Blaine Storlie, rounding third after hitting a home run for Bunke Construction, is congratulated by third base coach Ryan Ostern. The team scored 19 runs in each of two wins last week. S. LEE EPPS/SPRING GROVE HERALD
Blaine Storlie, rounding third after hitting a home run for Bunke Construction, is congratulated by third base coach Ryan Ostern. The team scored 19 runs in each of two wins last week. S. LEE EPPS/SPRING GROVE HERALD
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With the championship already decided in men's softball at Canton, the final night of the regular season featured a high-scoring struggle for second place. Third-place Bunke Construction created the drama by upending second-place Larson Well Drilling 19-16. But Larson later cemented its runner-up position with a 24-6 clubbing of fourth-place Soland Carpentry.

    Soland had started the four-game slate by edging champion Mabel Liquor 12-11. It was only the second setback of the season for Liquor, which still finished with a two-game margin over the nearest challenger.

 

Soland 12, M. Liquor 11

   Mabel Liquor led most of the way but was finally overtaken when Soland Carpentry sent six runs across the plate in the sixth. League champion Liquor did not respond in seventh as Soland avoided a season sweep against Mabel Liquor.

    Mabel Liquor had the only home runs, seizing the lead (2-1) in the second with a two-run home run by Parker Johnson. Another two-RBI blast from Blaine Coyle followed in the next inning. The lead was extended to 8-1 before Soland launched a rally.

ML  022  412  0 - 11

Sol  100  326  x - 12

Bunke 19, Larson 16

    A seven-run second inning gave Bunke Construction the lead for good, but Larson's seven-run third inning cut into a 10-1 deficit and left the outcome in doubt until the end.

    There were some outstanding defensive plays, but there were also some fireworks from the bats with five home runs.

    Bunke had three of those big blasts, starting with the icebreaker - a solo shot by CD Hanson for a 1-0 lead. The other two were 3-RBI homers from Blaine Storlie in the second inning, and Dustin Bunke in the fifth.

    Larson Well countered with Rocky's three-run homer and a two-run blast by Edubs.

    Larson won two of the three encounters versus Bunke this season.

Bunke  172  531  0 - 19

Larson 017  521  0 - 16 

Bunke 19, SG Legion 13

   After a scoreless start for both teams, the bats took over. Spring Grove Legion led only once at 6-5.

    Hitting their second home runs of the night for Bunke, Hanson parked a grand slam in the third, and Storlie legged out an in-the-park round tripper in the sixth. Bunke swept all three games in the season series with SGL.

Bunke  055  341  1 - 19

Legion 062  131  0 - 13

Larson 24, Soland 6

   Larson came back from the earlier loss, and at the same time, squelched Soland's hope of a second upset. The nightcap went only five innings due to the run-rule.

    Both home runs came in the same half-inning. The winners, during a nine-run explosion, received a three-run home run from Paul Tollefsrud and a grand slam by Edubs, the latter's second fence-clearer of the evening.

    Soland won one of three games this season versus LWD despite being outscored in the series overall 51-19.

Larson  379  23 -24

Soland  123  00 - 6

   The Herald thanks Wendy Storlie, the Tuesday night correspondent, without whom this coverage would not be possible.

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FINAL STANDINGS

Mabel Liquor 10-2

Larson Well Drilling 8-4

Bunke Construction 7-5

Soland Carpentry 4-8

S. Grove Legion 1-11