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Nisswa team wins playoff title

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The Nisswa Blackridge Bank baseball team won the Northern Lakes pony league playoff title on Thursday, July 25. Nisswa outscored three playoff opponents 33-8 to claim the playoff title.

Nisswa was seeded third for the playoffs, but defeated Baxter Black, Aitkin Black and Aitkin Red in the playoffs. On Thursday, Nisswa won 13-7 on the strength of an 11-run fifth inning. They took a 1-0 lead in the third on a double by Zach Sjoblad, who scored on an error.

Aitkin added an unearned run in the fourth, but Nisswa regained a 2-1 lead when Nate Traut walked and eventually scored. Aitkin gained a 4-2 run with three runs in the fifth off Westlund. But answered in the fifth on five walks, an error, RBI hits by Kody Kettleson and Sjoblad and a two-run single by Garrett Westlund. They also had RBI singles by Chase Larson, Traut and Lehman.

Hunter Larson relieved Gage Westlund, but he was later replaced by Ethan Lehman. A groundout drove in the third run of the inning, but Lehman struck out the next two batters for the win. Nisswa outhit Aitkin 11-5 as Sjoblad was 2-for-3. Sjoblad and Traut both scored twice.

“It was a big win for us,” said Nisswa coach Jon Larson. “The players got some big hits, especially some of the younger guys. We made some nice plays in the outfield, and had some nice pitching.”

On Monday, July 22, Nisswa shut out Baxter Black 9-0 with Lehman going four innings and Gage Westlund pitching in relief. Sam Larson and Sam Choice were each 3-for-3.

On Tuesday, July 23, Nisswa topped Aitkin Black 11-1 in four innings. Lehmen pitched the first three innings and Gage Westlund pitched the fourth. Lehman, Kettleson and Traut each had two hits while Traut added a three-run triple.