With all four state tournament bids secured, Region 7C began the seeding process with a trio of games. The Waconia Lakers kept their impressive pitching performances rolling with a 5-1 win over Green Isle to advance to the championship game.
With both Carver and Plato coming off emotional wins that secured their spot at the state tournament, it was the Bluejays who improved their spot in the seeding process with a 6-3 win.
In the third and final game of the day, Plato kept their tournament run alive with a 2-1 win over Green Isle to reach the Region 7C championship game.
Waconia 5, Green Isle 1
HAMBURG – Pitching and defense were once again the key for the Waconia Lakers as they advanced to the Region 7C Championship game with a 5-1 win over the Green Isle Irish.
Aaron Wukmir was stellar once again on the mound for the Lakers in his second appearance of the tournament. Wukmir went seven innings allowing just one unearned run off five hits while striking out five and walking none. The run allowed by the Lakers was the first run they’ve allowed all tournament long.
Waconia used a four-run third inning to break open the game. After Green Isle got the first out of the inning, Robbie Smith and Derek Martin had back-to-back singles and the Lakers loaded the bases after a walk to Max Kalenberg. Another walk to AJ Friedrich extended Waconia’s lead to 2-0 and with two outs, veteran Chris Bullis delivered two more runs for Waconia with an RBI single to left. Ronnie Olson would add an RBI double and the Lakers took a 5-0 lead into the fourth inning.
Martin led the offense with a three-hit day for the Lakers in the win. Bullis finished with one hit and two RBI while Kalenberg drove in a run and scored one himself.
For Green Isle, Lewis Meyer had three of the six hits for his team in the loss. Andrew Uglum scored their lone run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Diego Waisanen in the top of the sixth.
Plato 6, Carver 3
HAMBURG – A back-and-forth affair early on, it was the Plato Bluejays coming out on top against the Carver Black Sox. Trailing 3-1 heading to the bottom of the second, the Bluejays scored five unanswered runs the rest of the way to pick up a 6-3 win over the Black Sox.
Plato used a four-run second inning to take control of the game and leaned on their pitching the rest of the way. Reece Schwirtz went all nine innings on the mound holding the Black Sox to just six hits.
With the loss, Carver is the No. 4 seed out of Region 7C for the Class C State Tournament.
Plato 2, Green Isle 1
HAMBURG – Runs were once again hard to come by for the both Irish and Bluejays in their matchup. Neither team could muster much offense but it was Plato who came through with one clutch hit by Adam Prehn in a 2-1 victory over Green Isle.
Scoreless through two innings, Prehn was the one who delivered for the Bluejays with a two-out RBI double to give his team the lead.
The clutch hit by Prehn proved to be the game-winner as Plato held on down the stretch. Green Isle rallied in the top of the ninth after Diego Waisanen led off the inning with a double. The Irish pushed across a run on a Josh Kraby groundout but the rally ended there as the Bluejays won their fourth-straight elimination game.
Will Hoernemann was in control throughout for the Bluejays in the win. He went all nine innings allowing one run off five hits while striking out eight.
Austin Dent turned in another strong performance on the mound keeping Green Isle in the game. He went six innings allowing two runs off six hits while striking out four.
With the loss, Green Isle is the No. 3 seed out of Region 7C. Plato advances to the Region 7C title game for the first time since 2018 with the win.
Plato and Waconia will square off for the Region 7C title Sunday at 10 a.m. in Hamburg. The Bluejays would need to beat the Lakers twice. Waconia is in the Region 7C title game for the second-straight season.
Follow Kip Kovar on Twitter/X for in-game updates on the Region 7C championship game Sunday.