The Winnebago-Blue Earth (WBE) Legion baseball team had two opportunities to defeat St. James and advance to the State Tournament for the second time in as many years it didn't work out how they hoped.
WBE fell to St. James 10-6 last Saturday in Redwood Falls in the second game against the familiar foe.
St. James came out of the gates swinging. They put up seven runs in the first inning, all with two outs.
Quinn Huisman gave up seven hits and St. James jumped to an early 7-0 lead after the first inning.
Matthew Bell relieved Huisman and finished the game for WBE.
Huisman had an RBI single in the second inning to score the first run for WBE.
Christian Haugh also powered a two-run homerun for WBE to narrow the lead. He also contributed a double.
But, St. James added one run in the fourth inning and tacked on two more insurance runs in the fifth inning.
Haugh also had an RBI double in the fifth.
Down six runs, WBE had one last rally in them fueled by a Seth Anderson's two-run homerun in the seventh inning. However, that was all WBE could come up with.
Brandyn Olsen had two hits, both going for doubles.
WBE had four doubles and two homeruns, but couldn't overcome the early seven run deficit.
"We had our opportunities," coach Steve Sonnicksen explained. "I'm really proud how our team rebounded from an average regular season and really came together as a team."
There will be no State Tournament appearance this year, but coach Sonnicksen believes his team learned a lot.
"It stings a lot," he says. "But, the experience they gained in the post season can't be teached. We're obviously disappointed, but rebounded and had some great games down the stretch."
St. James 7, WBE 3
St. James used a WBE error, three hits and two hit batters to score early and often in their first District Championship matchup.
They jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back, as they defeated WBE 7-3 on Friday, July 25, in Redwood Falls.
Brandyn Olsen pitched all seven innings for WBE and gave up three earned runs.
"Brandyn didn't have his best stuff,but allowed us to stay close enough and stay in the game," coach Steve Sonnicksen says.
The only extra base hit came off of Christian Haugh's bat. He hit a two-run homerun in the second inning to narrow the lead. WBE added one more in the inning as well. St. James led 5-3 after the second inning.
"I was surprised that we only had one extra base hit in this game," Sonnicksen says. "Lately, our batting has been off the charts."
St. James added one more run in the third inning and tacked on an insurance run in the sixth frame.
For WBE, Seth Anderson, Matthew Bell and Kaylan Legred had two hits each.