Left-handed starters Kevin Auth and Tyler Kronstedt both pitched outstanding amateur baseball games for Rum River to lead the team to next weekend’s Region 1C tournament.
In the July 26 Eastern Minny League West playoff opener at Hinckley, Auth struck out 13 and allowed just two earned runs and five hits when the Bandits defeated Nowthen 6-2. The Bandits gave Auth a little cushion with a 5-0 lead after the first two innings. Kronstedt rapped out three of the Bandits’ 14 hits in the win, with two hits each coming from Tim Koplitz, Mike Scardigli, Tom Kordiak and Jake Gagne.
Rum River returned to Hinckley on Sunday and earned a berth in the region tourney by downing West top-seed Sartell 9-3. “MegaKron” Kronstedt saw his slider hitting the spots when he had a no-hitter going for six innings on the Stone Poneys. A leadoff double in the top of the seventh was Sartell’s first hit, and that runner scored on a one-out double to break up the shutout.
By that time, however, the Bandits already owned a 5-0 lead. They scored once in the first and made it 4-0 with three in the fifth. In that inning, Kronstedt reached on an error, then Scardigli coaxed a two-out walk. Kordiak followed with a clutch single to center to plate Kronstedt, and Scardigli and Kordiak came home on passed balls.
Kronstedt’s flare single to center and an RBI grounder by Koplitz raised the Rum River lead to 5-0 in the top of the sixth. The Bandits answered the Poneys’ run with three more scores in the eighth on RBI hits from Andy Julkowski and Koplitz. Kordiak finished with three hits in the win, and Kronstedt struck out nine while allowing just four hits.
Mora defeated Hinckley 5-3 July 27 to also advance to the Region 1C tourney out of the EML. Playing for two final region berths will be Nowthen at Sartell July 29 and Quamba at Hinckley July 30.
Braham 0-2 in EML games
Eastern Minny East top-seed Mora racked up 14 hits while defeating Braham 7-1 in their July 26 playoff opener at Hinckley. The Blue Devils opened up a close game with three runs in the sixth, and the Snappers got on the scoreboard with a run in the eighth.
The Snappers ended their inaugural season when Quamba exploded for nine runs in the first inning and won the July 27 elimination game 10-3 in Hinckley. Jeremy Anderson earned a complete-game win for the Cubs, allowing nine hits and striking out two. Sam Solberg and Matt Solberg combined for five hits for Quamba.
Redbirds drop three games
Isanti dipped a bit with three losses last week before heading into the last games of the regular season. On July 25, Champlin defeated the Redbirds 10-5 in Metro Minny League action. Joe Ramberg paced Isanti with three hits and two RBI, with two hits coming from Brian Schultz and Kyle Johnson. Starter Adam West took the loss with five earned runs over 5.3 innings.
Elk River won a non-league match-up 8-1 on July 26. Bud Heifort returned to the mound for Isanti, giving up three earned runs over 5.3 relief innings. Wade Reichmann threw three shutout innings in relief– his longest pitching stint since elbow surgery two summers ago.
On Sunday, Blaine blanked the ‘Birds 5-0 in MML action, getting three earned runs against starter Ramberg over the first seven innings. Tyler Schaff had two hits, including a double, for Isanti in the loss. Blaine is ranked fourth in Minnesota Class B baseball, and Forest Lake is ranked eighth.
Next Isanti games: July 30 at Champlin (7:30 p.m.); July 31 at Ramsey (7:30 p.m.); Aug. 2 vs. Hamel (1:30 p.m.); Aug. 3 vs. St. Michael (2 p.m.)– end of regular season.
Metro Minny League: Forest Lake 16-1, 22-5; Blaine 14-2, 28-5; Champlin 13-3, 23-9; Anoka 9-7, 18-7; Isanti 9-8, 17-13; St. Francis 8-7, 18-10; Coon Rapids 9-9, 19-12; Ramsey 5-11, 8-15; East Bethel 4-13, 8-16; Hamel 3-14, 3-16; Big Lake 3-17, 4-18.