CLASS C ROUNDUP AT LITCH: Geislinger Ks 19 in Watkins win, Spring Hill rallies, Hutch & NYM win

By Nick Gerhardt

Watkins 3, Carlos 0

Watkins and Matt Geislinger don’t give teams many opportunities offensively, but the Clippers also pounce on opportunities provided to them. 

Case in point: Watkins coaxed nine walks despite just five hits in the game. Carson Geislinger drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning for a 1-0 lead while a lead-off walk by Landon Niemen turned into a run after another walk, a fielder’s choice and an error for 2-0 lead.

In the third inning, Carson Geislinger and Matt Geislinger drew back-to-back one-out walks and Carson Geislinger scored on a single from Lincoln Haugen to make it 3-0.

Matt Geislinger, meanwhile, had things dialed in on the mound. He struck out 19 batters while walking none and allowing just five hits.

Carlos had a threat in the bottom of the fourth after Devan Swerman and JD Hennen collected back-to-back singles to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt by Caleb Runge put them in scoring position but Matt Geislinger reared back to strike out the next two hitters to end the inning.

Watkins faces Region 7 champion Waconia Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Dassel.

Spring Hill 6, Roseau 4

Corey Schoenberg made his move at the right time to send Spring Hill through to the second weekend in a 6-4 victory Saturday in Litchfield.

In a 4-4 game and Schoenberg standing on third with one out, Ben Welle struck out on a dropped third strike. When the throw went to first base Schoenberg made his move to score the go-ahead run. One batter later, Jamie Terres singled to score Eric Terres for a big insurance run and a 6-4 lead.

An inning before Roseau rallied to tie the game 4-4 on an RBI single from Aaron Wensloff that sent Alex Quinones.

The Chargers had led the whole game until that point.

The Chargers, as the name indicates, charged around the base paths with aggressive base running that paid off. Austin Schoenberg scored in the second inning after hitting a lead-off single, stealing second, advancing to third on a passed ball and scoring on a sacrifice fly from Dylan Gertken.

Spring Hill added to the lead with a three-run third inning. Eric Terres reached on an infield single with one out, stole second and later scored on a Jamie Terres double for a 3-0 lead. Ben Welle reached on an error and scored on Schoenberg’s double for a 4-0 advantage.

The Royals responded in the bottom half of the third a double from Tanner Landman to score Alex Wensloff, who led off the inning with a single. Isaac Wensloff followed with a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly while Landman scored on a Nathan Voll ground out to make it 4-3. 

The Chargers tallied 13 hits with Eric Terres going 4-for-5 with two runs. Schoenberg finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and a run. Jamie Terres finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run. 

Anthony Revermann picked up the win in relief for Spring Hill after allowing one run on one hit with one walk and one strikeout in an inning of work. He relieved Ben Welle, who went seven innings and allowed three runs on six hits. Grant Ludwig closed it out and allowed one hit and a walk in the ninth.

Roseau left 11 runners on base in the loss while the Chargers made Region 15 a perfect 3-0 on the first weekend.

Spring Hill will face Delano Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Delano.

Hutchinson 2, Fairmont 0

It had the heft of a possible state title game but Hutchinson and Fairmont — perennial contenders — met in the first round. 

Fairmont won the 2020 state title while Hutchinson finished second in 2019.

Huskies starter Lane Glaser outdueled Martins starter Spencer Chirpich by tossing eight shutout innings in a 2-0 victory. Glaser struck out five, walked three and allowed seven hits before giving way to Zach Kuseske. Kueseke struck out the side after Glaser gave up a lead-off single.

Chirpich pitched well in his six innings. He allowed one run, on a wild pitch, walked one and struck out six in the hard-luck loss.

Hutchinson (25-11) won its fifth straight game after Matt Piechowski led off the sixth inning with a single. Jayden Fleck moved him over to second on a sacrifice bunt and a Jake Wendland ground out pushed him to third before a wild pitch allowed him to cross home plate.

The Huskies added to the lead in the eighth after loading the bases. Sam Rensch doubled to start the inning, Piechowski got hit by a pitch and Fleck singled. A fielder’s choice wiped out Rench at home, but Marcus Hahn flew out to left field to score Piechowski to make it 2-0.

Hutchinson faces the Hinckley Knights next Saturday.

New York Mills 3, Regal 2

It’s not how you start the game, it’s how you finish it. 

New York Mills operated with a short memory Saturday in Litchfield against Regal to pick up its first state tournament win since 1969.

Brandon Kupfer hit a go-ahead solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning after the Millers went the first five innings without a hit.

“It’s one of those games,” Kupfer said. “We just needed a couple of hits and we sure got them.”

Kupfer’s heroics didn’t surprise manager Josh Hendrickx.

“Brandon’s always been steadfast in the middle of our lineup,” Hendrickx said. “He hits a few home runs for us every year and it always seems to come at big times.”

The time between state tournament wins might not matter as much as the Millers making good after a disappointing 20-4 first-round loss to Cold Spring in last year’s state tournament. New York Mills has made the tournament four of the last seven years and entered this year’s tournament with a lot of roster turnover. 

“That’s what makes this win so much sweeter,” Hendrickx said. “We got our butts kicked last year and it left a bad taste in our mouth. We’ve got a lot of new guys this year. We retired a lot of guys last year. A lot of those guys don’t even know what last year was like.”

How do you celebrate such a win? 

“We’re going to get like 24 cheeseburgers and a case of Busch Light and then we’ll see where that will take us from there,” Hendrickx said.

Regal, which hasn’t won a game at the state tournament since 1997, led early. 

Regal jumpstarted things in the fourth inning when it loaded the bases with nobody out. Three straight singles started the rally before Adrian Beldon’s squeeze bunt pushed Nathan Meyer across for a 1-0 lead. Blake Karsch later scored on an RBI single from Chi Schneider for a 2-0 lead.

New York Mills finished with just four hits and got two of them in the seventh inning, including a two-run double from Derin Gaudette to score Adam Patron, who singled with two outs and No. 9 hitter Colin Teich, who drew a walk.

Nick Lindberg, a draftee from Vergas-Frazee, kept the Millers in the game with four innings of one-hit ball.

“What a heck of a day for Nick Lindberg coming in for us,” Hendrickx said. “I don’t know if we win that ball game without him.”

New York Mills faces Region 11 champion Sartell Sunday, Aug. 27.

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