Waterville Advances to Final Weekend
The Waterville Indians had outstanding pitching performances by Luke Sellner and Bladyn Bartelt in a 1-0 win over the Bluffton Braves Saturday. It was the second round of the Class C Minnesota Amateur Baseball Tournament in Maple Lake.
Sellner scattered 4 hits over the first 7 innings and Bartelt struck out 5 of the 7 batters he faced with no hits allowed.
The way the game started Indians fans probably didn't think their team would only have one run in the game. Leadoff batter Ty Kaus started the game with a 6 pitch at bat before a ground out. Sam Stier jumped on the first pitch from Bluffton starter Jake Dykhoff and singled.
Before the game Stier told KDHL the scouting report on Dykhoff was mid to upper 80's heat and a good slider. Dykhoff is going to North Dakota State University to play baseball following successful Junior College seasons.
Stier drew a couple throws from Dykoff while at first with Shane Sellner at the plate. Dykoff clearly threw better from the windup during the game. With runners on base he tried to use a slide step delivery to home but had trouble throwing strikes. With the count 2-0 Dykoff went back to a higher leg kick and Stier stole second.
Sellner clubbed a 3-1 pitch to left field scoring Stier for what would be the only run of the game. The first inning ended with a strike out and throw out when Sellner attempted to steal during a Ben Boran at bat.
In the bottom of the first inning the Braves got a leadoff single from Tom Tellers. He was sacrificed to second base on a very good bunt by Cody Geiser. Sellner struck out the #3 hitter, pitcher Jake Dykoff and cleanup hitter Justin Dykoff popped out to end the inning.
The Indians had a single to start the second inning by Nolan Grose. #6 hitter Luke Sellner was at the plate when a balk was called on the first pitch placing Grose at second with no outs. Sellner tried to bunt three times and was out. Riley Schultz struck out swinging and Dalton Grose struck out looking to end the threat.
Bluffton #5 hitter Kyle Dykoff singled on a 0-2 count to start the second inning. Sam Tellers hit a ground ball to second baseman Stier who quickly tossed the ball to shortstop Ben Boran to get Dykoff at second. Following a ground out Sellner walked the #8 hitter placing runners at first and second with two outs. #9 hitter Kevin Tumbert struck out looking to end the inning.
Ty Kaus had a one out single in the third but was thrown out trying to steal second base. Kaus didn't even get close enough to slide. Stier then flew out to center on a 3-1 count pitch.
Both pitchers settled into the game with Sellner retiring 9 straight batters from the second through the 5th inning. Dykoff retired 8 straight from the third inning through the first out of the 6th.
The Indians had another golden opportunity to add to their 1-0 lead in the sixth. With one out Kause had an infield single, Stier walked and they advanced on a wild pitch during a Shane Sellner at bat. Sellner popped out to short and Boran grounded out to end the threat.
Kyle Dykoff led the 7th inning off with a seeing eye single up the middle for the Braves. Following a strike out and fly out #8 hitter Skylar Mursu hit the ball hard to third base. The ball skipped off the glove of the third baseman into left field and was ruled an error.
With the tying run at second and go ahead run at first base Sellner struck out the last batter he faced. Through seven innings Sellner struck out 5 batters, walked 1, scattered 4 hits while throwing 85 pitches, 58 strikes. Sellner threw 17 of 27 first pitch strikes.
Waterville #5 hitter Nolan Grose walked to start the 7th inning and was sacrificed to second by Luke Sellner but a strikeout and ground out ended that threat.
Boran had a one out single in the 9th and went to second when Jake Dykoff attempted to pick him off at first and threw the ball by the first baseman. Boran went to third on a ground out but was stranded there when Bluffton center fielder Sam Tellers made a diving catch on a hard hit sinking liner off the bat of Luke Sellner.
Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 2019 graduate Bladyn Bartelt struck out the side in the 8th inning. Two swinging and the other looking. Batters 1 through 3. After a lead walk in the bottom of the ninth and a wild pitch allowed Justin Dykoff to take second base there was a meeting on the mound,
Dalton Grose had been warming up in the bullpen nearly the entire time Bartelt had been in the game. The decision was made to stay with Bartelt who had back to back strike outs looking before snaring a 0-1 count grounder back up the middle and throwing to Nolan Grose to end the game.
Luke Sellner with the win, Bartelt earned the save and the Waterville Indians advanced to the final weekend of the Class C State Amateur Baseball Tournament.
Jake Dykoff finished the game throwing 131 pitches, 85 strikes with 7 strikeouts, 2 walks, 6 hits allowed.
The Indians (32-2) will play the Fairmont Martins, 2-1 victors over Lake City. The Martins were the Region 16 champions. The game is 7:30 p.m. Friday in Delano.
Fairmont draftee Collin Lovell of the Windom Pirates went the distance on the mound with 9 strikouts, 0 walks, 6 hits allowed in the win over Lake City. Levi Becker hit a two run homer for the Martins.