Nisswa manager Aaron Jenkins didn’t know much about Blue Earth before the Lightning nipped the powerful Pirates 1-0 in the opening round of the Class C state tournament last weekend at Brownton.
So it might bode well for the Lightning that Jenkins also knows little about the Ada Athletics, who play Nisswa at 5 p.m. Friday at Hutchinson in the second round.
Ada (20-5) shaded Dassel-Cokato 4-3 in the opening round, scoring twice in the bottom of the 11th.
Jenkins plans to start Fort Ripley draftee Brett Kramer, who shut down Blue Earth. The right-hander allowed just five hits, walked four and struck out six but hit three batters in a complete game.
“Brett threw well,” Jenkins said. “He had a few jams but he’s the type of pitcher who works his way out of jams when he gets into them. He stranded the bases loaded a couple times with big strikeouts.
“There were very few hard-hit balls off him. He did a good job throwing strikes and mixing speeds.”
Kramer’s counterpart, Lee Hodges of Blue Earth, also fired a complete game, allowing seven hits, one earned run, and three walks. He struck out seven.
“Their pitcher kept us off-balance all game,” Jenkins said. “He did a great job holding our offense down, just like Brett did a good job holding their offense down.”
Nisswa (17-6) won the game with two out in the sixth on Jason Roepke’s run-scoring single. Jenkins said the win gave the Lightning a boost.
“Definitely, it did,” he said. “We had a great pitching performance out of Brett on the mound, which really helped out, and a timely hit from Roepke and Luke Schumer. Luke started off that rally with a double, I walked, and Roepke singled.”
Game on radio, online
KLTF-AM Radio 960 in Little Falls will broadcast the game, which also will be streamed online at fallsradio.com.
1, Drew Boland, CF
2, Luke Schumer, LF
3, Aaron Jenkins, 3B
4, Jason Roepke, RF
5, Adam Hardy, 1B
6, Morgan Shepherd, C
7, Mark Germain, 2B
8, Tyler Wittwer, DH
9, Brett Jenkins, SS
Pitcher: Brett Kramer (draftee from Fort Ripley)
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5861.