By Tyler Ohmann
It is hard to beat a team three times in a row, and the Royalton Riverdogs figured that out the hard way Sunday,
After Royalton beat the Pierz Brewers twice during the regular season, it was the Brewers who earned the 8-3 win, when it mattered, a West Division play-in game.
Royalton appeared to have the upper hand early, leading 1-0 until the fourth inning, but the Brewers scored twice that inning, and added two more in the fifth.
Royalton cut the lead to one in the seventh, but in the bottom of the eighth inning, Greg Pohlkamp stepped up with the bases loaded. He fell behind 1-2.
“I was thinking make contact, try and get a run or two, put it in play,” Pohlkamp said. “I figured he would be bringing a curveball again, but he brought fastball, and I hit it.”
The grand slam gave the Brewers a five-run cushion heading into the top of the ninth.
“It was big, because we could just go out the next inning, throw strikes, get after them and get three outs,” Pohlkamp said.
Matt Merten had a 2-for-4 day with an RBI for the Riverdogs, whose season ended at 2-11.
The Brewers took on the west’s top-seeded Lastrup Lakers, Saturday, July 18, but results were unavailable by press time.
Pohlkamp knew the game would be difficult going in.
“It’s definitely going to be tough, but we’ll go out and play ball, and play mistake free hopefully,” Pohlkamp said.
Pierz finished the regular season with a 5-8 record.
Upsala closes regular
season with two wins
The Upsala Blue Jays closed out the regular season with a pair of solid wins.
The Jays first upset an eight-win Fort Ripley team 7-3, Friday, July 10.
John Fuchs tossed the complete game, allowing three runs on eight hits for the Blue Jay.s
Upsala’s Brock and Justin Cichon came up big at the plate in the game. Brock was 4-for-5 with two RBIs, while Justin was 2-for-4 with three runs scored.
All nine Upsala batters had hits.
Fort Ripley was led by Nic Jelacie and Ray Austin, who each had RBI doubles.
Upsala went on to win Saturday, July 11 as well. That win was an 8-2 victory over Flensburg.
The win solidified the second seed for the Blue Jays and knocked the Falcons out of contention, finishing their season at 2-10.
Eric Lampert went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the win for Upsala.
AJ Jenks continued his dominance at the plate, recording his second straight perfect day at the plate (3-for-3, including a home run).
One of Upsala’s victims, Fort Ripley, took the loss out on Cuyuna, Saturday, July 11.
The Rebels smacked 17 hits in an 18-2, seven-inning win.
Brett Kramer and Logan Kalis each hit home runs in the victory for Fort Ripley. Kalis scored four times.
Upsala and Fort Ripley both claimed two seeds in their respective division tournaments.
Upsala’s tournament began, Saturday, July 18, at home against Randall. Fort Ripley hosted Cuyuna that same day.
Upsala’s opponent, Randall, fell to the third seed after losing to Sobieski, 9-8, Saturday, July 11.
Jon Czech led the Skis with a home run and three RBIs, which helped Sobieski to an 11-1 regular season record.
Randall was led by Ricky Drew, who went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs.
The Skis hosted Opole, Saturday, but results from all of Saturday’s games were unavailable by press time.
Freeport beats two east teams
Freeport took care of Buckman 6-3, and the Pierz Bulldogs 6-4, Saturday, July 11.
Nate Neeser was the leader for Buckman, with a 2-for-4 day. Aaron Schultz led the Bulldogs with a 4-for-5 day and two runs scored.
The Bulldogs and Billygoats played each other, Saturday, July 18, but results were unavailable by press time.
In all playoff cases, the winners of Saturday’s games in each division, play each other, Sunday, July 19. The losers will play each other the same day.
The playoffs will continue, July 25.