By Melissa Marohl, Sports Writer
Two rounds into the Region 7C tournament, and the Waconia Lakers have already qualified for a return trip to the 2012 Class C state tournament, along with three other Region 7C teams.
The Lakers will wrap up the Region 7C tournament this weekend. If the Lakers win the region, they will earn an automatic bye in the first round of the state tournament. The state tournament will be held in St. Cloud Aug. 17-Sept. 3.
Lakers 8, Carver 2
In the first round of the 7C bracket, the Lakers took down the Carver Black Sox on Aug. 2.
In the first inning, Ben Smothers and Ronnie Olson got the offense up and running for the Lakers with back-to-back doubles. The Lakers led 5-0 after the first, and continued to collect runs until Tom Lyons wrapped things up in the eighth inning with a solo home run.
Holding back the Black Sox from the Laker mound was Dalton Sawyer and Eric Durkin. Sawyer threw seven innings, allowing one run, walking two batters and striking out five. Durkin closed for the Lakers and had one strikeout.
Lakers 8, Watertown 1
Facing the Red Devils on Aug. 5, Cole Hytjan took the mound for the Lakers. Throwing all nine innings, Hytjan allowed one run on four hits. He walked two batters, and struck out an additional six.
Waconia collected 12 hits during the game against Watertown, and the offense was against led by Olson and Smothers. Olson was 4-4 at the plate with a single, three doubles, and a walk. Smothers was 2-3 with a double, a solo home run, and two walks. Peter Brown also had two hits, while Chris Bullis, Jeff Chrest, Nick Litfin, and Tom Lyons each picked up one.
The Lakers will next face the Green Isle Irish this Saturday, Aug. 11 at 1 p.m. in Young America. The Irish defeated Winsted Aug. 5 in a 9-1 contest. A Laker win puts the team in the championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
If they lose, they will still have a chance at the championship bracket, but the Lakers will have to play Saturday night at 7 p.m. in order to advance to Sunday.