Lower echelon teams continued to sabotage championship plans or throw a scare into the league leaders in the men’s slow pitch softball race at Canton. Two weeks ago, three teams came in sharing the league lead; all three have tasted defeat during the ensuing two rounds of play.
After week six action, only Larson Well Drilling remained on top. Seven days later, Steuart Lab regained a share of the elusive lead while former co-leader Soland Carpentry suffered through a second straight upset setback.
On the Crunchy Side 18
Mabel Liquor Store 12
Crunchy scored the first 11 runs but led only 14-11 after five innings. Rick Aske hit a grand slam home run during an eight-run Mabel Liquor rally. It was his second round tripper in two innings as his team battled back.
But Crunchy scored four of the game's final five runs. Dalton Woellert hit a solo homer for the winning team. The teams have now split their two-game league series.
Larson Well Drilling 20
Steuart Labs 8
The luster was quickly removed from this first-place showdown as Larson Well opened with a 10-run first frame highlighted by a Riley Austin grand slam.
Steuart had clawed back within five runs (13-8) in the top of the fifth. But the game ended early in the bottom of the inning with the run rule after a three-run fence-clearing blast by Paul Tollefsrud.
Marti Lesnar hit a home run for Steuart. Last week's coverage failed to include a homer by Dustin Bunke.
It was the second loss of the season for Steuart, both coming against Larson Well Drilling.
Spring Grove Legion 19
Soland Carpentry 6
With only one previous win, the Legion rather surprisingly ousted Soland from a share of the league lead. Soland took an early 2-0 edge before Legion came to bat, but Legion led 13-2 after two innings. The run rule ended it after five innings.
Iver Otterness had lifted a three-run stroke over the fence as Legion went up 13-5 in the third. Legion avenged a season-opening setback versus Soland.
Steuart Labs moved back into a first-place tie with a slim 13-11 win (over a last-place team) combined with Larson Well Drilling's slim 21-20 loss. Soland Carpentry could have made it a three-way tie again but was denied decisively by last-place Mabel Liquor Store.
Steuart Labs 13
Spring Grove Legion 11
Held scoreless for the first three innings, Steuart came from two runs down to take 9-3 lead after five innings.
Legion then ripped off five runs to get back within one run (9-8). In the final inning Steuart made it 13-8 with a grand slam home run by Trevor Storlie, who had previously hit a two-run homer.
Now down 13-8, Legion rallied again, but three runs would not be enough.
Mabel Liquor 17,
Soland Carpentry 2
Mabel Liquor Store won for only the second time this summer while denying Soland Carpentry a share of the league lead.
ML scored five runs in the first inning. Soland answered with two, but that would be the end of the Soland scoring.
Tory Nelson ("Toad") hit a pair of three-run homers while Kyle Folstad added a solo shot for the winners.
On the Crunchy Side 21
Larson Well Drilling 20
After a 10-run inning, Larson Well Drilling appeared safe with a 20-8 lead in the middle of the sixth inning. But Crunchy scored 13 runs in its final two times at bat to overtake the league leaders. Crunchy's nine-run sixth made it 20-17. Crunchy shut out LWD in the top of the seventh and then scored four game-winning runs. Crunchy's Nate Gosman belted a two-run home run in that final surge. He previously had the game's only other round tripper.
Steuart Labs 5-2
Larson Well 5-2
Soland 4-3
Crunchy Side 3-4
SG Legion 2-5
Mabel Liquor 2-5