Irish, Mallards, Coyotes and Warriors win in playoffs

Veseli’s Matt Perkinson pitched a complete game and picked up the win in Veseli’s 13-4 victory over Prior Lake Thursday, July 27. (Chuck Kajer Photo)

St. Patrick, Montgomery, Veseli and Shakopee won their best-of-three Dakota- Rice-Scott League playoff games last week, earning spots in the Region 3C Tournament that began Sunday, July 30. Three of the teams swept their series in two games while Shakopee had to go to three games to defeat St. Benedict.

The four winners join the top four seeds, Faribault, New Market, New Prague and Union Hill, in the the Region 3C playoffs, which will continue through Sunday, Aug. 13. Four teams from the region will advance to the State Class C Amateur Baseball Tournament in Green Isle, Hamburg and Norwood. That tournament begins Friday, Aug. 18.

St. Patrick sweeps Webster St. Patrick defeated Webster in two very different games last week to win their playoff series last week. In the first game, the Sox led 3-2 going into the eighth inning, but the Irish took the lead for good with a grand slam. In the second game, The Irish dominated to earn the sweep and the No. 5 seed in the Region 3C tournament. In Game 1, which was played Wednesday, July 26, Matt Ambroz hit a solo home run in the top of the first for St. Patrick, but Webster would answer with three in the bottom half to take a 3-1 lead. In the bottom of the second, the Irish scratched another in to make the score 3- 2. Both pitchers, Jeremy Weiland for the Sox and Bill Dunker would settle in after that. The Sox had nine hits, but none after the fourth, and no one would score again until the top of the eighth. Jordan Goracke singled and Matt Ambroz was subsequently hit on an 0-2 pitch. Both men advanced on a ground ball that was bobbled and an out was made at first. Josh Simon walked, loading the bases. Kyle Sticha then took an 0-1 pitch over the left field fence for a grand slam, making it a 6-3 game. Josh Simon came in the game in relief and saw the minimum six batters to close the door. Game 2 saw a lot less drama, as the Irish took a 5-0 lead and coasted to a 10-0 win. Zach Seurer got the win, allowing just one hit in six innings and Nick Friedges pitched an inning of relief. Jack Friedges had three hits and Jordan Goracke, Matt Ambroz, Seth Ambroz and Josh Simon had two hits each. Jake McDonald had the only Webster hit. John Barten took the loss.

Mallards top Aces in 2 Montgomery defeated Lonsdale in two games to claim the No. 6 seed for the Region 3C Tournament. In Game 1 on Tuesday, July 25, Lonsdale traveled to Montgomery to take on the Mallards to open the best of three series. Ted Christian picked up the win for the Mallards, going nine innings allowing just three hits and picking up 12 strikeouts. Ryan Thompson started for the Aces, going three innings. The Mallards were able to collect 10 hits, with Jaron Christensen getting three and Mike Kocina two. The Mallards scored five runs in the bottom of the third, which proved to be enough in the 10-1 final. Game 2 was played Thursday, July 27, in Lonsdale, with the Mallards claiming a 7-4 win. Jaron Christensen started for the Mallards, going 7-1/3 innings to pick up the win. Mike Flicek closed the door, allowing one hit in 1-2/3 innings. Joe Sabal started for the Aces, going seven innings and allowing only three earned runs. Marty Kalina, Tyler Milford and Jordan Yetzer all had two hits for the Aces. Johnny Krocak had two hits for Montgomery, including a double, while Eric Iverson had two hits and two RBIs. Tom Flicek and Mike Kocina also had two hits for the Mallards.

Warriors upset Mudcats Veseli upset Prior Lake, sweeping the Mudcats in two games to win their playoff series and earn the No. 8 seed into the Section 3C Tournament. On a day where most thought they wouldn't get a game in with rain falling and sirens going off in the distance, the Lakers and Warriors managed to square off in Prior Lake with no delays. The Warriors started off the scoring in the top of the third with a single run, however the Mudcats came out swinging in the bottom of the inning responding with three runs. They added another run in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-1 lead, but the Warriors did not roll over. They chipped away at the Mudcats’ lead with two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and eventually fought back enough to reclaim the lead in the top half of the eighth inning scoring two more. Although the Mudcats tried to rally in the later innings, they came up just short leaving the Warriors with a 6-4 win. Although he pitched a strong 6 1/3 innings, starter Ben Doerr did not get the win. That stat fell into the hands of reliever Ryan Bastyr who recorded the last eight outs of the game. Fighting through some muscle cramps in the humid night air, Topher Rose went eight impressive innings but was dealt the loss. Corey Friedges, Doerr and Nate Novak all had multi-hit efforts for the Warriors and Cole Bjorge led the offensive charge for the Mudcats with two hits. The Mudcats traveled to Veseli for Game 2 Thursday, July 27. The first four innings of the game were a real back and forth battle. Prior Lake started the scoring in the top of the first with a run of their own however Veseli responded by also scoring a run to even up the score. The Warriors scored two in the bottom of the second to take the lead but the Mudcats weren't done yet. They managed to string together some hits in the top half of the fourth inning, including a two-run homer by Cole Bjorge, to reclaim the lead. The Warriors’ sticks caught fire in the bottom half of the fourth as they once again reclaimed the lead with two more runs. They added one more in the fifth and exploded for four in the seventh and three in the eighth, all while holding the Mudcats at bay. Matt Perkinson went the distance for the Warriors receiving the win. Ben Morrison took the loss for the Mudcats. Nate Novak had three hits for Veseli, while Cody Shimota, Perkinson, Nathan Simon and Ryan Bastyr each had two.

Coyotes top Saints in three In the only series to go three games, Shakopee defeated St. Benedict two games to one to earn the No. 7 seed in the Region 3C playoffs. St. Benedict used six different pitchers in losing to Shakopee 9-8 in 11 innings Tuesday, July 25, in Shakopee. Andy Lazzari and Alec Pauly both had two hits for the Coyotes, with Pauly getting two doubles and three RBIs. Lazzari was the winning pitcher with 3-2/3 innings of scoreless relief. St. Benedict was led by Andrew Huss, who had three hits, and Cullen Bahn and Michael Pauly had two each. Jeremy Heitkamp took the loss. St. Benedict came back to tie the series at one game apiece with a 6-5 win Thursday, July 27, at the Mini-Met in Jordan. No details were available. The two teams were back at the Mini-Met on Friday, July 27, with the Coyotes taking a 13-7 win. Shakopee blasted 22 hits in the game.