The Wadena-Deer Creek American Legion team will have a chance to defend its Northeast Substate title with a 6-1 victory over Pillager at Elmer Becker Field in Deer Creek on July 22.

Wadena-Deer Creek was upended by Pierz in its second round game 3-1 and had to face Pillager for the second time during the West Division Tournament to advance to the Substate playoffs. Wadena-Deer Creek received timely hitting and a couple of breaks from the Pillager defense on its way to the victory.

Wyatt Hamann had two hits and drove in two runs, while Justin Dykhoff and Josh Dykhoff added a pair of hits each in the victory for Wadena-DC. Lleyten Pettit was strong in the complete game win on the bump. He allowed just one run on five hits while striking out four and walking four batters.

Wadena-Deer Creek jumped ahead in the third inning. Colby Schertler and Noah Ross singled to start the rally. However, Ty Swenson recorded a pair of pop outs, but could not avoid the bat of Hamann. Hamann laced a single which scored Schertler for the game's first run. Pillager responded in the fourth with a run. Griffin Decker singled and eventually scored on a throwing error on an infield single by Sam Jenson to even the score at one.

Wadena-Deer Creek's Colby Schertler slides into home with the headfirst slide, scoring the game's first run in Wadena-DC's 6-1 victory over Pillager. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal
Wadena-Deer Creek's Colby Schertler slides into home with the headfirst slide, scoring the game's first run in Wadena-DC's 6-1 victory over Pillager. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal

It was a short-lived tie as Wadena-DC capitalized on a Pillager error in the fourth. It was one of four errors committed by the Huskies in the game. Lleyten Pettit reached and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Colby Schertler to make it 2-1.

Wadena-DC broke the game open in the fifth inning. Singles by Justin and Josh Dykhoff sandwiched an intentional walk to Hamann to load the bases for Payton Rondestvedt. With the infield drawn in, he hit a hard smash that found its way through the second baseman to plate two runs. Max Phillips ended the rally with a sacrifice fly, making it 5-1.

The final tally came in the sixth inning when Hamann doubled home his second run of the game, giving Wadena-DC a 6-1 lead.

Pettit shut the door in the seventh by working around a walk for the complete game victory. Ty Swenson took the loss for Pillager. He allowed six runs on nine hits. He struck out two batters and walked three.

Pierz upends Wadena-DC

Pierz forced the winner take all game with Pillager when they defeated Wadena-DC in the second round of the West portion of the District 8 Tournament 2-1 in Park Rapids Area.

With out in the fifth inning, Peter Schommer executed a safety squeeze, scoring a pair of runners to give Pierz the 2-0 lead late in the contest. Jonah Prokott doubled and Rylee Buch singled to reach base and eventually score on the squeeze play.

Wadena-DC answered with a run in the sixth inning when Noah Ross walked and advanced to third on a single by Justin Dykhoff. After a pair of strike outs, Colby Schertler doubled in a run, but Wadena-DC could not push another run across in the inning.

In the seventh, Wadena-DC threatened when Josh Dykhoff singled and moved to second on a bunt by Max Phillips, however, he was left stranded as Wadena-DC dropped just its second game of the season.

Justin Dykhoff finished with two hits, while Colby Schertler added a hit and an run batted in. Josh Dykhoff finished with a hit as well. Noah Roers took the loss. He went the distance, giving up just the two runs on six hits and three walks.

Cody Kimmin picked up the win for Pierz. He allowed one run on four hits in six innings of work. He walked three and struck out four batters. Prokott pitched the seventh and recorded the save for Pierz.

Wadena-DC tops Pillager

Wadena-DC opened the West Division of the District 8 playoffs with a 3-1 victory over Pillager in Park Rapids Area on July 20. Justin Dykhoff pitched into the seventh for the win. He gave up one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out 12 in continuing his dominance over Pillager.

Max Phillips recorded the final two outs of the game for the save, inducing a pair of ground balls to close out the game. Sam Jensen took the loss. He gave up three runs on six hits while walking four and striking out one batter in a complete game effort.

Preston Warren finished with a pair of hits, while Roers, Hamann, Schertler, Chase Nordlund and Pettit each recorded a hit in the win. Roers scored two runs while Hamann and Nordlund each drove in a run.

Wadena-DC advances to the Northeast Substate Tournament which will take place in Marble, beginning on July 26 with six opening day games and concludes on Sunday, July 28 with the winner advancing to the Division 2 State Tournament in Ely.