Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Aug. 16, 1999

Large crowds attend amateur baseball tournament in Winsted

Baseball fans in record numbers headed to Denis M. Campbell Memorial Field on Sat., Aug. 7, and Sun., Aug. 8 to take in the first weekend of the Amateur Baseball Association's Region 7C state qualifying tournament in Winsted.

The tournament, hosted this year by the Winsted Amateur Baseball Association and Winsted Wildcat Team, is a four team double elimination tournament, running two weekends, with two teams advancing to the State "Class C" Amateur Baseball Tournament. This year's state tournament will be held in Granite Falls and Marshall, beginning on Thursday, Aug. 19 and running through Labor Day.

This year, as in the past few years, Region 7C is comprised of teams that are all from the Crow River Valley League, two from the north division and two from the south division. The Winsted Wildcat team plays in the north division.

From the south, qualifying through league play offs, were the Hamburg Hawks as the number one team and the Green Isle Irish as the number two team.

From the north, the New Germany Dutchmen came in as the number one team and the Watertown Red Devils, number two.

New Germany upended the Winsted Wildcats in two games in league play-offs to qualify for the region tournament and end Winsted's season. New Germany, along with Green Isle were the two favored teams to reach the state tournament.

The Crow River Valley League(CRVL) was granted their own region because of their dominance in play over the past few years. The Plato Blue Jays from the CRVL South won the state tournament in 1996 and The Glencoe Brewers from the CRVL North captured the title in 1998.

Although, the Wildcats did not qualify for the tournament, Winsted was represented at the tournament by players Aaron Schultz and Neil Schlagel, playing for New Germany.

Each team qualifying for the tournament is allowed to draft two players from their respective leagues. Drafted players may only pitch or catch.

New Germany had the first and third picks of the draft and took Schultz and Schlagel from Winsted.

Schultz led the CRVL in home runs and RBIs and Schlagel nabbed the top batting average at .520. Both pitch, catch, and play infield for the Wildcats.

In game one of the tournament, with Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Association Hall of Fame Member Fran Kappel from Winsted throwing out the first pitch, favored New Germany was up ended in an exciting game by Green Isle 5 -4. New Germany held the lead most of the game, until Green Isle's third basemen drilled a three-run homer in the eighth. Aaron Schultz caught the last three innings for the Dutchmen, reaching base on an error in his only at bat.

In game two, the Red Devils from Watertown crushed the Hamburg Hawks to advance to the winners bracket with Green Isle.

On Sunday, Aug. 8, in game three, Hamburg bumped New Germany out of the tournament and advanced to the next weekend of play. Schultz started on the mound and Schlagel started behind the plate for the Dutchmen. Schultz collected one hit in one at bat and Schlagel hit the ball hard each time in three trips to the plate.

In game four, with the winner advancing to the state tournament, Watertown came up victorious again, defeating Green Isle 9-4.

The following weekend's games will be Green Isle vs. Hamburg, with the winner qualifying for the state tournament. The winner also plays Watertown to determine a region champion and seeding for the state tourney.

The large turnout of area baseball fans at Campbell field set a new Region 7C attendance record for the first weekend of play.


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