Sub-Section 5A West baseball playoffs
#5 Upsala-Swanville Area 7, #4 Kimball Area 1
After going through four scoreless innings, fifth-seeded Upsala-Swanville Area set up a pivotal fifth with pesky small ball, then whacked the fourth-seeded and host Kimball Area with a deep drive, and one last bunt for good measure, in a 7-1 win.
Sophomore Cody Wensmann reached to lead off the inning, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Chase Douvier when Kimball tried to get the force at second, but couldn’t when the Cubs second baseman was ruled off the bag.
The lineup then turned back over to the top, with sophomore Justin Cichon placing a bunt just out of the reach of the pitcher up the third-base line for a hit to load the bases.
Junior Tyler Evans capitalized by singling in a run through a drawn-in left side of the infield, followed by a two-run double to deep left by senior Eric Lampert.
The Patriots scored two more runs in the inning on a squeeze bunt from junior Austin Johnson and a base hit by freshman Myron Ripplinger.
The score remained 5-0 until the bottom of the sixth, when the Patriots’ defense threatened to allow Kimball back into the game.
The Cubs filled the bases with one out with a pair of errors sandwiched around a single.
Lampert came back with a strike out for the second out, but a potential inning-ending grounder was misplayed for another error, breaking up the shutout and bringing the tying run to the plate.
That would be all Kimball would muster, as catcher Cichon fielded a slow roller in front of the plate and stepped on home for the force out, quelling the rally.
Upsala-Swanville got that run, and one more, right back in the top of the seventh, as Ripplinger and Wensmann knocked in junior Kyle Soltis and Johnson with RBI grounders.
Lampert finished things off quickly in the bottom of the seventh for the complete-game win.
Upsala-Swanville will now enter the double elimination portion of the section tournament, taking on top-seeded Browerville in Cold Spring, Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
#7 Royalton 8, #2 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 7
A day after rallying late to defeat 10th-seeded Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 9-7, seventh-seeded Royalton persevered in another slugfest, winning 8-7 at second-seeded Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa.
Junior Jordon Smieja went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to lead another fierce offensive showing, with senior Cade Stang (2-for-2) and junior Brady Moulzolf (1-for-3 with a double) both scoring three runs.
Freshman Nathan Pysck went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs at the plate while working six innings to earn his second win on the mound in the playoffs, picking up Thursday’s win in relief.
Psyck allowed seven runs, but only two were earned.
Sophomore Parker Brezinka, Thursday’s starter, gave up a hit, a walk and hit a batter, but made it through a scoreless seventh to earn the save.
Royalton will now enter the double elimination portion of the section tournament, taking on sixth-seeded Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in Cold Spring, Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Regular season baseball
Pierz 2, Little Falls 0
Freshman Lane Girtz threw a four-hit shutout as Pierz topped host Little Falls 2-0 in the final day of the regular season for both teams.
The Pioneers actually scored the only run they would ultimately need before Girtz threw a pitch, as Girtz himself scored on a two-out single by freshman Matt Kummet in the top of the first inning.
Pierz scored its other run in the third when sophomore Aaron Weber singled in senior Chris Ortman.
Seniors Nathan Athman and Evan Woitalla each had two hits for Pierz.
Both teams will open Section 6AA Tuesday, along with Holdingford.
Little Falls received the second seed in the East sub-section and will host No. 7 Milaca.
No. 6 Pierz will play at No. 3 Foley and No. 5 Holdingford will play at No. 4 Albany.
Follow along the rest of the postseason on Twitter @MCRecordSports