VFW baseball: Alexandria wins tournament titlePitching is key in teams' final two wins
The Alexandria VFW I baseball team got the pitching it needed to win the final two games of the weekend and take the title in its own tournament at Knute Nelson Field on Sunday.
Alexandria edged Fargo 3-2 in the championship game behind 6 2/3 innings from Jake Booth. He walked seven but allowed just three hits and struck out eight to wriggle out of any trouble.
The two teams were tied at two apiece after three innings before Alexandria scored the winning run in the fourth. Jake Bear led off the inning with a triple and Travis Krueger singled him in for the go-ahead run.
Booth made that lead hold up. He went into the seventh before putting a man on with a walk with two outs. Toby Helgeson came on to get the final out on the first man he faced with a ground ball back to the mound.
Alexandria advanced to the championship as the top team out of its pool after going 2-1 through its first three games. They beat Marshall 5-2 in their final game on Saturday after falling to Fridley 7-5 and beating Irondale 11-10 on Friday night.
Alexandria led 5-0 after three innings against Marshall and held on behind a strong start from Parker Bowden. Bowden went the distance, allowing just one walk and scattering six hits. He struck out five.
Helgeson and Kaden Anderson each reached base in their first two at-bats and came around to score. Helgeson went 2-for-4. Anderson reached three times on a single, a walk and by getting hit by a pitch. Cody McLaughlin added two RBIs in the game on a sacrifice fly and a walk with the bases loaded.
Fridley scored four runs in the first inning and never trailed earlier on Saturday. Alexandria scored three runs in the fourth on back-to-back one-out walks that were followed by singles from Booth and Riley Hvezda. They added another run in the seventh after a leadoff double by Mitch Thompson, but it wasn’t enough to come all the way back.
That loss proved to not matter after pool play was said and done, thanks in large part to an 11-10 win over Irondale on Friday night. Alexandria’s Aaron Steidl scored the winning run for his team in the seventh inning after leading off the frame with a single.
Alexandria scored in every inning but the fourth. They needed all those runs as Irondale added runs in every inning but the first and sixth. Helgeson had two hits, two runs scored and two walks to help lead the offense.
Alexandria was scheduled to be back in action last night, Tuesday, with a doubleheader against Marshall. Brainerd will be in town today for a doubleheader that is slated to start at 10 a.m.
Alexandria 3, Fargo 2
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Booth – W, 6 2/3IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 7BB, 8SO; Helgeson – 1/3IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO
ALEXANDRIA HITTING – Anderson – 1-4, 1 run; Helgeson – 2-4; booth – 1-3, 1 run; Thompson – 1-2, 3B, BB; Bear – 1-3, 3B, 1 run; Krueger – 2-3, 2B, RBI
Alexandria 5, Marshall 2
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Bowden – W, 7IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 5SO
ALEXANDRIA HITTING – Anderson – 1-2, BB, HBP, 2 runs; Helgeson – 2-4, 2 runs; Thompson – BB, RBI; McLaughlin – 2 BB, 2 RBI, 1 run; Bear – 2-3, RBI; Bowden – BB
Fridley 7, Alexandria 5
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Krueger – L, 3 1/3IP, 5H, 7R, 7ER, 3BB, 1SO; Leary – 3 2/3IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 4SO
ALEXANDRIA HITTING – Anderson – 2-4, 2B, 1 run; Grant Toivonen – 2 BB; Helgeson – 2-4; Thompson – 3-4, 2 2B, 1 run; McLaughlin – 3 BB, 1 run; Bear – 1-3, BB, 1 run; Booth – 1-4, 1 run; Hvezda – 1-4; Leary – 1-4
Alexandria 11, Irondale 10
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Danny Kuhn – 4 1/3IP, 5H, 7R, 7ER, 6BB, 2SO; Chris Leary – 2/3IP, 3AB; Thompson – 1 2/3IP, 0H, 1R, 1ER, 4BB, 2SO; Helgeson – 1/3IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO
ALEXANDRIA HITTING – Anderson – 2BB, 1 run; Helgeson – 2-3, 2BB, 2 runs; Thompson – 5 BB, 2 runs; McLaughlin – BB, 1 run; Bear – 2-4, 2 runs; Hvezda – BB; Booth – BB, 1 run; Krueger – 1-1, 1 run; Bowden – 2 BB, 1 run