VFW baseball: Red squad drops pair at invitational tournament
Things started well for the Alexandria VFW 15s at their home tournament this past weekend before a couple losses put a damper on the weekend.
Alexandria was on both ends of a no-hitter as New Ulm stymied the 15s’ bats in a 15-0 game on Sunday. Eventual tournament champion Roseville knocked Alexandria out of contention for the title game with a 14-6 loss in game two. That came after Nick Knoblach dominated the Madison lineup on his way to a 2-0 win in the opener.
Nothing went right from the get-go against New Ulm. The Eagles jumped all over the 15s in the first inning, scoring seven runs and sending 12 batters to the plate. They followed that with another seven-run inning in the fifth to blow the game wide open.
Alexandria had no answer on offense. New Ulm starter Zach Schriener tossed the five-inning no-hitter, striking out two along the way. Jeff Swedberg did the only damage with a one-out walk in the first.
Things got away from Alexandria late against Roseville. The Raiders trailed 5-4 heading into the sixth before they exploded for 10 runs. They sent 13 men to the plate and pounded out six singles and a double in the inning.
Patrick Leary gave Alexandria an early lead to work with. He tripled in Swedberg and Knoblach in the first inning to get his team on the board. Gabe Grimstad smacked a solo home run in the seventh but it was not enough to overcome the 10-run sixth by Roseville.
The opener against Madison belonged to Knoblach on the mound. He tossed a seven-inning no-hitter and struck out eight, while walking none. His only blemish came in the sixth when he hit the leadoff man. He proceeded to induce three straight ground balls to get out of the inning. His best frame came in the second when he struck out the side in order.
His offense got him a run to work with in the fourth. Leary led off with a single and came around to score on a sacrifice by Beau Backhaus two batters later. Grant Becker then added an insurance run in the fifth after leading off the inning with a walk.
The Alexandria 15s will turn their attention to the playoffs that are scheduled to begin next Tuesday. The 15s secured the No. 1 seed in the tournament with a win over Willmar I on Tuesday. The Alexandria 16s enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed.
New Ulm 15, Alexandria 0
ALEXANDRIA HITTING LEADERS – Jeff Swedberg – BB
Roseville 14, Alexandria 6
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Beau Backhaus – 5 1/3IP, 13H, 14R, 1BB, 0SO; Matt Pilgrim – 2/3IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO
ALEXANDRIA HITTING – Swedberg – 1 run; Knoblach – 1-3, 1 run; Patrick Leary – 1-3, 3B, 2 RBI, 1 run; Chris Anderson – RBI; Gabe Grimstad – 1-3, HR, 1 run, RBI; Craig Campbell – BB, 1 run; Pilgrim – 1-2, BB, 1 run
Alexandria 2, Madison 0
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Nick Knoblach – W, 7IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 8SO, 1HB
ALEXANDRIA HITTING – Ben Allen – 1-3, RBI; Swedberg – 1-3; Knoblach – 1-3; Leary – 1-3, 1 run; Anderson – BB; Backhaus – Sac. RBI; Grant Becker – 1-1, BB, 1 run