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Legion baseball: Alexandria sweeps opener with Bemidji

The Alexandria Legion baseball team got off to a good start under new head coach Jake Munsch after a doubleheader sweep against Bemidji last Thursday.

Alexandria got a couple solid pitching performances from Beau Backhaus and Blake Stockert on its way to 13-3 and 5-1 wins. The offense broke out for 12 hits and nine walks and won in five innings in the opener. They collected just four hits in the nightcap but took advantage of some Bemidji mistakes to secure the win.

"After our first night, I feel there are a lot of positives to take from our first games of the summer," Munsch said. "We also learned and saw some things we need to fine tune to become a better ball team, and we look forward to correcting our mistakes."

Munsch took over for Kevin Engebretson this summer after Engebretson decided to take some time off from coaching for the summer. He has helped out as an assistant in all three seasons during the school year, serving as an assistant in football, girls' basketball and baseball.

Munsch got five strong innings from Stockert in game two on Thursday. The lefty fanned nine and walked nobody through five innings. Nick Knoblach also had a dominant inning, striking out all three guys he faced in the seventh after Parker Bowden had pitched a clean sixth.

Knoblach walked three times and scored once in the 5-1 win. Zach Peterson went 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored, while Jeff Swedberg, Mitch Thompson and Backhaus each added hits.

Backhaus went all five innings in the opener. He allowed just two hits, two walks and no earned runs, while striking out two. His offense scored in every inning as Alexandria led 6-3 through three frames before blowing things open with six in the fifth.

Patrick Leary had a big game with two hits, including a two-run shot to left field that ended the game. He finished 2-for-2 with two walks, two runs and two RBIs. Toby Helgeson, Ben Allen, Bowden and Knoblach each added two hits apiece.

The Alex Legion will play in a much larger district this season. They are now in a group with Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, East Grand Forks, Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Perham and Thief River Falls. That should provide more competition after playing in a district with just Litchfield, Marshall and Willmar last year.


Alexandria 5, Bemidji 1

ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Stockert - W, 5IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 9SO; Bowden - 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1SO; Knoblach - 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 3SO

ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Swedberg - 1-3, 1 run

Alexandria 13, Bemidji 3

ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Backhaus - W, 5IP, 2H, 3R, 0ER, 2BB, 2SO

ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Swedberg - 0-2, BB; Peterson - 1-3, BB, 2 runs, RBI; Leary - 2-2, 2 BB, HR, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Helgeson - 2-2, BB, 1 run, 2 RBI; Thompson - 0-2, BB, 1 run, RBI; Allen - 2-3, BB, 1 run, RBI; Bowden - 2-2, BB, 2 runs, RBI; Knoblach - 2-3, 2B, BB, 2 runs; Cody McLaughlin - 1-4, 2B, 1 run, 2 RBI

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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