The Region 14C Champion, Bluffton Braves, will make its 2019 Class C State Tournament debut on Aug. 24 at 4:30 p.m. at Maple Lake when they take on Waterville in the second round of the tournament.
The Braves will receive a stern test from a battle-tested Waterville squad. Waterville was one of the walk off winners during the opening round of the tournament.
Waterville trailed St. Benedict 2-1 heading into the ninth inning but the Indians rallied for a pair of runs, securing the 3-2 victory over the Saints. Riley Schultz finished with two hits and drove in two runs, while Nolan Grose added an RBI for the victorious Waterville squad. Shane Sellner, Grose, Dalton Grose and Tom Gannon added hits as well in the win. All of Waterville's runs came via the long ball with Nolan Grose hitting a solo home run and Schultz delivering the two-run home run for the walk off win.
Bladyn Bartelt earned the win in relief. He allowed one hit in one inning of work. Luke Sellner did the majority of the pitching. He went six innings and allowed one run on two hits.
Waterville comes out as the second team out of Region 6, which was won by Jordan.
The Braves enter post-season play with an 11-3 Hi-10 record, which was followed by a perfect Region 14C Tournament. The Braves went 4-0 during the tournament, capturing the Region 14C with a 13-0 victory over Perham, who earned a 6-5 walk off victory over Maple Lake in 12 innings in the opening round of the Class C Tournament.
The Braves welcome Midway's Stetson Burkman, New York Mills' Brandon Kupfer and Sebeka's Kolby Kiser to the squad as draftees. It marks the second straight trip to state for Bluffton. Last year, the Braves were edged out by New Prague 7-3 in the opening round of the tournament.
If Bluffton advances, the Braves will play either Lake City or Fairmont on Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Delano.