Class C Sunday roundup (Waconia): Delano snaps state tourney skip; Waconia survives

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By Kip Kovar

Sports Editor

Herald Journal

WACONIA – The state tournament has not been kind to the Delano Athletics over the years. For the first time since 2015, the A’s are moving on in the Class C state tournament after knocking off the Willmar Rails 5-0 Sunday at Lions Field.

Delano rode Litchfield draftee Avery Liestman early on in the win. After walking two of the first three batters he faced, the ace settled in nicely with seven shutout innings in which he struck out 10 batters and allowed just two hits.

Delano’s Jackson Royer closed things down in the final two innings allowing just one hit as the A’s advanced to the Sweet 16.

Ty Weiman got the A’s on the board in the bottom of the second. After Jeff Althoff and Jake Nelson led off the inning with back-to-back walks, Weiman put Delano on the board with an RBI groundout. The A’s added on one more thanks to an error to take a 2-0 lead over the Rails.

Delano added two more runs in the fifth. Jack Paulson delivered with an RBI single to score Trevor Jaunich. Toby Hanson also scored on the play as a throwing error pushed the lead to 4-0 for the A’s.

The A’s tagged on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a pinch-hit RBI single by James Otto.

Delano had just six hits as a team in the win but they came in big spots. The A’s had six different players with a hit as they got production from all over the lineup to get the win.

Delano will take on the Isanti Redbirds Saturday. Sept. 3 in Faribault at 1:30 p.m. The Redbirds are coming off a 3-1 win over the Brownton Bruins in 11 innings in their first game of the state tournament.

Waconia 9, Fergus Falls 8

WACONIA – Waconia first baseman AJ Friedrich had plenty of pats on his back following the Lakers’ matchup with Fergus Falls.

With the Hurricanes threatening to complete a thrilling comeback, Friedrich came through with the play of the game, scooping a throw over to first for the third and final out of the game in a thrilling 9-8 victory Sunday in Waconia.

Fergus Falls had the tying and go-ahead run on base but the scoop from Friedrich saved the day with the play at first to keep Waconia’s season alive.

It looked as if the Lakers were going to run away with things early on. Waconia batted around and scored seven runs in the bottom of the second to take a commanding 7-0 lead but Fergus Falls refused to go away quietly.

After scoring three runs in the bottom of the third, Fergus Falls didn’t stop there even after seeing Waconia respond with two runs of their own in the fifth. The Hurricanes responded with one run in the fifth, three in the sixth, and one more in the bottom of the eighth to get back within a run.

Fergus Falls put the tying and go-ahead runners on base in the bottom of the ninth with a pair of infield singles but the play by Freidrich at first sealed the win for the Lakers and kept their season alive.

Friedrich also did it with the bat in the win for Waconia as he had an RBI double in the seven-run inning for the Lakers. Veteran Chris Bullis added three hits while Derek Martin drove in a pair of runs.

Kodey Simon picked up the win on the mound for Waconia. He went 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs off 10 hits. Ryan Naughton and Aaron Wukmir closed things down for the Lakers with Wukmir picking up the save.

For Fergus Falls, Sean McGuire sparked the comeback out of the leadoff spot with three hits (two doubles), two runs, and an RBI. Tosten Mann added three hits and two RBI of his own while Carter Thielke finished with two hits.

Waconia moves on to Labor Day weekend where they will take on the Buckman Billygoats Saturday, Sept. 3 in Dundas at 1:30 p.m. Buckman is coming off a 4-0 win over the Luverne Redbirds.

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