St. James American Legion Post 33 lost their first game in the double elimination Legion Tournament last weekend before winning two in a row to play this weekend.
They still have a chance to go to the the State Tourney. All they have to do is win four games in two days.
To accomplish that the Post 33 players first have to beat the team that dealt them their loss last weekend, Springfield, and if they win that game and another on Saturday, they have to play Blue Earth on Sunday. They have to beat Blue Earth (BE) twice, while Blue Earth, which did not lose last weekend, only has to win once.
Springfield 4-3 over St. James
In their opening game at Milroy on Friday night St. James when up against a pitcher who hadn't lost a game all year. Post 33 countered with their ace Sam Carlson.
St. James out hit Springfield 8-5, but lost the game in extra innings 4-3.
St. James took the lead in the top of the third after Devin Wolle doubled, was sacrificed over to third by Nick Beckius and scored on a single by Zack Gleiter.
Springfield came right back and scored three runs in the bottom of the third. St. James put two outs on the board before Springfield put a man on base, and Springfield did it with only two hits.
St. James scored a run in the sixth when John Olsen doubled in Kyle Pinke.
In their last at bat, Tyler Witcraft singled to right and with two out Walker Froehling tied up the game when he doubled Witcraft home.
Carlson pitched a 1,2,3 bottom of the seventh and the teams went into extra innings.
With both starters still in the game, St. James went down in order in the top of the eighth. Springfield won it in the bottom of the eight with two outs, when Carlson made an error. If the ball in front of the plate had been fielded cleanly by the St. James it would have resulted in the third out. The error allowed a runner on third to score the games decisive run.
Carlson went 7.66 innings and struck out nine and gave up only one earned run.
Wolle was 2-3 with a run scored . Gleiter, Olsen and Froehling had the team's RBIs.
St. James 7, Jackson 2
The losses dropped Post 33 into the losers bracket. They faced Jackson on Saturday and beat that Legion team 7-2.
Walker Froehling has had a strong summer pitching and had another complete game win on Saturday. He struck out 11, scattered six hits and gave up only one earned run.
St James scored three runs in the bottom of the first, added three in the fifth, and got to seven with one more in the sixth.
Page 2 of 2 - St. James got the same number of hits as Jackson, six, but Jackson committed eight errors in the game and that went a long way toward tipping the game to St. James.
Carlson and Zach Brandts were 2-3 at the plate, with Carlson having two RBIs. Brandts, Froehling and Ryan Menssen each had RBIs for St. James.
Post 33 wins 9-3 over Pipestone
With that win St. James faced Pipestone on Sunday and came away with a 9-3 win.
Post 33 scored four in the fourth, two in the fifth and three in the seventh to claim the win. All of the St. James runs were delivered in the clutch as they were all scored after Pipestone had two outs on the Post 33 ballplayers.
Jacob Ziemer started for St. James and got the win going 4.66 innings. With one days rest Sam Carlson came back in and finished off Pipestone going 2.33 innings.
Wolle, Froehling and Menssen each had two hits.
The win meant St. James plays this weekend. They first face Springfield one more time. If Post 33 wins that game and another game on Saturday, they will play Blue Earth on Sunday for the District Championship. BE only has to win once.
St. James will have to go deep into their pitching rotation to win four games in two days. That's the biggest challenge facing St. James.
The other challenge is the team is 16-6 for the year. One of the losses is to Springfield and three of the losses are to Blue Earth.
But the game is played between the lines and anything can happen. If the St. James Legion wins four in two they go to State for the first time ever.