Class C roundup Sunday (Dundas): Nisswa knocks its way to state title game

By Nick Gerhardt

ScoreMonster Contributor

Photos via: Michael Mingo/Twin Cities Photography

Nisswa’s hot hitting continued into the semifinals where the Lightning advanced to the Class C state title game with a 10-8 victory over Delano Sunday in Dundas.

Nisswa has not won a state title and its best finish came in 2015 when the Lightning took third. They’ll get a chance at a state title Monday at noon at Bell Field in Faribault after tallying 10 hits in the semifinals.

Nisswa hit five home runs, including three from Nate DeChaine, who tied a state tournament record for home runs in a game, earlier in the day against Jordan in a 14-2, eight-inning win. He also finished with eight RBI against Jordan to tie a state record.

DeChaine drove in a run in the bottom of the first inning with a sacrifice fly to score Kody Ruedisili, who led off with a single, to tie the game 1-1. Nic Nelson followed with a single and both moved up after a balk call.

The Lightning added a pair of runs in the second inning for a 3-1 lead after Chris Pederson doubled, Tory Miller singled and Matt Casperson singled. Pederson scored on a wild pitch and Ruedisili hit a sacrifice fly to score Miller.

Nisswa started to break the game open with a four-run fourth inning to build a 7-1 lead. Jeremiah Piepkorn drove in a pair of runs while Ruedisili collected his second RBI of the game and Nelson hit a sacrifice fly for an RBI. Ruedisili went 3-for-5 with four RBI and a pair of runs.

The A’s started a rally in the sixth to climb back into the game. Delano scored three runs as DeChaine started to labor on the mound for the Lightning. DeChaine threw all eight innings against Jordan and got lifted after throwing a total of 198 pitches on the day. Delano took advantage when Trevor Jaunich got hit by a pitch to start the inning and Toby Hanson walked. Jack Paulson followed with an RBI single and Jeff Althoff doubled for another run. Oran Hinkle hit a sacrifice fly to make it 7-4. Paulson finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs.

Brett Kramer, a draftee from Fort Ripley, came on in relief and went 3 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits, walked none and struck out three, though it got dicey in the top of the ninth.

The Athletics scored four times in the top of the ninth with a two-out rally. Jaunich drove in a pair of runs and Adam Schleper had an RBI double. Jack Paulson had an RBI single to draw it to a two-run Nisswa lead before the Lightning got the final out on a ground ball to short.

Jake Nelson started for Delano after throwing the final four innings against St. Patrick in a 6-5 win. He lasted two innings after allowing three runs on five hits. Jeremy Maschino came in for 1 1/3 innings and allowed a run on one hit and walked two before Jackson Royer came on. Royer went one innings and allowed one run on one hit. He walked two and struck out none. Mike Frericks, a draftee from Maple Plain, threw the eighth inning.

Delano 6, St. Patrick 5

Delano’s Toby Hanson put Delano into the final four Sunday with a walk-off home run to straightaway center field to give the A’s a 6-5 victory over St. Patrick. 

Hanson’s shot has the A’s one step closer to their first state championship since 1988 and leaves the Irish without a shot at a Class C title.

Hanson finished 3-for-5 with two runs and a stolen base as part of a 13-hit attack. Trevor Jaunich also hit a home run in the bottom of the first inning to give Delano a 1-0 lead. Jaunich finished 3-for-5 with a pair of runs. 

St. Patrick responded with a solo shot from Ben Traxdahl in the top of the second inning. The Irish built a 2-1 lead after the top of the third inning when Seth Ambroz’s RBI triple scored Ryan Friedges. 

Delano scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to grab a 4-2 lead. Hanson reached on a leadoff single and scored on a single from Jeff Althoff. Althoff, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run, later scored on a throwing error following an infield single. An infield single from Adam Schleper allowed Oran Hinkle to score. 

St. Patrick rallied for a pair of runs in the top of the fifth after Jack Friedges hit a solo home run to left field and a sacrifice fly from Dom DeLuca after Ambroz singled, Kyle Rhodus walked and Taxdahl drew a walk.

Delano went ahead 5-4 in the fifth when Jaunich singled and scored on an Althoff single. St. Patrick tied the game in the seventh when Ryan Friedges scored an an error. 

Delano starter Austin Schneider lasted 2 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on six hits, walked one and struck out none. Mike Weber came on for 2 1/3 innings of relief where he allowed two runs on three hits, walked two and struck out two. Jake Nelson came on in the sixth inning and got the win with four innings of three-hit ball. He allowed one unearned run and struck out a pair.

Trevor Divinski started for the Irish and went seven innings, allowed five runs on 12 hits, walked one and struck out seven. Zach Seurer came on in the eighth and retired Delano in order before surrendering the game-winning home run to Hanson.

St. Patrick had won 27 straight games heading into the matchup but now Delano will face Nisswa for a shot to advance to the state title game.

Nisswa 14, Jordan 2, 8 innings

It’s not about how you get into the state tournament that matters, it’s what you do once you get there and Nisswa’s embodied that.

The Lightning continued their surge in defeating Jordan 14-2 in eight innings to reach the final four for the first time since 2015 when they captured third place. 

Nisswa’s Nate DeChaine hit three home runs and tallied eight RBIs to tie two state tournament records in a 4-for-5 day. DeChaine joined a list of 17 other players who have hit three home runs in a game, most recently Austin Dufner accomplished the feat in 2020 with the Cold Spring Rockies. DeChaine also joined three other players who have tallied eight RBIs in a game. Moorhead’s Chris Clemenson did it most recently in 2004 against Melrose. 

DeChaine connected for his first home run in the fifth inning, a two-run shot to give Nisswa a 6-2 lead. Two innings later he added the first of two three-run homers to make it 10-2. His eighth-inning home run brought it to a 14-2 game. 

The Lightning hit the home run cycle as a team, including two home runs in the seventh inning. Kody Ruedisili hit a solo shot with one out to right field and DeChaine’s second home run.  

Drew Boland hit a first-inning grand slam to right center field to set the tone. Boland finished 1-for-4 with four RBIs while Nisswa finished with 10 hits.

Nisswa barely survived its first round region playoff game, defeating Randall 3-2 before winning the next three games, including a 6-4 win over Avon in the Region 8 championship.

The Lightning advanced in their state opener by rallying from a 5-1 deficit against Raymond in a 6-5 victory. Nisswa scored three runs in the seventh inning and two in the bottom of the ninth for the walk-off win. The Lightning carried that into a meeting with New Ulm where they won 4-2. 

Nisswa will face the winner of the Delano-St. Patrick game at 4:30 p.m. in Dundas. Delano blanked Isanti 5-0 Saturday and St. Patrick scored a 5-4 walk-off win after Ryan Friedges hit a two-run home run against Avon. 

DeChaine threw eight innings, allowed two runs on five hits, walked two and struck out five. 

Jordan starter Scott Hollingsworth lasted five innings and gave up six runs on four hits, walked four and struck out seven. Brody Curtiss, a draftee from Belle Plaine, came on in the sixth. He went two innings, allowed four runs on four hits, walked none and struck out three. Nick Schubert, a draftee from St. Clair, threw the final inning. He allowed four runs on two hits, walked one and struck out one.

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