When Lastrup meets Waconia in the Sweet 16 round of the Class C state tournament at 5 p.m. Saturday at St. Cloud it will mark the third game it has played an opponent it has never faced before.
Waconia, whose nickname, like Lastrup, is the Lakers, was runner-up in the 2011 state tournament, its first state appearance since 1931.
In the first two rounds of this year’s state tournament, Waconia has posted two impressive wins, beating Stark 5-1 and pounding Morris 21-3.
“They are on a pretty good roll right now and breaking that roll will be a difficult task,” Lastrup manager Shawn Fischer said. “Chris Bullis, a right-handed pitcher, has recorded the win in each of Waconia’s first two state tournament games. We expect that’s who we’ll see on Saturday.
“We know they have been ranked very high in the state all year long and come into Saturday’s game with a 28-6 record. They play a tough regular-season schedule, including a couple of good tournaments throughout the summer. We know we are in for another tough matchup.”
Lastrup has also scored a pair of impressive wins in this year’s tournament. It blanked Clear Lake 5-0 in the first round and followed with a 5-1 win over Jordan last weekend.
Against Jordan, Lastrup seized a 1-0 lead in the third and tacked on two runs in the seventh and two in the eighth.
“That was more than enough for Chad Weiss as he pitched another solid game in the state tournament,” Fischer said. “He had the Jordan hitters off-balance and was very much in control of their hitters through the eighth inning. They did not get a runner to third until the bottom of the eighth.
“Jordan was a very solid ballclub, both pitching and hitting, and Chad was able to keep them under pretty good wraps. Jordan did manage to put one on the board in the bottom of the ninth but Chad was able to close the door.
“Defensively, we played pretty solid again. At the plate we were able to come through with a couple of timely hits and that’s what it takes to be successful at the state tournament.”
If Lastrup gets past Waconia, it would play the Fergus Falls/Milroy winner at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. It would have to play again Sunday at 7:30 p.m. to make the championship game at noon Monday.
“I’m proud of our guys and how they have played the first two rounds.” Fischer said. “We have played some pretty good baseball to this point and I hope we can keep it going on Saturday.
“There are a lot of good teams that have been eliminated from the tournament and there are a lot of really good teams still remaining in the final 16.
“As an amateur baseball player in Minnesota, anytime you get the opportunity to play baseball on Labor Day weekend you know you have had a successful season. That opportunity does not come around too often. Hopefully, we can make the most of our opportunity this weekend.”
Chad Weiss, P; Reggie Litke, C; Rick Schlieman, 1b; Brandon Lochner, 2b; Dan Saehr, SS; Jason Sadlovsky, 3b; Dustin Schmaltz, LF; Nate Janson, CF; Scott Janson, RF; Dave Woitalla, DH.
Mike Bialka, sports editor, may be reached at 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark.