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Tigers hold off Lakers to take sole possession of conference title

Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta outlasted Minnewaska 9-8 in eight innings Thursday to win the West Central Conference South baseball title outright.

Minnewaska (12-4, 14-5) had a chance to claim a share of the title with Morris/C-A (14-2, 18-2), but a 15-hit attack by the Tigers was too much to overcome.

Ryan Beyer singled to lead off the top half of the eighth inning and a fielder's choice moved him over the second base. Cole Riley then followed with a single to bring in Beyer with the go-ahead run.

The Lakers had Shane Bosek single in the bottom half of the frame, but a 1-4-3 double play turned by the Tigers ended the game.

The Tigers pulled ahead 4-3 in the third when Tyler Hansen and Alex Erickson hit back-to-back doubles, Beyer tripled, and Eric Riley slugged a two-run homer in the first four at-bats.

After Hansen and Erickson hit back-to-back RBI doubles and Cole Riley smashed a two-run double in the fourth for the Tigers, Minnewaska scored four of its own in the fourth, highlighted by Blake Helmick's two-run single and Bosek's RBI single. The Lakers then tied the game at 8-8 in the sixth when Bosek singled in Helmick.

Matt Lembcke pitched three innings of relief to collect the win.

Sam Mattson started on the mound.

Tyler Hansen was 3-for-5, with 2 doubles, 2 runs, and an rbi; Alex Erickson was 3-for-5, with 2 doubles, 2 runs, and 2 rbi; Ryan Beyer was 2-for-5, with a triple, 2 runs, and an rbi; Eric Riley was 2-for-4, with a 2-run HR, 2 runs, and 2 rbi; Cole Riley was 2-for-5, with 3 rbi; Brady Valnes was 2-for-4, with a double; Brody Bahr was 1-for-1.