With the Victory League regular season ending Saturday, July 18, several teams clawed for wins to better their records and gain tiebreakers.
A six-run fourth inning propelled the Royalton Riverdogs to a 9-7 win over the Pierz Bulldogs, July 9.
Cole Jendro hit a grand slam in the inning to break open the game, and the Riverdogs took a 9-3 lead into the ninth inning.
The Bulldogs made it interesting with a sac fly from Skip Toops and a two-run double from Mason Herold. Louis Gruber hit an RBI single, and it was a two-run ball game.
However, the Bulldogs would get shut down by Zack Cekalla to end the inning. Nathan Psyck pitched eight innings to earn the win.
Aside from Jendro, Brady Brezinka drove in two runs, while Nate Benusa scored twice. Cekalla scored once and drove in one run.
Ft. Ripley improved its playoff standing with a pair of wins.
First, the Rebels held off a pesky St. Mathias squad, 3-1, Saturday, July 10.
Bryce Flanagan went all nine and allowed just two hits for Ft. Ripley. He struck out eight.
Nick Jelacie and Broc Peterson each drove in runs for the Rebels, which were scored by Flanagan and Brett Kramer.
Next, the Rebels earned another close victory, 3-1, at the Randall Cubs, Sunday, July 11.
Zach Heidmann hit a two-run single, and Jason Sather drove in a run with a sac fly in the fifth for Ft. Ripley.
Ethan Branum had a strong day on the mound, allowing one run on six hits in eight innings. He struck out seven. Kramer came in and pitched a hitless ninth to earn the save.
Kramer also added two hits and a run scored. Jelacie and Josh Hukirede each scored runs along with Kramer.
Randall was led by Alec Zack in the loss. He drove in the lone Cubs run when he scored Thomas Kunkel.
Travis Wenzel allowed three runs on six hits in eight innings, striking out six.
The Pierz Brewers also earned a win, beating the Avon Lakers, 9-5, July 9.
Cody Kimman had himself a day. Not only did he get the win on 7.1 innings of solid pitching, but he also drove in four runs on two hits. Peter Schommer added a 2-for-3 day with two runs and an RBI. Rylee Rauch drove in two runs.
Sobieski earned a 3-2 win over St. Martin in a non-league game, July 9.
The Skis also earned a 4-0 shutout victory over the Pierz Lakers, Wednesday.
Pierz notched just one hit in the seven inning contest (by Mitch Woitalla).
Zach Gwost drove in two runs, while Tyler Jendro and Ben Hanowski each had RBIs.
Jake Kapphahn, Josh Wenzel and Collin Eckman all scored one run.
Alex Gwost pitched two hitless innings, and was relieved by Thomas Miller, who allowed just one hit and struck out three in five scoreless innings for Sobieski.
Brady Petron pitched despite his left arm in a cast, and allowed just four runs on four hits in six innings.
It was the second straight defeat for the Lakers, who fell, 5-2, to St. Stephen, Sunday, July 11.
The Lakers led 2-1 after four and a half, but in the bottom of the fourth, Mat Meyer smashed a three-run homer to give the Steves a lead they would not relinquish.
Peter Herman drove in two runs, while Luke Girtz had two hits, and Paul Herman and Chad Weiss each scored runs.
Preston Rocheleau went the first five innings, allowing four runs on six hits.
Finally, the Pierz Bulldogs were also defeated, 12-6, at home against Nisswa, Sunday, July 11.
Austin Gohl drove in two runs on two hits, while Teddy Dehler and Chase Becker each drove in runs. Evan Woitalla scored twice for Pierz.