The Sleepy Eye amateur baseball team split its final two games of the regular season and will play a best-of-three game series against Essig to start playoffs.

The Sleepy Eye amateur baseball team split its final two games of the regular season and will play a best-of-three game series against Essig to start playoffs.


On July 18, the Indians traveled to Springfield where they lost 7-5. Sleepy Eye was first to strike, after Joey Walter led off the second inning with a triple, followed by a walk and a stolen base from Sean Mathiowetz. It was then the squad of Zach Salfer, Scott Salfer, Matt Berkner, and Nolan Helget who got on base and eventually scored a run apiece to take a 4-0 lead.


In the third, the lead was brought to 5-1 after Jake Bohnen scored with help from Alan Woitas and S. Salfer. However, the run was the last the Indians would score as they were held back the rest of the game. Meanwhile, the Tigers rallied back in the third with two runs on a walk and a couple of hits, including a triple. The momentum continued in the fifth, where Springfield managed even more hits to score three more. The Tigers sealed the deal with a final run in the sixth.


Lead hitters were Walter, who had two RBI, and Bohnen, who went 2-for-5 with one run. Behind them were Z. Salfer, who went 1-for-2 with one run, and S. Salfer, who went 1-for-3 with one run. Defensively, Woitas and Z. Salfer combined for just one strikeout and two walks with three innings apiece.


On July 20, Sleepy Eye hosted Stark in its final game of the regular season. It was also John Mangen Day, a memorial event in remembrance of Mangen.


The Indians were first to strike, after a couple of walks and hits sent in Andrew Woitas and Walter to take a 2-0 lead. After another run for Sleepy Eye was scored in the third, the Longhorns were put on the board in the fifth after a double from Nathan Kral which eventually brought home Jake Mangen.


A pair of singles by Walter and Andrew Woitas plus a sac hit, a stolen base, and a walk eventually brought home Brandon Streich, a run that turned out to be a crucial one in the final innings. Stark managed two runs in the seventh, due to four singles which brought the score to 5-3. The Longhorns kept their pace up in the ninth, after two singles and two walks brought home Mitch Neid, but the Indians grabbed the final out to end the game.


Walter led Sleepy Eye at bat, going 4-for-5 with one run scored. Andrew Woitas meanwhile, went 2-for-3 with two runs and one RBI. Alan Woitas added three RBI in the win. On the mound, Sean Mathiowetz and Andrew Woitas combined for five strikeouts and one walk over eight innings.


For Stark, Craig Fischer went 3-for-5 with one RBI, while Jake Mangen went 2-for-4 with two runs. Defensively, Caleb Hillesheim pitched the entire game, recording six strikeouts and four walks in the process.


New Ulm stands on top of the Tomahawk East League in the final standings with a record of 16-4, with Lamberton and Hanska tied at 15-5. Stark and Sleepy Eye follow with records of 14-6 and 12-8, respectfully. The Indians will take on Essig in a best of three game series starting on Friday in Sleepy Eye, while Stark will take on St. James in the Region 2C Tournament. The top three teams will advance to the State Amateur Tournament in Belle Plaine and Jordan.