Class C roundup Sunday in Waconia: YA Cards survive 2nd rain delay over Wood Ducks

By Dana Melius

ScoreMonster Contributor

After two rain delays on two separate days, the Young America Cardinals moved on with a 5-1 victory over the St. Clair Wood Ducks later Sunday in Waconia. 

It will match the Cards against Region 9 champ the Ortonville Rox on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. in Chaska. 

Dillon Whittaker earned the victory for the Cardinals, taking over mound duties after teammate Josh Lenz originally started the abbreviated Friday evening contest. Heavy rain and lightning stopped play. And more rain delayed Sunday’s start. 

Whittaker tossed seven innings, striking out 12, walking just one, giving up a run on six hits. Brice Panning came in to get the final four outs, striking out three.

But it was Young America’s aggressive base running and timely hitting that made the difference in the win. Panning got things going quickly for the Cards in the bottom of the first, singling and stealing second. After Barret Panning was hit by a pitch, both runners scored on RBI singles by Roch Whittaker and Hunter Rickaby for a 2-0 lead.

The Cards scored again in the second. With two outs, Isaac Hormann singled and stole second. He would score on a Barret Panning single.

St. Clair got on the board in the fourth. Ben Scott singled, moved up on a Nick Schubert single and scored following an outfield error.

The Cardinals made it 5-1 with a two-run bottom half of the fourth. Blake Pistulka walked and stole second. After moving to third on an Hormann single, Pistulka scored on a wild pitch.

That would be it for the scoring.

Hormann paced the Cards offense going 2-for-4 and scoring twice.

Taylor Schumacher took the loss for St. Clair, going just two innings. Draftee Garrett Anderson (Blue Earth) pitched well in relief, going six innings, giving up two hits and striking out eight.

Austin 6, Paynesville 2

Austin Greyhounds veteran pitcher Nels Nelson didn’t get the mound win but the righty’s bat still earned him Player of the Game honors in his team’s 6-2 victory Sunday over the Paynesville Pirates.

Nelson started and tossed just two innings and into the third, leaving after giving up a run despite not allowing any hits. But two walks hurt. But his performance at the plate lasted all game, going 3-for-4 with two RBI.

But Austin got a couple fine relief efforts from Drew Copley and draftee Brady Schroeder (Red Wing Aces). Copley notched the win with five innings of work, giving up just one run, walking two and striking out two. Schroeder closed the door over the final two innings, striking out four of seven Paynesville batters.

Paynesville starter Grady Fuchs fared well over six innings but used 112 pitches due to 12 strikeouts and three base on balls. But the Greyhounds came up with timely hits, scoring five runs against Fuchs, four earned.

Draftees Matthew Gruber (Starbuck) and Patrick Courtney (Willmar) each tossed an inning the rest of the way for Paynesville. Gruber gave up a run on two hits while Courtney tossed a scoreless 8th.

Austin leadoff hitter Alex Ciola kept causing trouble on the base paths, scoring three runs on a 1-for-2 performance and getting on base three more times, twice by walks and another on a hit by pitch.

Teammates Neston Jimenez and Miguel Castro chipped in nicely, too. Jimenez went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored. Castro added a two-run double.

Abe Bullard and Tanner Stanley led Paynesville with two hits each.

Austin moves on to face Region 3 champion St. Patrick Irish in an 11 a.m. game Saturday, Aug. 28 in Waconia.

Fergus Falls 4, Hanska 2

Two Fergus Falls pitchers limited Hanska to just two singles and held the Lakers scoreless for the final eight innings to take a 4-2 first-round victory in Waconia.

The Hurricanes move on to the second round to face Region 15 champion St. Martin in a 1:30 p.m. contest Saturday, Aug. 28 in Chaska.

Fergus Falls starting pitcher Mitch Porter struggled a bit with his control in the second, tossing two run-scoring wild pithes for Hanska’s early 2-0 lead. Gabe Knowles led off with one of two Hanska hits and Brady Mosenden followed by drawing a base on balls. A Sam Knowles sacrifice bunt was mishandled by the Fergus Falls infield, with Lakers runners moving up to second and third. Two errant Porter pitches hit the backstop and scored two Hanska runs.

But that would be it for Hanska.

Fergus Falls came back with a two-run fourth inning and finally got to Hanska starter Mark Schommer, a Searles draftee. Sean McGuire led off with a single and advance when Darin Stanislawski was hit be pitch. A high, inside fastball caught Stanislawski off the helmet, then deflected and opened up a cut. He was replaced by pinch runner Austin Stanislawski and didn’t return.

Porter sacrificed runners to second and third and Jack Hiedman followed with a sacrifce fly RBI, scoring McGuire. Alex Hexum’s RBI single tied things up at 2-2.

The Hurricanes took the lead for good with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. After Thomas Bosek walked, Alex Hensch singled and then scored on a McGuire RBI single.

Hanska threatened earlier in the fifth inning when Eric Portner reached on an error. Chris Knowles followed with a fielder’s choice, then moved to second on a second Fergus Falls throwing error. And when Gabe Knowles drew a walk, Porter’s day on the mound ended. Lefty draftee Alex Koep of Urbank/Parkers Prairie, stopped the threat in relief.

Koep didn’t just stop things, he shut the door tight on the Lakers. He finished with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless, hitless relief for a big save in the 4-2 victory.

McGuire led the Hurricanes with a 2-for-4 game on offense, scoring a run and an RBI. No. 9 hitter Thomas Bosek was named Player of the Game with his 2-for-2 performance, scoring a run and an RBI.

Kimball 3, Union Hill 0

Kimball’s Ben Johnson never really ran into big trouble against a good-hitting Union Hill team enroute to a 3-0 first-round victory over the Bulldogs.

Johnson tossed a complete game shutout for the Express. Union Hill put two runners on in the fourth and fiftth innings but couldn’t come up with that clutch hit to close the gap on Kimball.

Kimball scored a single run in the second following a pair of singles by Scott Marquardt and Adam Beyer. After Cade Marquardt reached on a fielder’s choice, but Bulldogs shortstop Nathan Berg’s throw to first sailed into the stands, allowing Scott Marquardt to score from second.

Another single run for Kimball came across in the third. Jordan Joseph’s sacrifice fly plated Brooks Marquardt who reached earlier on a single. He advanced on an Austin Ruehle bunt single, and both runners moved up on Tommy Friesen’s sacrifice bunt.

Kimball’s final run scored in the sixth. Joseph doubled to lead off the inning and came across on Cade Marquardt’s two-out RBI single.

Cade Marquardt’s 2-for-4 and RBI led Kimball’s offensive attack off three Union Hill pitchers. Brooks Marquardt went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Joseph added the double, run scored and RBI sacrifice fly. Aaron Ruehle went 2-for-4.

Conrad Masberg led the Union Hill offense with a 2-for-4 game. Masberg took the mound loss for the Bulldogs.

Kimball next plays 16A champion Alexandria Black Sox on Saturday, Aug. 28 in a 4:30 p.m. game at Waconia.

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