Games to Watch: Cold Spring heads south, Maple Lake moves to lock up North Star

By Nick Gerhardt

ScoreMonster Contributor

We’ve approached the middle of the season and teams will start jockying for seeding as well as standings in their leagues. This weekend’s matchups feature some quality Class B games and a North Star League matchup definitely worth checking out. 

Cold Spring heads down south for a weekend of games against Chaska and Chanhassen while Forest Lake will meet Champlin in a Metro Minny matchup. And Maple Lake, ranked No. 4 in Class C and undefeated in the North Star League will tangle with Buffalo.

Up north, the Nimrod Invitational is taking place and the Stearns County vs. Central Valley All-Star Game will get going Saturday. 

Here’s a look at some games to watch this weekend.

Friday, June 29

Cold Spring at Chaska at Poppitz Field in Victoria, 7:30 p.m.

Cold Spring will take a trip down to the Cities for a weekend of games against Chaska and Chanhassen. It’ll be a great meeting of top 10-ranked teams in Class B.

The Springers are ranked No. 4 in Class B in the latest poll and will begin the weekend on the heels of a 3-1 loss to Class C power Sobieski, which is atop the Class C poll. The loss snapped a 12-game winning streak for Cold Spring.

Chaska, which is ranked No. 9 in Class B, will play this game at Poppitz Field in Victoria because water issues at Chaska Athletic Park. The Minnesota River hasn’t risen above the berm at the park but utilities have been shut off due to the high water.

The Cubs (15-6) will come into the game following a 5-1 win over the Vics June 26 and an 8-4 win Thursday over fifth-ranked Blaine. Tony Lane went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI for Chaska while Chase Hentges went 2-for-4 with two doubles, a run and an RBI against Victoria.

Jon Leighton struck out nine in six innings, allowed one run on four hits in six innings to get the win against the Vics.

Champlin at Forest Lake, 7:30 p.m.

Champlin (13-7, 4-3 Metro Minny) will try to climb up the league standings when it faces Forest Lake (10-3, 4-1 Metro Minny) in Forest Lake.

The LoGators beat Anoka 6-1 June 27 and have Ryan Lust hitting .429 in eight games. Ryan Bruns is hitting .382 with 7 RBIs in 15 games while Charlie Hutchinson has gone 4-0 with a .74 ERA in 24 ⅓ innings with 27 strikeouts.

The Brewers have won their last four consecutive games and are 3-0 at home this season. Sean Graff is hitting .435 with a team-high 12 RBIs. Adam Gemuenden has hit .429 with 8 RBIs in seven games this season.

Mike Swenson has thrown a team-high 17 ⅓ innings for the defending Metro Minny champs, and carries a 3.12 ERA with 13 strikeouts.

Saturday, June 30

Cold Spring at Chanhassen, 1 p.m.

Second-ranked Chanhassen has rebounded from a 2-1 loss to Chaska back on June 17 with a six-game winning streak that has emphatically ended a stretch where the Red Birds went 1-2 in three games. The other loss in that stretch came to a Hampton team that has knocked off the likes of Class A’s No. 1-ranked Minnetonka, Elko and Dundas. Chanhassen snapped that stretch with a 4-3 walk-off win over the eighth-ranked Dukes.

The Red Birds won the Miller Lite Invitational in Green Isle and Hamburg with a 6-5 victory over New Prague behind a walk-off hit from Miles Nablo.

Cold Spring came back from the loss to Sobieski with a 9-1 win over Monticello where Brad Olson went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Jordan Barth added two RBIs after going 2-for-5 and Zach Femrite finished with two hits and an RBI. William Huls also had two RBIs while Ben Etzell got the win after throwing six innings of one-run ball. Etzell gave up three hits, walked five and struck out two.

Sunday, July 1

Buffalo at Maple Lake, 2 p.m.

Maple Lake is ranked No. 7 in Class C and leads the North Star League with an 11-0 record but will get pushed by Buffalo, which sits in third place with a 6-4 record.

The Lakers (12-2) came back from just their second loss of the season with a 12-0 drubbing of Loretto June 27. Maple Lake dropped it second game of the season June 23 to New Prague in Hamburg at the Miller Lite Invitational.

Brian Redemske is hitting .510 with 19 RBIs for the Lakers and Riley Decker is batting .448.

Mitch Wurm has four wins with a 1.06 ERA and Hunter Malachek carries a .35 ERA with three wins in 26 innings pitched.

Buffalo beat Mora 7-4 June 23 but had a tournament game end in a 13-13 tie at the Hinckley Invitational in the third-place game against Maple Plain in the seventh inning after scoring five runs to tie it when an injury left the Bulldogs without enough players to finish the game.

Buffalo lost 12-1 to Elko at the tournament to end up in the third-place game.

Also of note this weekend

The 12th annual Nimrod Invitational is taking place. The field includes the host, Young America, New York Mills, Midway, Frazee/Vergas, Howard Lake and Jordan. Check out the complete bracket here

The Stearns County League vs. Central Valley League All-Star Game is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. in Elrosa. There is a full day of events beginning with a Stearns County Little League All-Star game at 2 p.m. A home run derby for the amateur players will start at 4 p.m. and the evening will wrap up with a performance by Mitch Gordon and the Unleaded Band at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. Check out the complete roster of all-stars here.

Looking ahead

Next week the Lonsdale Aces and Veseli Warriors meet July 3-4 for their annual home and home series in the Dakota-Rice-Scott League. The Red Wing Aces will meet Miesville for the second time after the Aces won the first meeting 3-0 on Memorial Day. Northfield and Dundas meet in clash along the Cannon River after the Knights beat the Dukes 14-6 on Memorial Day.

Then the Jordan/Shakopee Coors Light Classic kicks off July 6 with a slew of terrific games. Check out the opening round games here.

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