Legion third in Fourth of July baseball tournamentAlexandria’s Colin Erickson helps lead Post 87 to finals with eighth inning hit
Colin Erickson sent the UNICEL Alexandria American Legion Post 87 baseball team home with a third-place finish in the Breton Fourth of July Tournament in Alexandria this past weekend.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Erickson sent a 1-2 pitch to the right field fence to plate Karl Brezina for a walk-off victory over Waite Park.
Post 87 got to that game by beating Marshall 3-0 in their opener. Alexandria then fell to Sauk Rapids 11-0 on Saturday night to fall into the third-place game.
Alexandria 6, Waite Park 5
Kreig Katchmark started on the mound for Post 87 and went all eight innings to earn the win in the decisive game.
Katchmark battled through the first three innings where Waite Park scored four runs to take a 4-0 lead after 2-1/2. That is when his offense gave him a clean slate by tying the game up with four runs of its own in the bottom of the third.
Katchmark made the most of the opportunity by holding Waite Park to just one run over the next five innings.
“Kreig really did a good job of keeping us in the game and giving us a chance to win the ball game,” coach Kevin Engebretson said.
That set up the heroics for Erickson, who also tied the game in the sixth on a ground out to first base. Brezina was running on the pitch that Erickson hit to the wall in the bottom of the eighth, allowing him to come across with the winning run.
Sauk Rapids 11, Alexandria 0
Alexandria ran into a buzz saw on Saturday night in the second round of the tournament.
Sauk Rapids used back-to-back four-run innings in the third and fourth to add to what was already a 2-0 lead. Post 87 could not counter with any offense of their own. They recorded only one hit to Sauk Rapids’ 14. Ben Snaza broke up the no hitter with a single in his only at bat.
“We were just outmatched tonight,” Engebretson said. “Sauk Rapids is a very good hitting team. The pitcher had an explosive fastball and was able to spot [it] really well. Some nights there is just nothing you can do. You’ve just got to keep your head up and go at it the next day.”
Alexandria 3, Marshall 0
Alexandria may have fallen victim to a great pitching performance against Sauk Rapids, but they experienced what it was like to be on the winning side of one in the opener against Marshall.
Erickson started out what was a great weekend of baseball for him by shutting out Marshall on a complete-game no hitter. He was dominant on the hill, walking three batters and striking out 13.
“Colin was just awesome,” Engebretson said. “Looking at the scoreboard in the late innings, I knew what was going on with the no hitter. You really can’t say anything…when the final out was recorded, it was a big relief. A no hitter is not something you get to be a part of every day. For Colin to do that on the big stage on the Fourth of July, I think was a pretty cool deal.”
Erickson also helped his own cause by recording two hits and scoring a run. Tyler Erickson had the team’s only RBI on a 1-for-4 day at the plate. Ryan Goraczkowski also had a two-hit day.
North St. Paul won the tournament with a 7-4 win over Sauk Rapids on Sunday. They were led by Kyle Larson, who was awarded the Bernie Steidl MVP trophy after going 8-for-14 over the weekend with seven runs scored and eight RBIs. He hit three home runs in the tournament, all of which came in one game.
Willmar 7, Alexandria 3
Before hosting the tournament over the Fourth of July weekend, Alexandria welcomed Willmar to town for a nine-inning league game.
Willmar jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Post 87 cut into that with three of their own in the bottom of the sixth inning. Two more runs by Willmar in the top of the eighth halted the momentum for Alexandria as Post 87 went scoreless in the final three innings.
Spencer Timm started and went 7-1/3 innings. He allowed six runs, four earned, on nine hits and two walks. He struck out two on the day. Jake Whiting and Katchmark led Alexandria offensively with two hits apiece.
WAITE PARK 103 010 00 5-8-2
ALEXANDRIA 004 001 01 5-7-0
ALEXANDRIA HITTING – Tyler Erickson – 1 run; Zach Beireis – 2-3, 1 run, BB; Dylan Carlson – 1-2, 1 run, RBI; Karl Brezina – 2-4, 2 runs, RBI; Colin Erickson – 1-4, 2RBI, 2B; Ben Snaza – 1-3, 1 run
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Kreig Katchmark – (WP) 8IP, 5R, 5ER, 8H, 3BB, 4SO
SAUK RAPIDS 204 41 11-14-0
ALEXANDRIA 000 00 0-1-1
ALEXANDRIA HITTING – Katchmark – BB; C. Erickson – BB; Snaza – 1-1
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Derek Miller – (LP) 3IP, 11H, 10R, 9ER, 1BB, 2SO; Spencer Timm – 2IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1SO
MARSHALL 000 000 0 0-0-3
ALEXANDRIA 020 010 X 3-8-0
ALEXANDRIA HITTING – T. Erickson – 1-4, RBI; Jake Whiting – 1-4; Carlson – 1-4; Katchmark – 1-4, 1 run; Giroux – BB; C. Erickson – 2-2, 1 run, BB; Ryan Goraczkowski – 1 run; Snaza – 2-3
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – C. Erickson – (WP) 7IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 3BB, 13SO
WILLMAR 120 002 020 7-10-1
ALEXANDRIA 000 003 000 3-8-2
ALEXANDRIA HITTING – T. Erickson – 1-4, 1 run; Beireis – 1-3, 1 run; Carlson – RBI; Katchmark – 2-4, 1 run; Giroux – 1-3; Whiting – 2-4; Goraczkowski – 1-4, 2B
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Spencer Timm – (LP) 7 1/3IP, 9H, 6R, 4ER, 2BB, 2SO; Derek Miller – 1 2/3IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 1SO