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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The Alexandria VFW 16s have played 41 games this summer and they have a few more to look forward to after securing a spot in the VFW state tournament with a 16-5 win over Starbuck on Tuesday night. Alexandria led Starbuck 11-5 in the sixth inning on Monday when rain suspended the game in Spicer. They resumed play at the Minnewaska Area High School field on Tuesday and Alexandria scored five more to earn its trip to state and erase the memory of a 3-2 loss in game one of the championship on Monday. "I've seen this team have many more good games than bad," head coach Orin Schueler said.
The Alexandria Legion baseball team has shown an ability to battle back all summer, so it was only fitting that Post 87 did it one more time on their way to a Division I Legion state tournament berth. Alexandria got a two-run home run from Cody McLaughlin in the first inning of Monday night's title game against Bemidji but still trailed 4-2 after one.
Alexandria's Ian Resch was approved by the School District 206 Board of Education in late June as the new head coach for the Cardinal boys' hockey program. The hire was made public in a release issued by District 206 last Thursday morning. Resch will take over for former head coach Scott Woods, who was not brought back after serving as the team's head coach for the past six years.
Alexandria native Casey Vangsness is preparing to play against some of the nation's best amateur golfers next month in the U.S. Amateur Championship on August 12 through 18 at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Vangsness earned his spot in the national championship by shooting a 36-hole score of 139 at a qualifying event on July 22 at the St. Cloud Country Club. His score earned him co-medalist honors along with Tyler McMorrow of St.
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.
The Alexandria VFW I baseball team wrapped up its regular season with a 27-10 record after splitting two games in Morris on Tuesday night. Alexandria won game one, the only game that counts toward league standings, 17-6 before falling in the nightcap 5-2. The 16s exploded for 17 runs through their first four innings to easily end things after five in the opener. "The kids came to play," head coach Orin Schueler said.
The Alexandria Legion Post 87 baseball team split its doubleheader with Moorhead on Tuesday night. Alexandria took game one 6-2 behind another strong start from Blake Stockert. That came before they fell 5-4 in the nightcap. Stockert went six innings to earn the win in the opener. Parker Bowen then worked the seventh to help secure the win. "[Blake] threw really well," head coach Jake Munsch said. "He's been very solid, for sure." Chris Leary got the start in game two. He took the loss as Moorhead scored early and held on for the 5-4 win. "We made defensive mistakes," Munsch said.
The Carlos Cougars ran their winning streak to 14 games this season by winning the Resorters East playoff opener for them in a 14-4 game against Long Prairie last weekend. The offense was firing on all cylinders behind a huge night from Jake Tharaldson. He had three hits, including a double and a triple, on his way to six RBIs and one run scored. That was part of 16 hits for the Cougars. Nate Hoelscher had two and three RBIs.
Dan Wessel is living proof of the power of positive thinking. That and the importance of having great medical help on hand when tragedy strikes. Wessel had both of those on May 22, and he's alive today because of it. The 51-year-old from Osakis has the attitude that he can tackle anything, which has helped him recover after undergoing triple-bypass surgery on May 28. "I had total confidence that I was going to make it," Wessel said from his home a little more than a month after surgery. "I never for one minute thought I was not going to make it.
Alexandria's Jon Godfrey and Little Falls' Brett Speer never thought they would be standing on the ninth green on Saturday with a chance to win the Alexandria Golf Club's men's member-guest championship. But that's the great thing about a tournament like this for everyone who enters. Godfrey and Speer came in with a combined handicap of 31, compared to a handicap of 23 from Alexandria's Chris Haugen (5) and Bill Baedke (18), the two guys they went head-to-head with on the final hole. Baedke found the trees on the left side of hole nine off the tee.