American Legion Post 33 wrapped up a successful regular season this past week winning a pair of games, which earned the team a top seed for the beginning of the American Legion's State Tournament.
The Tournament begins on Thursday night with Post 33 hosting a game at 8 pm. Here are last week's results.
Legion 10, Truman 2
Post 33 made their own fireworks on the Fourth of July when they traveled down to Truman and banged out 14 hits in a 10-2 win.
Sam Carlson pitched a complete game win for the Legion. He threw a one hitter, struck out nine over seven innings, and only one of the two runs he gave up was earned.
St. James scored three in the second. John Olsen singled in Kyle Pinke for the first run of the game. Running for Carlson, Bransen Petersen scored on an error and Nick Beckius drove in Olsen by hitting into a fielder's choice.
St. James picked up an unearned run in the third. Truman got two in the bottom of the inning, but St. James came back with three in the fourth to make it a 7-2 game and added another three in the sixth for the final 10-2 margin.
At the plate Olsen was 3-4 with an RBI and he scored twice. Zach Brandts was 2-3 with an RBI and he also scored twice.
Kyle Pinke had two RBIs going 2-4 at the plate, and he scored once. Ryan Menssen and Carlson also had multi hit games as both players went 2-4.
Legion 5, MN Lake 2
On Monday the Legion hosted Minnesota Lake and beat the visitors 5-2.
It was a game that started out slow for St. James as they just couldn't get anything going.
Minnesota Lake got on the board first with a run in the third as a visitor base runner worked his way around the bases thanks to a couple of St. James errors.
Meanwhile St. James did not take advantage of scoring opportunities in the early innings.
Ryan Menssen doubled in the first, but was picked off to end the inning. In the second Kyle Pinke singled and Zach Brandts doubled him to third, but both runners died on the bases as St. James could not push them across.
In the third, Nick Beckius was hit by a pitch and worked his way to third, but Ryan Menssen hit a soft liner back to the pitcher to end the inning.
In the fourth, Pinke walked and also advanced to third, but Post 33 couldn't get him across the plate. In the first four innings St. James had five runners in scoring position, but no runs to show for it.
St. James managed to put a run on the board in the fifth. Leading off, Justin Stevens reached first on an error by the right fielder. He advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored when starting pitcher Walker Froehling helped his own cause by driving Stevens in with a single.
Page 2 of 2 - There were two runners on as Zack Gleiter had also walked. Post 33 got a run in, but a promising inning didn't happen as the Legion team failed to score even thought they had two on base with one out.
The Legion put the game away in the bottom of the sixth scoring four runs.
Olsen singled in a run and that was followed by Brandts who doubled in a run. Gleiter also got an RBI in the inning.
As the starting pitcher, Froehling had been on cruise control most of the game, but things got a little dicey in Minnesota Lake's last at bat.
The leadoff batter got on thanks to an error and Froehling loaded the bases with a couple of walks.
The visitors scored their second run of the game on a fielder's choice, but it was also their second out of the inning. It was game over when the next batter hit a pop foul to catcher Ryan Menssen who caught it to end the game.
Froehling struck out five in seven innings. Brandts was the only player with two hits. He was 2-3, both of them doubles, with an RBI and a run scored.
It is now state tournament time for this experienced Legion team. The tourney begins with Post 33 hosting a game on Thursday night at 8 pm.
They will play the winner of a 6 pm game between Minnesota Lake and Welcome-Sherburn. St. James has beaten both teams this year, but hey it's baseball and anything can happen.