The second-seeded Nisswa Lightning advanced to next weekend’s North Division championship with a seven-inning, 20-5 victory over the third-seeded and host Aitkin Steam Sunday, July 14, their second win in the best of three series.
Nisswa will face the top-seeded Fort Ripley Rebels for seeding into the Region 8C playoffs.
The Lightning scored early and often against Aitkin. They plated three runs in the first and four more in the second, three coming off a Drew Boland home run.
They added three in the third inning highlighted by an Aaron Jenkins double and an Adam Hardy double in the fourth helped tack on four more runs. Nisswa wrapped up its scoring with six more runs in the top of the sixth.
Logan Olson singled in two runs for Aitkin in the fifth and the Steam added their final three runs in the sixth.
Logan McElfresh earned the win for Nisswa and Jake Lynn was tagged with the loss for Aitkin.
Both East Division games were suspended early Sunday evening due to rain and lightning. The winner’s bracket game between the Buckman Billygoats and Pierz Bulldogs was halted in the bottom of the fifth with Buckman leading 3-0. The losers bracket game between the Royalton Riverdogs and Pierz was suspended in the second inning. The makeup date for both games has yet to be determined.
St. Stephen upset top-seed Avon 8-0 to advance to the South Division championship game and Upsala will play for the West title after beating top-seeded Randall 5-3. Their foes will be determined Saturday in the losers bracket.
Lightning 26, Aitkin 1
On Saturday, July 13, Nisswa tallied 13 runs in the first inning and cruised to a big win in seven innings over the Aitkin Steam in game one of the best-of-three series in the North Division playoffs.
Jeremiah Piepkorn, Jason Roepke, Sam Peterson and Adam Hardy belted homers for Nisswa.
Roepke pitched five innings and picked up the win.