Instead of riding one big inning to move past their opponents like they did in their first three games of the state tournament, the Watertown Red Devils decided to spread out the scoring output, pouring on the runs early and often Sunday. The Red Devils tallied 32 hits in two games, defeating Milroy 10-0 and Watkins 6-3 to move on to the championship game.
Watertown kicked off Sunday with 18 hits against the Milroy Yankees. Patrick Tschida singled in the lead-off spot and Ben Smith joined him on base following an error. Mitch Kelzer and Zach Iten then plated the two runners to put the Red Devils up 2-0 in the first inning.
In the fifth, Jadrien Keavy bunted safely and moved to second on a passed ball before a Tschida double scored the run.
Watertown scored two more in the sixth when Kelzer doubled and Iten homered to put the score at 5-0.
Another successful bunt led to a Red Devil run when Jake Anderly reached base safely and scored on an RBI single from Tschida.
Watertown then ended the game early with four runs in the eighth to give them a 10-run lead. Matt Butler drove in two RBIs on a double, then RBI doubles from Jackson Meyer and Anderly concluded the game with the Red Devils up 10-0.
Anderly and Ryan Hangartner both had four hits in the win, with Tschida tallying three, Butler and Iten recording two each. Kelzer, Meyer and Keavy each had one hit. Iten drove in three runs, Butler and Kelzer batted in two each. Also tallying an RBI in the win was Anderly, Meyer and Tschida.
Tschida earned the win on the mound, scattering four hits across eight innings with six strikeouts and no runs.
Jake Tauer, Andy Schmidt, Matt Bauer and Jacob Hughes each had a hit for the Yankees.
Watertown 6 Wakins 3
The Red Devils returned to action Sunday to take on the Clippers, tallying 14 hits in the win.
Watertown again grabbed the lead early, with Tschida drawing a walk, stealing second and scoring on a Kelzer single.
The Red Devils then gave themselves some breathing room with three runs on five hits in the third. Smith singled, Kelzer hit an RBI double, Iten singled, Hangartner hit an RBI double and Butler knocked in a run on a single to put Watertown up 4-0.
Four more hits in the sixth gave the Red Devils a 6-0 lead. Anderly tripled and scored on an RBI single from Keavy, Tschida and Smith both singled, then pulled off a double steal that say Tschida crossing the plate on a steal of home.
Down but not out, the Clippers fought back in the bottom of the sixth to score a pair of runs. Nolan Geislinger and Lincoln Haugen both singled, then scored on RBI singles from Kevin Kramer and Dan Berg. A double play ended the rally however, as Keavy, Hangartner and Iten worked together to end the inning without any further damage. Watkins threatened again in the eighth by loading the bases, but Watertown only allowed one run to cross the plate before ending the inning again with multiple runners left on base.
Five Red Devils had multi-hit games – Smith (3), Kelzer (2), Iten (2), Butler (2) and Anderly (2). Also tallying hits were Tschida, Hangartner and Keavy. Kelzer drove in two runs, while Hangartner, Butler and Keavy each had one.
Holt Hunziker earned the win in 6.33 innings of work, striking out six while allowing just six hits and two runs. Jonah Lewis finished the game with three strikeouts and two hits in 2.67 innings.
Brenden Ashton and Nolan Geislinger led the Clippers with two hits each, while Kramer and Berg accounted for the two RBIs.
The Red Devils face the Sobieski Skis Monday, Sept. 6 at noon in Waconia. The Skis defeated Alexandria 9-6 and Sartell 5-1 on Sunday to reach the title game.