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Offenses erupt as Alexandria Legion splits

After trailing by as many as four runs and leading by as many as five, East Grand Forks found itself in a 10-10 tie with Alexandria in the bottom of the seventh inning on Tuesday night.

With one out and the bases loaded, Taylor Brierley played hero, driving in Clarke Peterson on a sacrifice fly to give EGF the 11-10 American Legion baseball win at Stauss Park. Alexandria got a doubleheader split by winning the second game 17-8.

With Peterson on third base ready to tag, Brierley popped it up down the right-field line, leaving it to the fielder to decide if it was fair or foul.

“I was just trying to poke one through the infield,” said Brierley. “I didn’t really know (if it was fair). I just ran down to first and looked up and he caught it, so it went in our favor.”

Alexandria jumped to a 4-0 lead after two innings, highlighted by a Mitch Thompson two-run home run in the first. East Grand Forks responded with nine straight runs, four of them in the bottom of the second.

Donnie Musgrove gave EGF a 6-4 lead in the third inning when he hit a two-run home run to straightaway center.

“I fully expect anybody on this team to be able to hit one over the fence,” said EGF coach Garret Hjelle. “He (Musgrove) is very calm at the plate. He stays right on track with everything and stays focused. All of these guys . . . can all hit the ball, and they do.”

East Grand Forks extended the lead to five in the fourth when Trevor Selk stole home on a double steal, followed by a Reed Hjelle double that drove in Brierley and Ethan Mushitz.

But Alexandria responded with four runs of their own in the fifth. EGF added another run in the fifth making it 10-8 going into the seventh. Alexandria’s Parker Revering doubled to drive in one, followed by a Thompson single that brought home Revering to tie the game.

In the seventh, Peterson singled and advanced to second on Nate Phillips’ bunt single. Selk followed with a single to load the bases for Brierley.

“It was one of those games, back-and-forth, all night long,” said coach Hjelle. “It’s not surprising to me that they came and competed. No matter what part of the game it was, they were there. They stay focused and manufactured one in the last inning and that was great.”

In the second game, Alexandria scored seven runs in the first and eight in the second on its way to the 17-8 win. Danny Kuhn pitched the win for Alexandria, while Cooper Jerome took the loss for EGF.

Scott Mortenson led EGF, going 3-for-3 at the plate while Blake Stockert and Casey Hammerback each went 3-for-3 with a home run for Alexandria, who handed EGF its first loss of the year (5-1).

Alexandria moved to 3-2 on the summer with the split. They will travel to Grand Rapids this weekend for a tournament that runs Friday through Sunday.