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Legion baseball: Alexandria rallies to remain perfect

Alexandria's Cody McLaughlin fielded a ball at third base before throwing to first for an out in game one of a doubleheader against East Grand Forks on Monday. McLaughlin had a bases-clearing double in the seventh that forced extra innings in a game that Alexandria eventually won 7-6. (Eric Morken, Echo Press)

The Alexandria Legion baseball team showed a flair for the dramatic on Monday night as they rallied from four down to force extras and eventually win 7-6 on the way to a doubleheader sweep over East Grand Forks.

Things came a little easier in game two as Alexandria led 3-0 after the first before winning 7-4 to give them two wins over a district opponent. Parker Bowden got both wins on the mound as he went four innings in game two, allowing one earned run on two hits and one walk.

Ben Allen had a big game in the nightcap with two doubles and five RBIs. Mitch Thompson added two hits and two runs scored as well.

Game one came down to a dramatic seventh inning before Alexandria won it on a throwing error by East Grand Forks in the ninth. Alexandria trailed 6-2 heading into the final frame.

"We approached the plate with the mindset that the pitcher needs to earn it," head coach Jake Munsch said. "We were taking a strike and hoping the pitcher would end up putting a couple guys on."

That's exactly what happened. Jeff Swedberg got things going with a one-out walk before Chris Leary did the same. A throwing error allowed Swedberg to come around and score the first run of the frame to make it 6-3.

That's where the score stood with the bases loaded and two outs when Cody McLaughlin came to the plate. He found himself in an 0-2 hole before sending the next pitch to the right-center-field fence for a bases-clearing double that tied the game.

Mitch Thompson worked 6 1/3 strong innings of relief to keep his team in the game. He allowed just two hits, while scattering four walks and striking out five.

Bowden worked the final two outs of the ninth to pick up the win. East Grand Forks loaded the bases with one out in the ninth before the runner at third thought a pitch was called a ball on a 3-1 count. He started trotting home on the strike call as Bowden ran him down to tag him for the second out. Bowden then finished off the at-bat with a strikeout.

"This team battles," Munsch said. "They have always been able to play from behind. It would have been real easy to throw in the towel after the second inning, but we didn't. We were determined. Mitch Thompson had a great game, and Cody came up huge when we needed him most."

Alexandria moved to 4-0 with the two wins. They were scheduled to take that record into their first big tournament of the summer as they traveled to Omaha this past Wednesday and played games through this weekend.


EGF 010 200 1 - 4

ALEX 300 400 X - 7

ALEX PITCHING - Bowden - W, 4IP, 3H, 3R, 1ER, 1BB, 1SO; Chris Leary - 1IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 1SO; Blake Stockert - 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 3SO

ALEX OFFENSE - Jeff Swedberg - 0-3; Zach Peterson - 0-3, BB, 1 run; Patrick Leary - 1-1, BB; Toby Helgeson - 1-2, 1 run; Thompson - 2-4, 2 runs, RBI; Allen - 2-4, 1 run, 5 RBI, 2 2B; Nick Knoblach - 1-3, BB, 2 runs; Beau Backhaus - 0-2, BB; Grant Becker - 0-1; Cody McLaughlin - 1-3

EGF 141 000 000 - 6

ALEX 002 000 401 - 7

ALEX PITCHING - Knoblach - 2IP, 3H, 5R, 3ER, 3BB, 1SO; Thompson - 6 1/3IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 4BB, 5SO; Bowden - W, 2/3IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1SO

ALEX OFFENSE - Swedberg - 2-3, 2 2B, BB, 2 runs; Peterson - 1-2, BB, 1 run, RBI; P. Leary - 0-4; Helgeson - 1-4; Thompson - 2-3, BB, 1 run, RBI; Allen - 0-1; Christian Anderson - 0-2; Bowden - 1-1, 1 run; Knoblach - 0-4, RBI, 2 runs; Backhaus - 0-4; C. Leary - BB; Becker - BB; McLaughlin - 1-4, 2B, 3 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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