Both the Pierz and Royalton baseball teams are still alive and in the hunt for a Section 6AA title and a state berth.
However, the Pioneers are in an easier position after two straight wins to open up the tournament.
The fourth-seeded Pioneers smashed No. 13 Osakis in the opening round, 13-0, in five innings.
Kolten Happke was a beast on offense with a 3-for-3 day and two doubles, four runs scored and two RBIs. Both Jeremy Bingesser and Andy Winscher were 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Winscher and Jonah Prokott combined to allow just one hit, one walk and struck out six in five innings combined on the mound.
Pierz followed the victory with a 4-1 win over No. 5 Melrose, Wednesday.
Bingesser smashed a home run and had two RBIs on the day, as a three-run fifth inning broke a 1-1 tie and put the Pioneers on top for good. Happke too was strong once again, going 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI.
Noah Cekalla was strong on the mound, allowing just one run on two hits and striking out six in a complete game.
Pierz advanced to play the top-seeded Foley Falcons in the semifinals of the winner’s bracket at 5 p.m., Friday, but results were not available by press time.
If the Pioneers won, they’d play at 7 p.m., Monday at Dick Putz Field. If they lost, they’d play at 7 p.m., Monday at Joe Faber Field, both of those fields are in St. Cloud.
Royalton opened the Section 6AA Tournament with a 5-2 victory over No. 14 Kimball, Tuesday.
Grayson Suska was a strong performer, striking out five in three innings of work on the mound. He also scored twice.
Drew Yourczek had an RBI double, while Brady Petron scored and drove in a run. Blake Albright earned the win on the mound.
The Royals were then upset by the No. 6 Cathedral Crusaders, 4-3, in Royalton, Wednesday.
The two teams were neck and neck early on, but the Crusaders took a 4-1 lead after six innings.
Royalton scored twice in the bottom of the seventh, but could not claim a comeback win.
Gabe Gorecki and Carter Petron both had a pair of hits an RBI. Gorecki, Brady Brezinka and Drew Yourczek all scored runs in the loss.
Petron went five innings as the starter, allowing one earned run on six hits.
The loss shifted the Royals into the loser’s bracket, where they played No. 7 Annandale, Friday, but results were not available by press time.