"Let's play two," was immortalized by Baseball Hall of Fame player Ernie Banks, who loved the game so much he wanted to play doubleheaders every day.
That's probably getting to be the case with the St. James American Legion Post 33 baseball team as they won their third double header in a row last Thursday with a sweep of Wells.
The six home game wins lifts the team's record to 7-1.
St. James beat Wells twice by the same score of 2-0.
In the first game St. James pitcher Jacob Ziemer pitched a complete game shutout. In seven innings Jacob gave up just four hits while striking out 11. Through the first three innings he gave up no hits.
In the first Ziemer and second baseman John Olsen made a nice defensive play when Olsen ranged way over towards first and Ziemer covered the bag to retire the Wells base runner. That defensive play was followed up by catcher Ryan Menssen recording the final out of the inning when he caught a pop up right up against the fence behind home plate.
St. James had several scoring threats snuffed out in the early innings. In the first Walker Froehling got on base with a bunt single, but he was doubled off when Menssen lined out to the shortstop.
Ziemer struck out two in the top of the second and in the bottom of that inning Post 33 got their first run of the game. Kyle Pinke was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a passed ball. Olsen singled and Pinke advanced to third and scored on an error by the centerfielder. Zach Brandts singled putting two on. Devin Wolle was the first out of the inning by an infield fly.
With one out Nick Beckius reached first when Lake Crystal botched his sacrifice attempt. The bases were loaded with one out, but Tyler Witcraft and Zack Gleiter struck out to end the inning.
Ziemer struck out the side in the third. The Legion once again loaded the bases in their half of the inning. It was Froehling on third, Menssen on second and Olsen on first when Brandts singled driving in Froehling.
Menssen also tried to score on a hook slide, but was tagged out at the plate. The Wells catcher turned back to the infield and gunned the ball to second. Olsen had strayed too far off the bag and was tagged out. A potential big inning ended with some over aggressive as well as careless base running.
That was all the scoring St. James could manage, but it was more than enough. Wells broke up Ziemer's no hitter in the top of the fourth, but the next batter hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Page 2 of 2 - Post 33 stranded a runner at third in their half of the inning. Wolle doubled with no outs and advanced to third on a passed ball, but St.James couldn't pick him up.
Wells loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but couldn't score. St. James loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but could not add to their lead as Wolle popped up to the shortstop.
Wells had base runners in the sixth and seventh, but couldn't score.
For the game Olsen was three for three and Brandts was two for two with an RBI.
Three St. James pitchers combined for a shutout in the second game. Froehling started, went five innings and was credited with the win. He struck out eight and gave up one hit, which was the only hit that Wells got in the second game.
Justin Stevens went 2/3rds of an inning. After issuing a couple of walks Stevens was relieved by Kyle Pinke. He went the last 1 1/3rd innings, striking out the four batters he faced.
St. James only managed three hits, but strung a couple of them together to score their two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
It started when Wells committed a two out error which allowed the Legion's number nine hitter, Bransen Petersen, to reach first base.
Zack Gleiter singled and then Froehling doubled driving Petersen and Gleiter for the only runs of the game.
As Froehling had finished his pitching stint, the two out hit by Walker in the bottom of the fifth gave him a twofer - having the winning RBI and it made him the winning pitcher.