The Nisswa Lightning fell behind the Buckman Billygoats early but rallied to score a convincing 12-3 win in the Minnesota Baseball Association Class C State Amatuer championship game.

The two teams both out of Region 8.  Nisswa the Champions,  Buckman was the third seed from the region in the tournament.

The Lightning have been too hot for the Billygoats to handle.  During the regular season they played in Nisswa on June 12th and in the playoffs on July 24th with the Lightning winning by scores of 15-3 and 10-4.

Both starting pitchers today did not throw very long.  Nisswa right handed starter Chris Peterson lasted 4 batters before he went to right field.

Buckman started the game with a walk by Matt Tautges followed by a RBI double off the bat of Lane Girtz, RBI single by Noah Boser and single by Aaron Weber.

The Lightning brought in Brett Kramer right handed draftee from Fort Ripley.

Following a ground out catcher Matt Kummet stroked a RBI single to left field and Weber was thrown out easily at the plate.

Buckman had a 3-0 lead.  They would not have another hit until the 8th inning.

Buckman started Drew Beier, Foley draftee.  He went 2 1/3 innings facing 16 batters, 4 hits, 5 runs, 4 walks, no strikeouts.  He threw 65 pitches, 35 strikes.

Lightning left fielder Drew Boland started the second inning with a double off the fence on a 3-1 count pitch.  Chris Peterson hit a 1-2 count pitch to center that resulted in a error.  Shortstop Tory Miller executed a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners and Boland eventually scored on a ground out.

Beier threw to 5 batters in the third inning when Jeremiah Piepkorn stroked a single to start the inning.  Following an out Aaron Jenkins, Drew Boland and Chris Peterson were all walked bringing in the second run.

Kramer was lights out on the hill for Nisswa after coming in relief in the first inning and facing 4 batters.  He faced the minimum each inning over the next 4 innings before being lifted in the 6th inning after throwing 71 pitches, 48 for strikes.

Kramer racked up 6 strike outs, 2 walks, 1 hit over his six innings pitched.

Matt Tautges, a right hander came in relief.  He was greeted by a sacrifice fly RBI for Tory Miller then #9 batter Matt Casperson hammered a 2-2 count pitch up against the fence for a two run double making the score 5-3 and the Lightning never looked back.

Nisswa added 3 runs in the 6th inning with Casperson leading the inning off with a single, Kody Ruedissilli hit a full count pitch for a single to left field.  After a pop out Piepkorn tatooed a 2 run double.  He moved to third base on a sacrifice fly by Miller, Aaron Jenkins then clubbed a RBI single.

Tautges ended his day in the 8th inning after Aaron Jenkins demolished a 2-1 count pitch over the fence for a two run home run. Tautges allowed 9 hits over 5 innings with 7 earned runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts,

Ruedisilli opened that inning with a 1-1 count single.  Nicholas Nelson jumped on the first pitch to stroke a double.  Piepkorn clobbered a 2 run double to finish his championship game peformance with 4 hits including a double, 4 RBI and 3 runs scored.  I personally thought the official ruling of an error on a ball he crushed to third base should have been a hit.

These guys are not professionals. The ball was smashed and the third baseman knocked it down well behind the bag then tried to make the long throw to first base on time.

I had a official scorer tell me one time, "An error is an error."

Maybe on a routine type play but even the major leagues would not have ruled an error on that play.  Level of play needs to be considered when making official rulings on fielding plays.

Skills for a little leaguer are not the same as a high school player and so on.

Buckman draftee, 51 year old Mike Beier finished the 8th inning by getting the final two outs.  Beier is from Foley where he is the high school baseball coach.

Somebody mentioned to me that the 2022 tournament hosted by Faribault, Dundas and Miesville finished with the second most attendance in the history of the tournament.

That is not true.  It is better than any tournament other than last year since the 1950's.

Final attendance figure announced at Bell Field for the 2022 tournament was 18,011.  In 2021 Waconia, Chaska and Hamburg attendance was over 21,000.

Prior to that year you have to go back to 1959 to see numbers higher for the tournament than Faribault, Dundas and Miesville.  In 1959 attendance in St. Cloud was 21,454.

The all-time record was set in 1950 in St. Cloud when there was not much television or anything else (YouTube, podcasts, Iphones, streaming, hundreds of TV channels) to compete with yet.  35,318 was the tournament total that year with one class.

Faribault hosted alone in 1951 and drew 20,003.  In 1948 Shakopee saw 34,280.  New Ulm had 31,031 attend in 1953.

Screenshot of MBA Attendance Records from Their Website. Screenshot by Gordy Kosfeld
Screenshot of MBA Attendance Records from Their Website. Screenshot by Gordy Kosfeld

When Faribault hosted in 1978, 10,360 fans attended.

I was told the goal this year was 20,000.  Rain a couple of days did not help achieve it.

Sites the next five years are:

  • 2023 Delano, Dassel, Litchfield
  • 2024 Belle Plaine, Jordan, Green Isle
  • 2025 Brownton, Gaylord, Hutchinson
  • 2026 New Prague, Shakopee, Jordan
  • 2027 Cold Spring, Watkins, Avon
  • 2028 Red Wing, Cannon Falls, Miesville

Kudos to Charlie Lechtenberg and Chris Reuvers for doing the legwork to get the tournament to come to Faribault.  The Lakers players did a terrfic job getting the field ready during some rainy moments.

All the volunteers that stepped up to help Tony Langerud with the announcing, beer and food sales had volunteers, pop and water and popcorn sales were run by volunteers also.

That's what it takes to pull off a successful tournament.  Hopefully it won't take another 44 years to get the MBA to bring the tournament back to the Faribault community.

Dundas and Miesville sites I was told were run smoothly also.

Here is some Minnesota trivia for you.


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