Legion team staves off elimination
The Winnebago/Blue Earth Legion baseball team began play in the eight-team Senior Legion Southwest Sub-State Tournament, hosted by Luverne, on Thursday, July 18. It is a double-elimination tournament. The winner of the tournament advances to the Senior Legion State Tournament which will be held in Ely.
W/BE won their first game over Adrian by a score of 10-6. They fell to Luverne in their next game 7-4. W/BE then went to the elimination bracket and ended Minneota’s season by defeating them 7-4.
Having already suffered one loss, W/BE needed to win four games in a row beginning on Friday, July 26, with a game against Springfield. The winner of that contest would then move on to play Heron Lake/Okabena later on Friday with the winner of that game needing to defeat Luverne twice on Saturday, July 27, to advance to the state tournament.
Results of the W/BE games will be in next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register.
W/BE 7, Minneota 4
Winnebago/ Blue Earth scored a total of five runs in the first three innings and then added two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning to secure a victory over Minneota and stay alive in the tournament.
The start of the game was delayed by three hours because of rain which had moved through the Luverne area in the morning.
A hit by Caelan Sanders started things off for W/BE in the top of the first inning. Joe Schavey then reached on an error. A double by Karson Legred brought home Sanders with the first run of the game.
A single by Brayden Barnett brought home Schavey and Keegan O’Brien, who was the courtesy runner for Legred.
Minneota scored one run in the bottom of the first to make it 3-1 in favor of W/BE.
W/BE scored single runs in the top of the second and third innings to take a 5-1 lead with Minneota coming up to bat in the bottom of the third inning.
Minneota scored three runs to cut the W/BE lead to 5-4 after three complete innings.
Neither team scored again until the top of the seventh inning when W/BE added two more runs to make the final score 7-4.
Koby Nagel was the winning pitcher for W/BE. He retired all but the last batter. Jared Kennedy came in to record the final out and pick up the save.
Barnett had three hits and three RBIs in the game and also scored two runs. Legred had one RBI on two hits, including one double. Hunter Bleess also had a RBI double.
Luverne 7, W/BE 4
One bad inning was enough for Luverne to down Winnebago/Blue Earth 7-4 and send W/BE to the elimination bracket of the tournament.
Following a scoreless first inning, W/BE pushed two runs across the plate to take a 2-0 lead.
There were already two outs in the inning when Hunter Bleess hit a hard line drive for a double. Adam Schavey came in as a courtesy runner for Bleess and scored when Koby Nagel hit the first pitch he saw for a line drive single. Luke Mertens came to the plate and Nagel stole second base. Mertens had a one ball, two strike count when he lined a single to the outfield to score Nagel with the second run.
Luverne answered with six runs of their own in the bottom of the second inning. Hit batsmen, errors and hits aided Luverne in taking the lead.
W/BE scored single runs in the third and fourth innings. Anders Fering singled to drive in Sanders in the third inning. Keegan O’Brien walked in the fourth inning and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
W/BE had other scoring opportunities but could not come up with the key hit needed to drive in any runs. W/BE stranded nine runners during the game.
Bleess took the loss but only allowed four earned runs. He struck out two batters, walked four and gave up four hits. Jared Kennedy came in and retired one batter.
W/BE out-hit Luverne six hits to four. Mertens had two hits and one RBI. Fering, Brayden Barnett, Bleess and Nagel had the other hits. Nagel and Fering each had an RBI.
W/BE 10, Adrian 6
Adrian scored one run in the top of the first but Winnebago/Blue Earth scored two in the bottom of the first to take the lead for good.
Joe Schavey reached on a one-out walk. Karson Legred’s grounder was misplayed for a two-base error to put runners on second and third base. Anders Fering drove in both runners with a grounder down the third base line to put W/BE up 2-1 at the end of one inning.
W/BE added to their lead in the second inning. Catcher’s interference was called allowing Hunter Bleess to reach first base. Bleess took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a ground out. A line drive by Luke Mertens scored Bleess. Gavin Storbeck reached on a fielder’s choice with Mertens being forced out at second base.
Adam Schavey came in as a courtesy runner for Storbeck. Joe Schavey was at the plate and struck out. However the Adrian catcher could not handle the pitch and when he threw to first base to try and get Joe Schavey out, Adam Schavey came home for another run.
W/BE was holding on to a slim 4-3 lead when they came to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning. By the time they were done batting they had scored six more runs.
Brayden Barnett reached on an error and Bleess walked. They were on second and third when Koby Nagel stroked a single to right field to score both runners. Nagel then stole second base to move into scoring position. Mertens singled to right for his second RBI of the game.
Caelan Sanders reached on an error. Adam Schavey came in as a courtesy runner for Sanders. Both Mertens and Schavey scored on a double by Legred. When the inning was over, W/BE held a 10-3 lead.
Adrian tried to rally in the top of the seventh inning but only scored three runs to give W/BE a 10-6 victory.
Sanders gets credit for the victory after relieving Storbeck in the fourth inning.