The first weekend of the Region 7C Tournament has come and gone. In the first round games, the higher seed held their own as they posted a 4-0 record against the lower-seeded teams.
In the second round, things got interesting as the Green Isle Irish and Plato Bluejays secured their spots in the Class C State Tournament.
The tournament was well attended in the first four days. Through four days, the attendance number is 1,598 so far.
Green Isle 3, Brownton 1
WACONIA – Age was just a number for Brian Scherschligt and Mac Zachow in their first game of the Region 7C tournament. Scherschligt and Zachow, a combined age of 84, led the Irish to a 3-1 victory against the Brownton Bruins Thursday night.
After a strong start from Alex Twenge on the mound, Scherschligt finally came through for the Irish offensively. With the bases loaded and two outs, Scherschligt drove in a pair of runs with a clutch two-out single to give the Irish a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh.
Having a two-run lead, the Irish turned to the ageless wonder in Zachow to close things down.
Zachow held the Bruins in check the rest of the way as the Irish moved to the state qualifier game scheduled for Sunday afternoon in New Germany.
With the loss, the Brownton Bruins will face the loser of the Carver Black Sox and Young America game in an elimination game.
Carver 5, Young America 0
WACONIA – Mark Ulrich was dominant as the Carver Black Sox won their first game of the Region 7C tournament. Ulrich threw a two-hit shutout as the Black Sox came through with a 5-0 victory.
Carver’s Matt Mitchell also had a big day at the plate for the Black Sox. He went 2-for-3 with three RBIs to lead the charge offensively. Kyle Dalton, the league batting title winner, also added a pair of hits.
Matt Mann and Roch Whittaker had the lone hits for the Cardinals in the loss.
Plato 4, Watertown 0
NEW GERMANY – The Plato Bluejays cruised to a 4-0 victory against the Watertown Red Devils in their opening game of the Region 7C tournament. Chris Odegaard was dominant from the get-go on the mound, as the Bluejays held the Red Devils’ offense in check.
Odegaard threw all nine innings for the Bluejays, earning the win. He allowed just four hits, while striking out seven.
Nolan Lepel led the charge offensively for Plato. Lepel went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs in the win.
Waconia 12, Winsted 1
NEW GERMANY – Whenever in doubt, call on yourself. Ryan Naughton, manager of the Waconia Lakers, called on himself to pinch hit in the bottom of the eighth inning with the lead intact. Naughton closed things down with a three-run walk-off home run, as the Lakers finished off the Winsted Wildcats in eight innings.
Kodey Simon had the Wildcats off-balance at the plate all game long. He went seven innings, allowing just one earned run off of five hits.
The Lakers had contributions from all over the lineup in the win. Ben Smothers set the tone at the top of the lineup scoring three runs. Chris Bullis, Sam Schiffmann, Robbie Smothers, Derek Martin, and Craig La Plante all had at least one RBI in the win for the Lakers.
Brennan Gilyard was the lone bright spot in the lineup for the Wildcats, driving in the lone run of the game.
Green Isle 5, Carver 1
NEW GERMANY – The Green Isle Irish finally got the monkey of their backs as they came out victorious in a matchup with the Carver Black Sox. After losing twice to the Black Sox in the regular season, the Irish got the big win as they clinched a berth in the Class C state tournament with a 5-1 victory.
Veteran Brian Scherschligt once again came through with some timely hitting for the Irish. Scherschligt got the big inning started with a single to score two runs and give the Irish a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning. The Irish were just getting started though, as they would add four more runs in the big inning.
Six runs was more than enough for Cody Hallahan on the mound. After giving up one run in the top of the first, Hallahan posted six scoreless innings to give the Irish the win. Mac Zachow closed the door on the Black Sox, and the Irish were the first team in Region 7C to punch their ticket to the state tournament.
Young America 5, Brownton 4
NEW GERMANY – Sometimes, all you need to do is put the ball in play. With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, Young America’s Cole Peters stepped to the plate with a chance to win the game. With Hunter Rickaby on second as the game-winning run, Peters was able to do something he hadn’t been able to all game long. Peters, who entered the at-bat 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, hit a ground ball to first that had some funky spin on it. Peters, who has good speed, forced Brownton’s Matt Schwichtenberg to hurry the play as the ball ran under his glove and Rickaby came around to score the walk-off win and keep their season alive.
The Cardinals came back from a 3-0 deficit after the first inning after starter Alex Buckentine failed to make it through the first inning. What started as a nightmare, quickly turned around as Hayden Meyer came to the rescue. Meyer entered the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the first inning. Meyer got Brad Daak swinging to get the Cardinals out of the inning, but Meyer was just getting started.
Meyer retired the first 14 batters he faced in the game, as he gave the Cardinals a chance to get back into the game. Brice Panning rewarded Meyer for his efforts on the mound with some power to get the Cardinals going. In the bottom of the third inning, Panning blasted a two-run home run cutting the deficit to just one run.
The Cardinals would go on to win on a walk-off error, keeping their season alive and setting up a matchup with the Waconia Lakers in a state qualifier game.
Watertown 11, Winsted 2
NEW GERMANY – The Watertown Red Devils had the long ball working as they kept their season alive with a 11-2 victory against the Winsted Wildcats. Ryan Hangartner, Patrick Tschida, and Mitch Kelzer each homered as the Red Devils advanced to a state qualifier game.
After Winsted jumped out to a 2-0 lead, Tschida turned the whole game around with one swing of the bat. With two men on, Tschida gave the Red Devils a 3-2 lead with one swing of the bat with a home run to right-center field. The Red Devils would go on to score 11 unanswered runs, as the Wildcats had their season come to a disappointing end.
Justin Kohls earned the win for the Red Devils on the mound. He went all nine innings, allowing just one earned run off of five hits while striking out eight.
Plato 4, Waconia 0
NEW GERMANY – Fans who stuck around for the final game of the weekend witnessed something special.
Plato’s Adam Prehn delivered a perfect game as the Plato Bluejays punched their ticket to the state tournament with a 4-0 win against the Waconia Lakers as Prehn was perfect throughout.
Prehn was in control for most of the game, but he had some help from left fielder Kyle Panning in the bottom of the second. Waconia’s Derek Martin thought he tied the game with a solo home run, but Panning made an incredible catch to rob Martin of a home run as he crashed into the fence.
After Panning’s robbery, Prehn continued to mow down the Lakers, sending down all 27 batters he faced in order.
Chris Odegaard was an impossible out for the Lakers to get. He went 4-for-4 with two doubles and three runs scored to pace the offense. Matt Odegaard added two RBIs, while Nolan Lepel and Tyler Lang each drove in a run, as well.
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