The Winnebago-Blue Earth (WBE) Legion baseball team entered the Sub-District tournament as underdogs.
Ranked No. 6 in the bracket, the team fought their way to the Division II Sub-District title game.
Behind a lead-off homerun from David Franta and clutch pitching from Matthew Bell and Alan Davids, WBE defeated United South Central, 4-2, last Sunday in St. James.
Franta also homered last year in the Sub-Distict Championship game, which resulted in a 7-6 victory for WBE.
"Other coaches were really surprised after they played us to learn we were a No. 6 seed," WBE head coach Steve Sonnicksen explains. "We had a lot of ups and downs in the regular season, but right now, we are playing some great baseball."
WBE had eight hits in the game and five of them were for extra bases.
Bell pitched six solid innings, allowed two earned runs, seven hits and struck out one for WBE. However, he was pulled in the seventh and Davids inherited a bases-loaded situation with no outs.
Davids struck out two batters and preserved the win for WBE.
Brandyn Olsen and Kaylan Legred led WBE and were each 2 for 4 with a double.
Even though WBE (8-7) tallied the win and wrapped up the Sub-District Championship, USC (13-7), along with third-place finisher St. James and fourth-place Welcome/Sherburn, advance to the Second District Tournament in Redwood Falls.
WBE, who captured the Consolation Championship trophy by taking fifth place in the State Legion Baseball Tournament last year, opened District play as the No. 1 seed against host Redwood Falls last Friday.
"Our goal is return to the State Tournament," coach Sonnicksen says. "After last year, we got a taste of what it is like. Now, we think we can have a good chance at returning if we just play our style of baseball. Defense and solid pitching is what we need to rely on. However, recently our bats have been hot for us."
If WBE prevails, they will face the winner of Springfield and St. James on Saturday, July 19, at 7 p.m.
USC, the No. 2 seeded squad, faced off against Jackson.
Results will be in the next Register.
WBE 4, St. James 2
WBE rallied from behind to defeat St. James last Saturday and advanced to play USC in the Sub-District Championship game.
Pitcher Brandyn Olsen gave WBE seven strong innings contributing seven strikeouts and only allowing five hits.
WBE scored all four of their runs in the fifth inning.
David Franta started the inning off with a single, followed by another single from Alan Davids. Christain Haugh then stepped to the plate and hit a three-run homerun.