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Wadena-DC captures consolation championship

Wadena-Deer Creek's Mason Snyder slides in ahead of the throw against Pelican Rapids for one of its nine runs in the 9-0 victory. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal1 / 4
Wadena-Deer Creek's Jake Dykhoff receives a high-five from head coach Ron Schertler after hitting his go ahead three-run home run against New London-Spicer. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal2 / 4
Wadena-DC's Noah Roers delivers to the plate during his complete-game effort against Pelican Rapids during the Minnesota State Division II Tournament. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal3 / 4
Wadena-Deer Creek's Noah Ross puts the tag on New London-Spicer's John Perkins at second base during the consolation championship game. Jason Groth/Pioneer Journal4 / 4

The American Legion baseball season ended with a blast for the Wadena-Deer Creek Post 171 baseball team. Jake Dykhoff's three-run home run in the seventh inning secured a 4-1 victory over New London-Spicer, giving Wadena-DC the consolation championship on Aug. 4 in Pelican Rapids.

The home run came in support of Justin Dykhoff, who was in a battle with New London-Spicer' Trent Pientka. The two pitchers limited the opposition, but it was a pair of mistakes by Pientka that proved to be the difference. Max Phillips started the rally with a single, which was followed by one from Preston Warren. Pientka induced a fly ball for the second out.

Jake Dykhoff sent the first offering from Pientka over the fence in left, but it was a foul ball. The next offering, he deposited over the fence in left and kept it fair. Justin Dykhoff finished the complete game effort off in the bottom of the seventh, securing the consolation championship.

Justin allowed one run on six hits. He struck out four and walked two batters.

Pientka was the tough luck loser for New London-Spicer. He allowed four runs on seven hits. He struck out three and walked a batter.

Opportunities to score in the game were few and far between. Both teams put two guys on base in the first, but couldn't push a guy acrss. However, they matched each other in the third inning. Warren reached on an error and scored when Justin Dykhoff reached on a two-out error in right field.

A bases loaded walk to Derek Dolezal tied the game in the bottom half of the inning when New London-Spicer loaded the bases. Dykhoff worked out of the jam with a pop out in foul territory.

It remained that until the seventh when Wadena-DC broke out with the big rally.

Defense played a key role in the tight game along with solid pitching from both teams. Wadena-DC committed one error and it was on a hard-hit ground ball. For much of the game, the defense came up with the key plays including a force out at home and throwing out two baserunners on attempted steals.

Jake Dykhoff finished with two hits and three runs batted in. Colby Schertler added a pair of hits in the contest. Max Phillips, Warren and Ross finished with hits as well.

The victory capped of a pair of wins on Aug. 4 and improved their record to 17-3 overall. Wadena-DC was one of just three legion teams to end their season with a win.

Wadena-DC vs. Pelican Rapids

Noah Roers followed his District Championship performance with a stellar complete-game shutout of Pelican Rapids in the consolation semifinals. Wadena-DC spotted their starter with early run support and he shut the door down on the hosts for a 9-0 victory.

Roers had command of the zone. He didn't walk a batter or hit a batter while he scattered five hits and struck out eight.

Wadena-DC broke the game open in the third inning with six runs on five hits. Justin Dykhoff and Lleyten Pettit drove in single runs, while Mason Snyder and Warren drove in two runs each in the big inning.

Wadena-DC scored single runs in the first, fifth and sixth innings to put the hosts away. Jake Dykhoff doubled home a run in the first, while Max Phillips plated a run when he reached on a fielder's choice in the fifth and Wyatt Hamann grounded home a run in the sixth.

Ross and Jake Dykhoff had two hits each, while Warren, Justin Dykhoff, Hamann, Pettit, Snyder and Phillips had hits in the game. Warren and Snyder drove in two runs each in the victory.

Wadena-DC vs. Sauk Centre

The Wadena-Deer Creek American Legion baseball team used a pair of walk-off victories to get to the Minnesota Division II State Legion Tournament. However, it was Sauk Centre returning the favor as they earned a 4-3 extra inning win on Aug. 3 at Pelican Rapids in the opening round.

Dylan Haskamp came through in the clutch at the plate and on the mound. Haskamp went the distance and came up with the big hit that keyed the two-run rally in the eighth for Sauk Centre. Haskamp allowed three runs on six hits. He struck out 10, did not walk a batter but hit one.

Alex Kowski was a thorn in the side of Wadena-DC as well. He finished with three hits and two runs batted in. He helped break up a double play, which allowed the game-winning run to come around third.

Everytime Wadena-DC grabbed the lead, Sauk Centre answered, including the eighth inning. Noah Ross singled and scored on a double by Jake Dykhoff, to give Wadena-DC the 3-2 lead. However, Haskamp doubled with one out to start their final rally. Jacob Zollman roped a single down the first base line, scoring Haskamp to even the game. Wadena-DC went to the bullpen and a wild pitch allowed Zollman to move to second. Kowski was intentionally walked and Dusty Karl hit a ground ball to short. Wadena-DC got the out at second but the throw to first was up the line, which allowed Zollman to score.

Jake Dykhoff took the loss. He went seven and a third innings before being removed due to pitch count. He gave up four runs on seven hits. He struck out 16 batters.

Wadena-DC jumped ahead in the first inning. Ross reached on a fielder's choice and scored on an RBI single by Justin Dykhoff.

Yet, Sauk Centre came right back. Kowski connected for a two-out double which brought in Haskamp, who singled.

Wadena-DC grabbed the lead in the third when Jake Dykhoff doubled. He moved to third when Justin Dykhoff reached on an error. Wyatt Hamann struck out, but the ball got away from the catcher and the throw to first was low, allowing him to reach and Dykhoff to score.

Once again, Kowski had an answer for Sauk Centre when he doubled home Zollman who reached on an error which tied the game at two.

Jake Dykhoff finished with two hits, a run scored and a run batted in. Noah Ross, Wyatt Hamann and Bryce Cooper each finished with hits for Wadena-DC.

Kowski and Haskamp combined for five of the seven hits. Zollman and Andrew Bick had hits for Sauk Centre.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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