Six games in, six Chanhassen Red Birds wins against River Valley League opponents, all but securing the No. 1 seed in next month’s Region 3B Tournament.
The Red Birds lead Burnsville by three games in the loss column with a season sweep at hand already. A victory over winless Excelsior on July 21 clinched the division.
Chanhassen, with just one six-inning, rain-shortened loss, on the season, scored 28 runs in weekend victories over Eagan (17-9) and Shakopee (11-2).
Zach Hoffman set a Red Bird record with six hits in a game, all singles, as Chanhassen had seven extra-base hits in a 19-hit parade at Goat Hill Park.
Nick Smith collected a pair of doubles and home run with three RBIs, while Ben Livorsi added a blast with a four-RBI contest.
Tommy Thompson and Kody Dalen battled through nine innings, combining for five strikeouts for the win.
Singles from Hoffman, Jackson Goplen and Aaron Pfaff led to a five-run third inning as the Red Birds pulled away for a road win at Shakopee on Sunday.
Pfaff collected four RBIs with Brandon Arnold and Ryan Diers adding three-hit nights. Blake Tritch (four innings), Brandt Thompson (two innings), Chris Choles (two innings) and Miles Nablo (one inning) combined for the victory on the mound, totaling eight strikeouts.
Chanhassen, which hosts Chaska on Sunday, July 26 at 6 p.m., will honor three former Red Birds that passed away in the last year in a pre-game ceremony. Honored will be Cy Kerber, Bob Meuwissen and Jack Kreger. The American Legion Honor Guard will be in attendance for the ceremony.
Chaska and Victoria entered play July 19 with a share of the division lead in the River Valley League at the halfway point.
The bats quiet in losses to Waconia (2-0) and Shakopee (3-2) earlier in the week, Chaska mustered just two hits off four Victoria pitchers, which combined for a 2-0 shutout at Athletic Park.
Jordan Bonk (three innings, two strikeouts), Connor Ostreich (two innings), Ryan och (one inning), and Corey Binger (three innings, two strikeouts) held the Cubs in check all game.
Down 2-0 on a Matt Dolan 2-out double, scoring Joey Costello and Carter Schmidt in the sixth inning, Chaska loaded the bases on three walks, but a pick-off at second base and a strikeout stranded three runners on.
Costello, Jon Leighton and Dolan each had two hits for the Vics, which are 5-1 in league play, one game ahead of Chaska. Mike and Steve Edlefsen collected singles for the Cubs, which got six solid innings from Griff Kilber, who allowed just two runs with four strikeouts.
Chaska was outhit 11-5 in the loss at home to Shakopee July 17.
Chase Hentges’ solo home run in the fourth inning and RBI-single in the sixth accounted for the Cubs’ scoring.
Shakopee, down 2-1, had four straight runners reach in the eighth inning, a sacrifice fly the final difference. Drake Kilber pitched seven-plus innings, striking out four batters in being charged with the loss.
Victoria suffered a tough 5-3 loss earlier in the week to Burnsville. The Bobcats strung together four hits and a walk with one out in the 10th inning.
Schmidt, Tommy Heiland and Mitchell Olson all had multi-hit contests for the Vics.
Cologne entered the week still with a shot at the Crow River Valley League South Division title.
Losses to Watertown, Waconia and Hamburg have the Hollanders, a top-10 team in the Class C rankings for the first time, needing a win or two in the final week to hand onto the second spot in the standings.
Cologne struck out 12 times at Watertown on July 15, a 6-4 loss. Like a previous defeat to Young America, an early 3-0 lead, a Kyle Brazil 2-RBI single the big hit, slipped away.
Errors led to three unearned runs as Jayce Luna took his first loss in four starts this season for the Hollanders.
At Waconia Friday, a 10-0 hole was too much to overcome despite a late seven-run, seventh inning rally, which included first career hits from Luke Lamberton, Logan Herrmann and Jett Rudd.
Torben Urdahl pitched eight strong innings in a 9-2 win over Green Isle Saturday. Jon Kummer started the scoring with a 2-run double.
Brazil was team leader with a pair of singles and double in a loss at Hamburg 6-4 on Sunday.
Cologne, which has suffered four losses in five games after a 6-1 start, looks to right the ship into the playoffs, league games at Winsted July 21 and at home in the regular season finale on Sunday, July 26 versus Brownton at 2 p.m.
Carver snapped a five-game losing streak with an 11-1 win at Glencoe on Saturday. The Black Sox, which play three games in the final week, including home to New Germany on July 25 at 2 p.m., lost to Green Isle on Sunday.