Junior Legion starts tourney 2-1
The Blue Earth VFW/Junior Legion team traveled to Luverne to begin play in the Junior Legion Southwest Sub-State Tournament on Sunday, July 21. Eight teams were participating in the double-elimination tournament. The Blue Earth team played a VFW schedule during the year but registered as a Junior Legion team for the playoffs.
Two stellar pitching performances helped lead Blue Earth to two wins in the first two games of the tournament. However, walks haunted the team in their third game and they lost to Luverne 10-6. The loss moved Blue Earth to the elimination bracket.
They were scheduled to play at 12 p.m. on Sunday, July 28, against the winner of a game between Adrian and Russell-Tyler-Ruthton. Should Blue Earth win that contest, they would then have to defeat Luverne twice to advance to the state tournament.
Luverne 10, Blue Earth 6
Blue Earth out-hit Luverne 11-6 but Luverne came out on top in the runs category with a 10-6 victory over Blue Earth. The win put Luverne into the championship round.
Blue Earth got on the board first with two runs in the second inning. Luke Mertens hit a one-out single. Parker Meyers reached on a walk after Luverne had recorded another out. Jimmy Allis hit a deep fly ball that reached the outfield fence on one bounce and brought home Mertens and Meyers to give Blue Earth a 2-0 lead.
Luverne tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the third inning and took a 5-2 lead by scoring three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Blue Earth responded with three runs of their own in the top of the fifth inning to momentarily tie the game at 5-5.
Luverne took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth inning when they were able to push three more runs across the plate.
Keegan O’Brien led the way with four hits in four trips to the plate. He had a double and a RBI. Mertens finished 3-for-4 with a RBI. Ryan Madetzke was 2-for-4. Jimmy Allis had one hit in four attempts, including a double and two RBIs. Logan O’Hara had the other hit for Blue Earth.
Blue Earth 2,
Blue Earth rallied to score two runs in their last at-bat in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Pipestone 2-1 and head into the third round of the tournament undefeated.
Pipestone had won their first-round game by forfeit when their opponent, Wabasso, did not have enough eligible players to field a squad.
Pipestone had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning and were looking to add to their run total in the top of the seventh.
Their first batter in the seventh inning was hit by a pitch and the next batter singled to put runners on first and second with zero outs.
A groundout to shortstop Anthony Carr advanced the Pipestone runners to second and third with only one out.
Blue Earth pitcher Logan O’Hara struck out the next batter for out number two. O’Hara then fielded a grounder and threw to first baseman Jimmy Allis to get out of the inning without any damage.
Noah Dahl led off the bottom of the seventh inning for Blue Earth. He fell behind in the count with one ball and two strikes but battled back to draw a walk. Dahl advanced to second when a balk was called on the pitcher.
Parker Meyers was up next and was attempting to lay down a sacrifice bunt. He popped it up a little bit and the pitcher attempted to make a diving catch down the third base line. The pitcher failed to make the catch but touched the ball while it was still in fair territory as Meyers raced to first base. An errant throw allowed Meyers to take second base while Dahl held up on third.
A failed suicide squeeze bunt attempt resulted in Dahl getting in a rundown and being tagged for the first out. Meyers remained at second base. Keegan O’Brien then ripped a line drive down the left line for a double to score Meyers and tie the game at 1-1.
Pipestone retired the next batter on a short fly ball to right field. Adam Schavey was up next and had a two ball-two strike count when he hit a shallow fly ball between the center and left fielder. The lack of communication between the two outfielders resulted in the ball falling to the ground as O’Brien scampered home with the winning run.
O’Hara pitched all seven innings for Blue Earth. He struck out three batters, walked one and gave up five hits while allowing one run.
Blue Earth had six hits. O’Brien and Cole Warmka each had two hits.
Blue Earth 20, Tracy 0
Blue Earth pitcher Anthony Carr pitched a no-hitter and his teammates provided plenty of run support to give Blue Earth a 20-0 victory over Tracy.
Blue Earth scored 15 runs in the first inning on four hits, five hit batsmen, seven walks and two errors.
They added five more runs in the second inning on four hits, one walk and one error and then coasted to the five-inning victory.