The Stewartville-Racine Sharks strung together 5 successive hits and scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th tonight to defeat Cannon Falls 8-7 in Region 5C Amateur baseball action.  The Sharks started their scoring in the first inning and the Bears tied the game with a run in the third.

Cannon Falls lead off hitter Braxton Lindow started the third with a single, stole second base and scored on a Keith Meyers hit.  Meyers advanced to second base on a throw home on the play.  When the inning ended Meyers was a third base.  It should be noted the Bears had bases loaded in the second inning and did not score.

Stewartville-Racine played some small ball in the 4th inning to get a couple of runs across home plate.  Following an infield single by Josh Evans to start the inning, Kip Gronholz laid down a bunt to get him in scoring position.  Number nine hitter Jack Boehm also executed a bunt for a single placing runners at the corners with one out.

The top of the order pulled through again when Ben Ihrke connected for a two run single.  The inning ended with a double play.

Cannon Falls erupted for 6 runs in the 6th inning when 11 men went to the plate.  The inning started with a strikeout before back to back singles by Carlton Lindow and Luke Winchell.  Winchell stole second base when the Sharks didn't pay any attention to him with Lindow at third.  An error occurred on a Alex Tauer hit ball scoring Lindow.  The second out of the inning was recorded and the floodgates opened for the Bears.

Zeke Williams smacked a two run single, Jake Christenson had a infield single, Braxton Lindow hammered a RBI single, Brock Peterson clubbed a two run double before Keith Meyers was walked.  A fly out ended the rally.

Jared Woodward started the game for Cannon Falls.  He went four innings throwing 58 pitches, 32 strikes, no strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 hit batter.  He was 9 of 20 first pitch strikes.

Quinton Lindow took over in the 5th inning.  The second pitch he threw ended in a home run over the extended fence in left field by Sharks cleanup hitter Derek McCready.  After that Lindow threw two innings of scoreless ball.

Sharks starting pitcher Tyler Schmitz went the distance throwing 133 pitches, 64 strikes with 14 hits allowed, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 hit batter.  The Bears had the tying run in scoring position and a go ahead run at first base in the top of the 9th. Rich Burr hit a sinking liner to right field that was caught and Alex Tauer was thrown out trying to get back to first.  It was the game ending double play.

Stewartville-Racine had a 4 run 8th inning to re-take the lead.  Josh Evans led the inning off with a walk.  Kip Gronholz singled.  Number 9 hitter in the order Jack Boehm executed another bunt to load the bases with nobody out.  Lindow had a 2-1 pitch to Ihrke stroked for a two run double.

The Bears made a pitching change to Luke Winchell.  The first man he faced was the pitcher Schmitz.  The count was 2-1 when he ripped a two run single to give the Sharks a 8-7 lead.  Nine Stewartville-Racine batters came to the plate and five had hits.

Winchell did get a couple of huge strikeouts to keep the lead to one run going into the final scheduled inning of the game.  He faced 5 batters, allowed 2 hits, had 2 strikeouts, no walks, threw 25 pitches, 14 strikes.

Lindow took the loss while throwing 3+ innings, 55 pitches, 34 strikes, 1 strikeout, 3 walks, 6 hits.

Line totals were:

Stewartville-Racine   8 runs   15 hits   1 error   10 runners left, 4 in scoring position
Cannon Falls             7 runs   14 hits   0 errors 10 runners left, 6 in scoring position

Earlier in the day Wanamingo defeated Winona 7-1 in the elimination bracket to stay alive and end the Chiefs season.  Austin ended Owatonna's year with a 10-1 victory over the Aces.

In the other winner's bracket game Red Wing beat Lake City 8-7 to assure themselves of a repeat trip to state.

Red Wing and Stewartville-Racine collide at 8:00 p.m. Friday in a winner's bracket game.   Both are assured of a trip to state now.  They continue play to determine the Region 5C Champion.  The title team receives a bye the opening weekend of the State Class C Amateur Baseball Tournament.  Region 5C final weekend games will be played in Owatonna.

Cannon Falls and Wanamingo play at 10:00 a.m. Saturday with the loser ending their season.  Lake City and Austin tangle at 1:00 p.m. with the same scenario.  Winners of those games play at 4:00 p.m. Saturday.  The winner of that game is assured of a trip to state playing again at 7:00 p.m. Saturday against he loser of the Friday winner's bracket game in a Region seed game.

The loser of that contest will be the #3 seed out of Region 5C at state.  The winner will play the winner's bracket victor and have to win twice to gain the Region title.