Waconia forces winner take all matchup with Watertown following win over New Germany

WACONIA – The Waconia Lakers have been working towards a division title all season long. They moved one step closer as they took care of business against New Germany, holding on for a 5-4 victory over the Dutchmen Tuesday to keep their division title alive.
The Dutchmen, a team that has taken a big step forward this season, had a chance to play from ahead in the opening inning. A bloop single from Riley Ohm and an infield single from Tate Wischnack gave New Germany a pair of baserunners with one out. However, the Dutchmen would strand a pair as Kodey Simon worked out of trouble early on.
In the bottom of the first, Waconia took advantage of their scoring opportunities. After Justin Schultz opened the inning with a walk, Robbie Smith followed with a single to give the Lakers two base runners with no outs. Max Kalenberg gave the Lakers a 1-0 lead with an RBI single, but Waconia didn’t stop there. Simon helped himself out on the mound with a sacrifice fly and RBI to put his team up 2-0 through an inning of play.
The Lakers would add to their lead in the bottom of the third. After Kalenberg led off the inning with a double, Jake Hendricks drove in a run with an RBI double of his own to make it 3-0. Simon would add another sacrifice fly and RBI to push Waconia’s lead to 4-0.
Down by four all of a sudden, New Germany chipped away at the deficit. A dropped third strike and an error gave the Dutchmen two baserunners, and they took full advantage of it. With the bases loaded, Tate Wischnack delivered an RBI single to put New Germany on the board. Dawson Martin would add a sacrifice fly and RBI to bring the Dutchmen within two.
Waconia would hold on down the stretch for the huge win despite New Germany getting within a run. The Dutchmen had their chances throughout but left 12 runners on base as they couldn’t take advantage of them.
Schultz led the way for the Lakers in the win out of the leadoff spot with three hits and a run scored. Kalenberg and Hendricks each added two hits apiece as well.
On the mound, Ben Smothers picked up the win in relief. He went two and two-thirds innings allowing three runs off four hits while striking out four. Simon got the start with four shutout innings while Jack Stoddard closed things down on the mound for Waconia.
For New Germany, Tate Wischnack and Ohm led the way with four hits each in the loss. Soren Marker, Ryan Callister, and Tanner Micke each added one hit.
With the win, the Lakers will wrap up the regular season Sunday against the Watertown Red Devils, which will be a winner take all matchup for the Crow River Valley League North title. The winner of that matchup will be the division champions and the No. 1 seed in the Region 7C Tournament. The loser of that matchup will be the No. 3 seed in the CRVL League playoffs that begin next week.