Weekend Action in Minnesota 7/11-7/13

Posted by Erik Steffenson Jul 15 12:00 p.m.

Coors Light Classic

            This weekend, southwest of the Twin Cities, Shakopee and Jordan hosted the eight team tournament “Coors Light Classic.” In a place they call “Mini-Met”, on Friday Jordan led off the tournament with a 9-8 win holding off the rally of the St. Michael Saints. Cold Spring and Fergus Falls followed with the Springers defeating the Canes 8-5.

At Joe Schepper Stadium in Shakopee, the Indians faced off against St. Louis Park (the only Class A team in the tournament) and won 5-1. Moorhead and Brainerd followed as the Brewers blew away the Brainerd Bees 8-0.

On Saturday, Jordan Brewers led off the day against Fergus as Trent Barnhardt held the Canes bats in check to lead the Brewers to a 4-1 victory. In Shakopee, Cold Spring came back from behind to come away with a 5-4 victory against St. Michael. Unfortunately a strong storm system swept through the southern half of Minnesota and rained out the rest of Saturday’s games in both Jordan and Shakopee.

The rest of the games were played at Joe Schepper Stadium in Shakopee on Sunday as Jordan played Cold Spring at ten in the morning to lead off the action, the winner goes onto the championship. It was a battle of the aces with Zach Femrite on the mound for the Springers while the Brewers had Scott Hollingsworth on the mound. It was a scoreless game until the top of the fourth when Cold Spring managed to snag two runs. Jordan would respond in the bottom of the fifth when they got three runs of their own. Cold Spring was threatening in the sixth inning with runners on second and first and one out when Joe Lucas came in relief and got a double play with the first batter he faced. The Brewers held on to win 3-2 to punch their ticket for the title game.

The next game was Moorhead versus Shakopee with the championship ame at stake as the winner would advance to face Jordan. Mark Dolenc crushed a two run dinger off of the Brewers ace Tanner Dahl to give the Indians a quick 2-0 lead. Chase Hentges the next inning hit a solo home run to left to make it a three run lead, but after that Dahl kept the Indians bats silent. Moorhead got their first two runs of the game in the fourth inning with a two RBI double by Tanner Adam. Andy Young tied the game the next inning with a home run and it stayed tied three to three through six innings. In the seventh, Chase Hentges was in his second inning of work and with two outs and bases loaded, John Hellkamp the left fielder made an error that scored two runs for the Brewers. Vic Sokolofsky came in the bottom of the seventh for the save and shut the Indians down one, two, three, for the 5-3 victory.

In the championship game, it was the battle of the Brewers as Dillon Lee got the nod for Jordan and faced off against Brook Lyter for Moorhead. Andy Young gave Moorhead an early jump as he hit his second home run of the day, a three RBI bomb in the first inning. Jordan responded with a leadoff double by Joe Lucas and was driven in the next at bat by Steve Beckman on a single. Mitch Ries came to the plate three at bats later and drove in Beckman with a RBI double to cut the lead to 3-2 at the end of the first inning. Tom Fuchs would reopen the lead with an rbi single in the fourth and Matt Achter followed with a 2 RBI single the next at bat. Derek Dormanen had an rbi single in the fifth to make it 7-2 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth before Scott Hollingsworht drove in another Jordan run with an RBI double. Moorhead scored two more runs in the sixth inning to make it a 9-3 game as that would end up being the final score.

Both starters went 5 1/3 innings before being relieved. Andy Young was named MVP of the tournament for his performance throughout the tournament and he was crushing the ball the entire weekend. This tournament definitely is a preview of what is to come when the state tournament begins. Every team in the tournament had an above .500 record and has very talented players on each team.     

Victory League Playoffs

Here is a breakdown of the action this weekend in the Victory League:

North Division:

            On Saturday, with seven runs in the fifth inning, and strong pitching from Kyle Schaible (six strong innings allowing only one hit), the Nisswa Lightning blew away the Cuyuna Range Miners 13-0 in Saturday night’s game. Logan Kalis and Ray Austin combined six for ten and four RBIs while Rhett Williamson scored three runs and stole three bases. Ethan Branum pitched all nine innings for the shutout as Fort Ripley won St. Mathias 9-0.

On Sunday, Cuyuna Range scored three runs early (one in second, two in the fourth) to jump to a quick 3-0 lead before Ben Stall for St. Mathias hit a two run homer to cut the lead to 3-2. It would stay that way until the bottom of the seventh where the Devils picked up two more runs to take the 4-3 lead. Josh Haberman stayed strong and held off the Miners for the 4-3 win to eliminate Cuyuna Range. Haberman pitched the complete game allowing only eight hits, three runs, and threw seven strikeouts.

