By Tyler Ohmann
Lastrup defeated both of Pierz’ amateur teams enroute to an East Division Championship berth, but it was the Bulldogs that likely felt it the most.
That’s because the Bulldogs had to face former teammate Brad Meyer, who tossed seven innings, striking out nine batters, and earning the win in a 4-2 Lastrup victory.
“We didn’t really jump on our advantages, and Lastrup is a good team. Brad pitched really well,” said Bulldogs player/manager Ben Watercott.
Reggie Litke came in for two hitless innings of relief to earn the save for the Lakers.
Brandon Kiel was out dueled, as he went all eight innings for the Bulldogs.
The Lakers were led on offense by Chad Weiss, who had a pair of RBIs, and Rick Schlieman, who was 3-for-4.
Lastrup’s Bob Pohlkamp said that early chances were key.
“Getting lead hitters on is key, because then we can get our bunting game going, and hopefully come up with a clutch hit,” Pohlkamp said. “Early on we did that, and Brad pitched a heck of a game.”
Brian Kiel went 3-for-3 with a triple and two doubles for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs still have a chance for redemption, but the Pierz Brewers do not. They lost to Lastrup in round one, 4-0.
Chad Weiss went all nine, striking out nine, while Schlieman was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Pohlkamp said that it hasn’t been easy for the Lakers, but he didn’t expect it to be.
“There is two spots coming out of here, and everybody knows that means you’re getting 100 percent out of everybody,” Pohlkamp said. “They want to get to regions, and it is different than the regular season.”
Pierz upset Buckman in the opening round, winning 12-5, as their offense exploded.
Brian Kiel was hot at the plate with a 3-for-4 day and two RBIs. Ryan Foreman added three RBIs.
“It was a good day, and everything kind of clicked for everyone,” Watercott said. “All the balls were dropping in.”
Drew Elness pitched a complete game for the Bulldogs.
Jeremy Monson hit a home run for the Billygoats in the loss.
Buckman ended the Brewers’ season, Sunday, July 19, with a 5-2 win.
Monson had three RBIs and Mark Kahl went all nine innings for the Billygoats.
Eric Boser was 3-for-4 to lead the Brewers in the loss.
Buckman hosted the Bulldogs, Saturday, July 25, but results were unavailable.
The winner of that game will advance to the Region 8C tournament, which begins in Pierz, Aug. 1, and play for the East Division title, Sunday, July 19 against Lastrup.
Sobieski in control in West
Opole made the waves with a 7-0 upset of Upsala in an elimination game, but it was steady Sobieski that cruised to the West Division title game.
The Skis clobbered Opole 14-2 in seven innings, Saturday, July 18.
Beau Hanowski, Scott Litchy and Jon Czech all went deep, and Josh Wenzel earned the win.
The Skis continued their dominance with a 6-0 shutout win over the Randall Cubs.
Tyler Jendro threw eight shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out 12.
Hanowski hit another home run and had a pair of RBIs.
Opole upset Upsala 7-0, Sunday, July 19, to end the Blue Jays’ season.
Jake Nelson tossed a complete game shutout, and Opole had 14 hits in the win.
Randall upset the Blue Jays in round one, 6-4.
Kyle Peterschick tossed eight strong innings for the Cubs in the win.
Dusty Parker hit a home run to lead Randall, and Brady Burggraff was Upsala’s strongest batter with a 3-for-5 day with two doubles.
The Bears and Cubs faced off Saturday, July 25, but results were unavailable by press time. The winner of the contest will play Sobieski, Sunday, July 19, for the West Division Championship, and will advance to the Region 8C Tournament.
Fort Ripley on to region
Fort Ripley won twice in the first weekend of the North Division playoffs to ensure a spot in the Region 8C Tournament, and a North Championship bid.
The Rebels tore down Cuyuna 15-3 in seven innings, Saturday, July 18.
Brett Kramer was a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate and scored five times. Logan Kalis was 3-for-3 with four RBIs. He was also the winning pitcher and struck out 11.
The Rebels then beat top-seeded Nisswa 3-1, Sunday, July 19.
Kramer tossed a complete game, four-hitter in the victory. He was also 3-for-5 with three RBIs.
Fort Ripley will play either Cuyuna or Nisswa, Sunday, July 26.
In the South Division, Avon will play in the championship against either Freeport or St. Stephen.