CLASS C ROUNDUP SUNDAY AT DELANO: Blue Earth, New Ulm, Nisswa all advance

By Mike Marsnik

news@mnbaseball.org

Photos via: RK Photography

New Ulm righty Mitch Brockenstedt one-hit the Waterville Indians, holding them scoreless through eight innings Sunday afternoon in Delano. Ethan Stade got the final three outs after issuing a lead-off walk in the ninth. Brockenstedt walked four and fanned four on 87 pitches.

Justin Hoffman scored the only run the Brewers would need in the home half of the first. With Colten Schaefer on ahead of him after a base hit to right, Hoffman dropped down a bunt and beat the throw to first. He went to second on Hunter Ranweiler’s hit to left field and to third on a fielder’s choice in which Schaefer was thrown out at the plate on a grounder to third. Hoffman then scored on Cole Ranweiler’s sacrifice fly to center.

Back-to-back doubles by Wade French and Trevor Nissen in the sixth doubled the lead to 2-0.

With one out in the sixth, Hunter Ranweiler walked with a full count and then stole second. He scored from there on Zach Hoffman’s gapper to left. Hoffman was thrown out at second by Indians left fielder Ty Kaus as he tried to stretch it into a double. Cole Ranweiler’s ensuing single chased Waterville starter Luke Sellner in favor of southpaw sidewinder Dalton Grose, who had been the designated hitter. He walked one and struck out one to end the inning.

Grose induced two pop-ups to start the eighth but then got to the top of the Brewers’ order and walked Schaeffer and Justin Hoffman. Tom Gannon relieved him at that point. Hunter Ranweiler greeted him  with a bases-clearing double to left to complete the scoring.

Ethan Stade, the left-hander who recently returned from playing the Northwoods League playoffs, mopped up in the ninth, walking one before getting the Nos. 4-, 5-, and 6-hitters in order.

New Ulm banged out a dozen hits in the game. Hunter Ranweiler had a perfect day at the plate: 3-for-3 with two walks and two runs batted in.

The Brewers, who went 24-5 after starting the season 3-4, play the Faribault Lakers in a 4:30 p.m. game next Sunday in Delano.

Blue Earth 7, Stark 2

Louis Magers took the mound for the Blue Earth Pirates with one out and two on base in the top of the fourth inning and the score 2-2. The St. Clair Wood Ducks draftee struck out the Stark Longhorns’ lead-off and No. 2-hole hitters to end the scoring threat. He blanked the Longhorns the rest of the way, earning himself player of the game honors.

The Pirates broke the deadlock in the bottom of the sixth, opening with three hits: a Kane Malo single, a Lee Hodges RBI-double into the left-center gap and a Logan O’Hara two-run shot that cleared the ivy-covered fence in left field. Malo scored on a wild pitch after the double. O’Hara’s homer came off Zach Haala, who took over for Longhorn starter lefty Adam Sellner after the Hodge double.

Blue Earth scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the first. Cody Sukalski fouled off a 1-2 pitch from Sellner before rifling a double to left. Hunter Bleess struck out on three pitches, but the last one got past catcher Jake Mangen to put runners on first and second. Sukalski advanced to third when Sellner’s pick-off attempt sailed into center field. Brandyn Olsen then hit a 3-1 offering into left for an RBI-double.

Stark took a 2-1 lead with a two-out rally in the top of the third inning. Mason Cox doubled down the left field line. Haala followed with a run-producing single, stole second and scored on Nick Labat’s double to the left-center field gap.

The Pirates knotted the score at 2-2 in the following inning. Hodges led off with an opposite field hit down the right field line. With one out Kaylan Legred bunted him to second. Hodges then scored on Tanner Nawrocki’s double down the left field line.

 Blue Earth tacked on single runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

Sukalski had two doubles. Olsen was 2-for-3 with a walk. Hodges scored twice on a 2-for-4 day. Nawrocki was also 2-for-4. The Pirates banged out 11 hits.

Belle Plaine draftee Derek Dahlke started for Blue Earth, allowing two earned runs on six hits. Magers gave up no hits, walked four and struck out eight to earn the win.

It was Stark’s 16th trip to state and the third straight. Blue Earth had not been to the tournament since 2017 and it pulled off two upset wins (including a 4-1 win over Gaylord) to earn a berth. They will play Bird Island next Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in Dassel.

Nisswa 14, Carver 2, 7 Innings

Defending Class C state champs, the Nisswa Lightning, rode a pair of three-run homers to victory as they topped the Carver Black Sox 14-2 in Sunday’s finale at Delano. 

Righty starter Nate DeChaine earned the win by spreading six hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out five, allowing two runs (one earned). The 10-run rule took effect after seven innings.

Aaron Jenkins capped a six-run second inning with his three-run shot to left. DeChaine’s 387-footer to right capped off a five-run fourth inning. The first was hit off righty Kevin Walsh, the Mayer Blazers draftee, who suffered bouts of wildness. He issued six free passes in his three-plus innings and every one of them scored. He did open with three straight strikeouts, but it was pretty much all downhill from there. The second came off St. Boni Saints draftee Tien Foudray who didn’t fair much better.

Shortstop Jeremiah Piepkorn was the only starter for Nisswa who didn’t score a run and he batted one in with a sac fly ahead of DeChaine’s blast in the fourth. The bottom three in the Lightning batting order — Drew Boland, Tyler Wittwer and Matt Casperson —  were a collective 3-for-4 with five walks.

Jenkins added a run-scoring single in the fifth to go 2-for-4. His homer was sandwiched between a pair of strikeouts.

This was the Black Sox’s eighth trip to state and the sixth in the last seven years. Only four players returned from last year’s team. They lost their first seven games and were the seventh-seeded team in Region 7C. They rallied past Mayer and upset St. Boni to get in.

Nisswa went 17-2 in the Victory League. Its only losses came against the Buckman Billygoats, the team it beat to win the 2022 title. The Lightning play next at 11 a.m. Sunday against the Cannon Falls Bears in Litchfield.

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