In Nisswa, Fort Ripley struck right away with seven runs in the first four innings to jump to a 7-0 lead. Jeremiah Piepkorn started the rally for the Lightning by hitting a two run homer in the bottom of the fifth with Jason Roepke following Piepkorn with another homerun to make 7-3. In the sixth, Logan Kalis singled down the left field line to score another run for the Rebels and the Lightning responded with a sacrifice fly from Brett Jenkins that scored two because of an error from Kalis. Jason Roepke hit his second home run in the seventh and then added an rbi double in the bottom of the ninth to make it 8-7 when a ground ball was misplayed and scored the tying run. With two outs in the bottom of the eleventh, Adam Hardy was a at third when the Rebels’ pitcher Brett Kramer threw a wild pitch that scored Hardy to give the Lightning the 9-8 win. Fort Ripley will host St. Mathias in an elimination on Saturday.    

East Division:

            On Saturday, Buckman scored seven runs late in the game to break a 5-5 tie against Royalton in the seventh inning as Cory Egan tossed all nine innings and struck out 13 to lead the billygoats to a 12-5 victory. In the other game, Pierz opened up a scoreless game in the top of the fourth inning with two runs and would hold that lead until the bottom of the seventh when Rick Schlieman for Lastrup hit a two-run single to give the Lakers the lead. The Lakers would add one more run as Scott Janson threw the complete game to give Lastrup the 4-2 win.

On Sunday, Royalton bounced back from the loss against Buckman to defeat Pierz Brewers 6-2 to eliminate the Brewers and the Riverdogs keep their season alive. In Buckman, Brandon Lochner went three for four at the plate with a double for the Lakers and scored two runs and had two RBIs to help lead Lastrup to a 9-5 upset victory over the division champion Buckman. Shawn Lanners had a double, home run, and three RBIs for the Billygoats. Buckman will host Royalton in an elimination game on Saturday.

West Division:

            On Saturday, Sobieski hosted the Flensburg Falcons and scored ten runs in the first three innings (three in the first, four in the second, three in the third) to jump to an early 10-0 lead. The Skis coasted from there and ended the game in seven innings as they won 11-1.

In Upsala, Joe Bartkowicz got things started for the Blue Jays as he hit a two run homer in the first to jump to an early 2-0 lead. Upsala would pick up four more runs in the second inning and gave Randall a quick 6-0 deficit. In the seventh, the Blue Jays tallied three more runs to make it 9-1 before Matt Swanson hit a three homer to end the game at 12-1. Swanson pitched all seven innings allowing only one hit and one run; he also went three for five at the plate with a home run and five RBIs.

On Sunday, Randall struggled at the plate again as they only got one hit off of Flensburg’s pitcher Luke Thoma who coincidentally also pitched a complete game in the Falcon’s only win in of the season against Randall earlier in the season. Flensburg scored eight runs in the sixth inning as they eliminated the Cubs 11-0 in seven innings.

In Sobieski, the Skis showed no mercy as they blew out Upsala 12-0 in seven innings and held the Blue Jays to only two base hits. Sobieski scored two runs in the first and six in the second and picked up four more as the game went on. Six of the Skis’ starters had multiple hits and Tyler Jendro pitched five shutout innings giving up the only two hits to the Blue Jays. Upsala will host Flensburg on Saturday in an elimination game.

South Division:

            On Saturday, lefty Peter Burg was sharp on the mound for Freeport as he tossed a complete game allowing four hits and only one run to St. Wendel.  Trevor Van Heel had three of the four hits for the Saints and scored their only run in the fourth inning on a single by Lee Maciej to give them a 1-0 lead at the time. Freeport was held scoreless until the bottom of the seventh where the Black Sox would capitalize on three errors by the Saints to score five runs and would win 5-1.

In Avon, Kyle Collins had a very solid outing going seven innings allowing one run on three hits while striking out nine against St. Stephen. Matt Meyer went two for five with a double and three RBIs and Scott Litchy went three for three scoring twice to help lead the Lakers to a 7-1 victory over the Steves.

On Sunday, St. Stephen took control of the game early by building a 3-0 lead against St. Wendel with a 2-run double by Dylan Hollenkamp in the second followed by a home run by Jason Slivnik in third. The Steves added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 6-1 and had a 8-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. Brent Van Heel belted a three run bomb and then Jordan Van Heel connected on a solo shot to make it 8-7 where the Steves would hold off the Saints for the win to continue their season. Nick Krippner pitched seven good innings for St. Stephen allowing only one run on three hits.

In Freeport, Chad Hess hit a solo homer in the first and the Black Sox added three more runs in the fifth inning to build a 4-0 lead. Avon came back in the seventh with 2 rbi hits by Luke Manthe and Riley Voit to tie the game. Freeport responded in the bottom half with an rbi single by Nate Klaphake to take the 5-4 lead. The Black Sox kept the Lakers bats in check the rest of the way to win 5-4. Avon will host St. Stephen on Saturday in an elimination game.    

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