New Berlin - The New Berlin Lakers and Brookfield Bulldogs each won division tournament championship games on Sunday afternoon to qualify for the Grand Championships in Land O' Lakes baseball.
The Lakers lost the first game of their best-of-three set with the Racine Kiwanis on Aug. 15 by a 6-3 count, but bounced back to defeat the Kiwanis twice on Sunday.
They prevailed in the first game, 4-1, then blasted Racine, 17-4, to earn the Eastern Division crown.
Brookfield played just once last week and downed rival Pewaukee, 14-9, on Sunday to claim the Western Division title.
New Berlin will open the Grand Championships at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Cedarburg's Behling Field. The Mercs won the Northern Division crown with a perfect 18-0 mark and did not have to take part in a playoff series. Thus, they have not played in two weeks.
The Mercs are led by veteran pitchers Joe Daniels and Steve Hopfensperger and a crew of seasoned hitters, but they have also worked some recent high school graduates in with success.
The Lakers will then return to Malone Park at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 26 to face the fourth division winner, Rome.
Brookfield visits Rome at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 25 and goes back to McCoy Field to take on Cedarburg at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 26.
The Bulldogs and Cedarburg met in the Grand Championship finals last season, with Brookfield prevailing.
- John Rech
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