Junior Legion shut out 1-0 by RTR
The Blue Earth Junior Legion baseball team lost a close 1-0 game against Russell-Tyler-Ruthton on Sunday, July 28. The loss to RTR eliminated Blue Earth from the Southwest Sub-State Tournament.
The game was a scoreless pitcher’s duel until the bottom of the sixth inning when RTR got their only hit of the game. The hit was a solo home run which cleared the outfield fence in left-center field.
Blue Earth went down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh inning to end the game.
Blue Earth had their best scoring opportunity in the top of the second inning. Luke Mertens led off the inning with a double and advanced to third base on Adam Schavey’s single. However, two strike outs and an infield pop-up allowed RTR to escape the inning without any damage.
Meanwhile, Logan O’Hara was keeping the RTR lineup in check. O’Hara threw only 75 pitches in his six innings of work. He struck out six batters, walked two and hit three batters to keep the game scoreless until the sixth inning.
Unfortunately, O’Hara and his teammates could not get their bats going in this game. Blue Earth finished with only four hits. Mertens finished 2-for-2 with a single, a double and was hit by a pitch. Keegan O’Brien and Schavey each had one hit. The only other baserunners for Blue Earth came when Cole Warmka and Jimmy Allis reached on walks.
With the win, RTR needed to defeat Luverne twice to advance to the state tournament.
Blue Earth plans on playing a Junior Legion schedule next year. There were no Junior Legion teams in the area this year so Blue Earth played a VFW schedule during the year but then played in the Junior Legion tournament.
The VFW only has one class size. When it is time for post-season play, teams from smaller towns such as Blue Earth can be matched up against teams from larger cities. The Junior Legion is divided into two classes, depending on the size of the town, which should allow teams from smaller towns a better chance to advance in the playoffs.