense staked Jendro to a 3-0 lead on an RBI double by Jon Czech and run-scoring singles from Joey Hanowski and Josh Wenzel.
That would be plenty for Jendro, as he sailed through seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits while striking out nine.
Czech added another RBI double in the second and Andrew Gurbada and Hanowski drove in runs in the fifth to make it 6-0.
Isaac Smieja cemented the lead with a three-run blast in the sixth to cap the scoring.
Czech finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs, while Smieja, Gurbada, Hanowski and Wenzel also had multi-hit games for the Skis.
Riley Hirsch singled and scored two runs and Spencer Fenske, Nate Olson and Joe Rydeen also had hits.
Andrew Lange tossed two scoreless innings to close out the game for Sobieski, fanning three batters.
Matt Meyer and Reed Voit were the only Lakers to collect hits.
Jendro was named the Region 8C Most Valuable Player, going 2-0 with two saves without allowing a run in 21 2/3 innings pitched, striking out 21.
Also making the team were: from Sobieski, Czech, Hirsch, Smieja and Wenzel; from Avon, Jake Eichten, Rick Hendrickson, Matt Meyer and Jeff Swenson; from Nisswa, Mark Germain, Logan Kalis and Mark Germain; and from Lastrup, Rick Schlieman and Chad Weiss.
Lastrup is scheduled to open the state tournament against Clear Lake, Friday, Aug. 17, at 5 p.m. at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud.
With a win, Lastrup will advance to play Jordan, Saturday, Aug. 25, at 11 a.m. at Dick Putz Field.
Avon is scheduled to open the state tournament against Young America, Saturday, Aug. 18, at 5:30 p.m. at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud.
With a win, Avon will advance to play Lamberton, Sunday, Aug. 26 at 11:30 a.m. at Joe Faber Field.
Nisswa opens the state tournament against Madison, Sunday, Aug. 19, at 1 p.m., at Dick Putz Field.
With a win, Nisswa will advance to play Green Isle, Sunday, Aug. 26, at 5 p.m. at Dick Putz Field.
As the region champion, Sobieski receives a bye into the second round of the state tournament.
The Skis’ first game will be Saturday, Aug. 25, at 8 p.m. at Joe Faber Field, against the winner between Union Hill and Lake Henry.
Avon 0 2 2
Sobieski 9 15 0
Avon—Reed Voit: 1-3; Matt Meyer: 1-4.
Sobieski—Jon Czech: 3-3, 2-2B, 2-RBI, 2-R; Isaac Smieja: 2-4, HR, 3-RBI, R; Andrew Gurbada: 2-3, RBI, R, 2-BB; Joey Hanowski: 2-5, 2-RBI; Josh Wenzel: 2-5, RBI; Riley Hirsch: 1-4, 2-R, SB; Spencer Fenske: 1-1; Nate Olson: 1-3; Joe Rydeen: 1-5; WP-Tyler Jendro: 7-IP, 0-R, 2-H, 1-BB, 9-K; Andrew Lange: 2-IP, 0-R, 3-H, 1-BB, 1-K.