VFW baseball: Alex 16s win District 5 opener
The Alexandria VFW 16s baseball team won a low scoring game against Madison 4-2 in their first District 5 playoff matchup Tuesday night at Knute Nelson Ballpark.
The win advances Alexandria in the district playoffs to a 7:30 p.m. game on Friday night in Spicer.
Head coach Orin Schueler was impressed by Madison's play at the end of the season. He would not be surprised if they played again further on in the tournament.
"It was just a good baseball game," Schueler said. "Madison made some unbelievable plays defensively. They played an excellent game."
Strong starting pitching by Danny Kuhn helped Alexandria avoid the loss in the double elimination tournament. Kuhn pitched seven innings, giving up two earned runs with nine strikeouts.
"I just wanted to go out and give my team a chance to win," Kuhn said.
Madison tied the game in their only rally of the game in the sixth inning but was unable to take the lead. After tying the game, Madison had runners at first and third with one out. Kuhn halted the rally with back-to-back strikeouts, and Alexandria scored twice in the next half inning.
"I was a little worried," Kuhn said about the sixth inning. "I just knew I had to get the ball over the plate and my team would make the plays for me."
When Madison had two runners on with one out, Schueler briefly visited with the team on the mound. He instructed the players to throw out the runner on first base if he attempted a steal.
"I said, 'If he goes down we're going to throw him out,'" Schueler said. "Because we don't want to give them anything."
The advice he gave to tighten up and focus on the batters paid off as Alexandria got out of the inning without giving up extra runs.
Schueler was impressed with the complete game pitching performance that Kuhn made against Madison.
"Danny Kuhn, even though he had two runs that one inning, I thought he was in command most of the way," Schueler said.
The Alexandria offense was led by Brayden Amundson, who went 1-for-2 with a double, a run and three RBIs.
"He gave me my pitch and I just had my perfect swing, and hit it right in the gap," Amundson said about his double that scored two runs. "Right off the bat I knew it was a good hit."
Parker Revering drove in the other Alexandria RBI, and Kris Setterstrom had two hits in the game with a run scored.
Heading into the weekend playoffs, Schueler expects the team to win some games in the tournament.
"I'm optimistic, I always am, that's just the way I've always played and coached," Schueler said. "I thought we should have hit the ball better today, but their pitcher had a lot to say about that."
MADISON 000 002 0 - 2 4 1
ALEXANDRIA 020 002 x - 4 7 2
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Danny Kuhn - 7IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 9SO
ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Kaden Anderson - 1-3; Travis Krueger - 1-3, 2B, run; Parker Revering - 1-3, 2B, run, RBI; Kris Setterstrom - 2-3, run; Brayden Amundson - 1-2, 2B, run, 3 RBIs; Casey Hammerback - 1-2