A trip to the College World SeriesThe Alexandria Legion traveled to Omaha for the Decker CWS tournament
The Garden Center/Fat Daddy’s Alexandria American Legion baseball team got its season under way this past weekend with a trip to Omaha, Nebraska for the 48-team Decker Sports College World Series tournament. They got their first two wins of the summer, posting a pool play record of 2-3.
The team played teams from Omaha, NE, Minico, ID, Jonesboro, AR, Chatfield, CO, and Edmond, OK.
“It was a very talented field of teams as Omaha is just coming off its state’s class B championship while Jonesboro is its state’s reining Legion state champion,” said Alexandria coach Kevin Engebretson.
The team from Alexandria was able to pick up wins against Minico and Chatfield, winning 9-1 and 4-0.
A little rust was apparent in game one of the summer for the Alex Legion nine. They were unable to get much going at the plate or in the field. Omaha put up a few big innings and put Alexandria away early, beating them by a score of 11-2.
“You could tell it had been a while,” said Engebretson. “We really just couldn’t get anything going.”
Colin Erickson started the game on the mound and was relieved by Kyle Bany.
Alexandria was led at the plate by Ross Thompson, as he collected two hits, a walk, and an RBI.
Game two was a different story for Alexandria, as they put up four in the first and four in the fourth, beating Minico 9-1.
“Our bats were definitely more alive in this one,” said Engebretson. “We were ready to go, and Shawn pitched a great game for us.”
Shawn Krueger took the hill for Alexandria and went all five innings of the run-shortened game, giving up just one run on five hits and no walks. He struck out three.
He also helped his own cause at the plate, going 2-for-3 and grabbing 2 RBIs. Zac Beireis led all hitters with three hits and an RBI while scoring two runs of his own.
The team from Alexandria saw its most talented opponents in game three, losing to Jonesboro by a score of 11-3.
Alexandria got on the board with two runs in the first, but Jonesboro answered quickly and never looked back, scoring six in the bottom half.
Alexandria didn’t help their cause as they walked a total of 14 Jonesboro hitters.
“We made them look even better with all those walks, but they were a really good team,” said Engebretson. “Around here, I’m not sure we see too many teams like that until tournament time.”
Eric Lehn took the loss on the mound. John Mohror then stepped in and did a nice job in relief.
Alexandria hitters were once again led by Beireis with two hits and two runs scored.
Game four of the tournament saw a great pitching performance from first year player Nate Nelson.
Nelson threw a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits and walking none while striking out three. He helped his team to a 4-0 victory over a team from Chatfield, Colorado.
“Nate pitched just an awesome game for us,” said Engebretson. “He threw strikes at the knees all game long and the defense played great behind him. I’m really proud of the way he went out there and got it done.”
Alexandria was only able to collect three hits in the game, but did a nice job of manufacturing runs with bunts, stolen bases, and quality at-bats.
The hits in the game went to Colin Erickson, Karl Brezina and Ross Thompson.
The final game of pool play was a great chance for Alexandria to get lots of players some good innings and at-bats, as championship play was out of the question.
Fourteen different players saw action as they dropped the contest 11-2 to a good team from Edmond, Oklahoma.
Seeing work on the mound for Alexandria were Trevor Zolin, Kyle Bany and Eric Lehn.
“I thought our pitchers did a nice job,” said Engebretson. “Kyle Bany threw especially well out of the bullpen and kept us right in the game until late.”
The team’s only hits in the game came from Dalton Leuschke and Colin Erickson.
“Overall, I thought we played some pretty good baseball this week,” said the Legion coach. “It was nice to get our feet wet against some good competition.
“I was really proud of our defense down there as we committed just three errors in the five games. We will definitely win a bunch of games with that kind of defense. The hits will come as we see more pitching here in the next couple of weeks.
“The week for Alexandria was about much more than just playing baseball,” he said. “After riding down to Omaha together for eight hours on a bus, the team attended two College World Series games at Rosenblatt Stadium, went to the highly acclaimed Omaha Zoo, saw a movie, played some bean bags and spent five nights in a hotel.
“This trip is just such a cool experience for the kids,” said Engebretson. “Seeing their faces during the college games at Rosenblatt – you know it’s worth it. It’s really a fun thing to be a part of.”
Alexandria was set to open its district play this week as they traveled to Willmar on Tuesday and hosted Marshall on Wednesday.
The nine-inning game is to be played at Knute Nelson Memorial Stadium at 6:30. The team headed north yesterday, Thursday, to play in a tournament in Grand Rapids.
ALEXANDRIA 000 110 2-5-1
GROSS OF OMAHA 202 403 11-8-1
PITCHING – Colin Erickson, LP, 5IP-6H-8R-7ER-4BB-7SO; Kyle Bany 0.1IP-2H-3R-3ER-1BB-0SO.
HITTING – Zac Beireis 1-2, 1bb; Dalton Leuschke 1 run, 1 rbi; Colin Erickson 1-2, 1bb; Ross Thompson 2-2, 3b, 1 rbi, 1bb; Parker Giroux 1-3, 1 run.
MINICO, ID 000 01 1-5-1
ALEXANDRIA 400 41 9-10-0
PITCHING – Shawn Krueger, WP, 5IP-5H-1R-1ER-0BB-3SO.
HITTING – Zac Beireis 3-3, 2 runs, 1 rbi; Tyler Iverson 1-3, 1 run, 1 rbi; Dalton Leuschke 1-3, 2 runs; Colin Erickson 1-3; Karl Brezina 1-2, 1 run, 1 rbi; Ross Thompson 1 run; Shawn Krueger 2-3, 2 rbi; Lucas Betterman 1-2; Jordan Erickson 1 run; Parker Giroux 1 run.
ALEXANDRIA 200 010 3-4-1
JONESBORO, AR 600 311 11-8-4
PITCHING – Eric Lehn, LP, 1.1IP-2H-6R-6ER-8BB-0SO; John Mohror 4.1IP-6H-5R-5ER-6BB-2SO.
HITTING – Zac Beireis 2-3, 2 runs; Dalton Leuschke 1 run; Colin Erickson 1-3; Karl Brezina 1-3; Trevor Zolin 1bb.
CHATFIELD, CO 000 000 0 0-4-1
ALEXANDRIA 200 020 X 4-3-0
PITCHING – Nate Nelson, WP, 7IP-4H-0R-0ER-0BB-3SO.
HITTING – Zac Beireis 2 runs, 1bb; Dalton Leuschke 1 run, 1 bb; Colin Erickson 1-2, 2b, 1 run, 1 rbi; Karl Brezina 1-3, 1 rbi; Ross Thompson 1-3, 2b; Parker Giroux 1bb.
EDMOND, OK 240 003 2 11-12-2
ALEXANDRIA 110 000 0 2-2-1
PITCHING – Trevor Zolin, LP, 1.1IP-6H-6R-6ER-2BB-1SO; Kyle Bany 4.2IP-5H-3R-2ER-1BB-2SO; Eric Lehn 1IP-1H-2R-1ER-2BB-1SO.
HITTING – Zac Beireis 1 run, 2bb; Ross Thompson 1bb; Dalton Leuschke 1-3; Colin Erickson 1-3, 2b, 1 rbi; Tyler Iverson 1 run; Mark Whiting 1 rbi.