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Legion team falls twice to Luverne

Blue Earth/Winnebago comes up short in attempt to make State

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Aug 1, 2021

Jimmy Allis, above, had a very good season for BE/W and only lost once.

The Blue Earth/Winnebago Post 89 and 82 American Legion baseball team came up short in their bid to advance to the State Legion baseball tournament.

BE/W faced Luverne Post 123 on Saturday, July 24, needing to win one game to move on to State while Luverne would have to defeat BE/W twice to advance to the State Tournament. Unfortunately for BE/W, Luverne was able to do just that.

“Obviously it hurts to get that close and not make it,” Legion coach Paul Nienaber said. “And something is wrong if it does not hurt.

“But I also told them not to let this define their season and to look at what we accomplished and how everyone improved. That is something they should be proud of. We had great senior leadership and we will miss those players next year. However, the cupboard is not bare. We have some excellent players coming back.”

Game one

Luverne 18, BE/W 7

The two teams faced off in the first game at 5 p.m. in Wabasso with Luverne being the visiting team on the scoreboard.

Anthony Carr started on the mound for BE/W and struck out the first batter of the game before giving up two consecutive singles to put runners on first and second base. A great throw by catcher Ryan Madetzke to third baseman Luke Mertens eliminated Luverne’s lead runner when he tried to steal third base. A pop out by the next Luverne batter to second baseman Luke Schonborn allowed BE/W to get out of the inning without giving up a run.

Luverne used a walk, an error and two hits to score twice in the top of the second inning and take a 2-0 lead.

BE/W got one run back in the bottom of the inning. Madetzke hit a one-out single. Will Howard came in as a courtesy runner for the catcher and advanced to third base on a single by Mertens. A double off the bat of Jimmy Allis brought home Howard and made the score 2-1 in Luverne’s favor after two innings.

Luverne scored twice in the top of the third to go up 4-1. However, Post 89 and 82 responded with a rally to take the lead in the bottom of the third inning.

Adam Schavey and Kean Hicks hit back-to-back singles to get things started for BE/W in the bottom of the third inning. Luverne misplayed Keegan O’Brien’s sacrifice bunt for an error which allowed Schavey to score and put runners at second and third base. Logan O’Hara got down two strikes in the count before hitting a single to drive in Hicks and put runners at the corners. Mertens collected his second single of the game to plate O’Brien and tie the game at 4-4.

Allis kept the rally going with a sharply hit ball to the second baseman who turned it into an error. O’Hara scored on the play to give BE/W the lead at 5-4. Mertens came home when Luke Schonborn hit into a force out at second base and BE/W now led 6-4 after three complete innings.

The score would remain the same until the top of the sixth inning when Luverne scored five runs to take a 9-6 lead.

BE/W got one run back in the bottom of the sixth but Luverne exploded for nine more runs in the top of the seventh inning to win the opening game 18-7.

O’Hara came on to pitch in the fifth inning after Luverne had runners on second and third base with only one out and worked out of the jam to prevent Luverne from scoring.

O’Hara was charged with the loss however, when Luverne took the lead in the sixth inning. BE/W ended up using six pitchers in the contest.

Game two

Luverne 7, BE/W 4

BE/W was the visiting team on the scoreboard in the second game and fell behind 3-0 after two innings when Luverne scored one run in the first inning and added two more runs in the second inning.

Post 89 and 82 tied the game in the top of the third inning. Kean Hicks and Keegan O’Brien both reached base on walks. Ryan Madetzke was safe at first when the ball he hit down the first-base line was dropped by the first baseman when he attempted to tag Madetzke. Luke Mertens drove in two runs with a double and Jimmy Allis brought home the third run with a ground out to make the score 3-3.

Luverne would take the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth inning when they pushed three runs across the plate to go up 6-3.

Both teams added a run in the sixth inning to make the final score 7-4.

Allis, who hurled a complete-game victory against Luverne the previous Saturday, worked the first four innings and was charged with giving up six runs. O’Hara worked two innings and gave up one run.

BE/W finished their season with a 16-3 record.