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 first Zorbaz on the Lake area youth tennis tournament wrapped up with plenty of area division winners recently. The Alexandria Area Tennis Association hosted the three-day event, which brought in players from a number of different communities. Drew Corneil of Willmar won the Boys' Varsity Division over Alexandria's Levi Duwenhoegger in the title match. Brendan Holm of Alexandria won the consolation title. Delayney Edwards of Rochester took the Girls' Varsity Division.
The Osakis Legion baseball team got back on track after a loss to the Alexandria VFW II team by playing the way this team knows how to play in 10-0 and 9-0 wins over Urbank-Parkers Prairie and New London-Spicer, respectively. Osakis went to a couple experienced guys on the mound and neither disappointed. Jordan Frederick was dominant in a five-inning one-hitter against Urbank-Parkers Prairie. He struck out nine and walked just one in the win. "I thought Parkers Prairie would be more of a challenge," head coach Gerry Hoelscher said. "But he just makes hitters look like that.
The Alexandria VFW I baseball team dropped a couple close games in Fargo last week after they had won two games against Fargo in Alexandria earlier in the season. The 16s lost 5-3 in the nightcap last Wednesday after falling 2-1 in the opener. Fargo did most of its damage late in game two by scoring four runs over the fifth and sixth innings. Alexandria scored all three of its runs in the fifth. Cole McLaughlin got the start and went five innings in the nightcap. He scattered 10 hits but limited the damage to just three runs.
The Alexandria Blue Anchors opened the second half of the season 1-2 after falling 5-3 to the Duluth Huskies on Sunday night. It was the second straight loss to the Huskies after Alexandria had opened the second half on July 4 with a 10-9 win over Willmar. The Blue Anchors couldn't overcome an early 4-0 deficit on Sunday night. Starter Eldon Evans (Century College) lasted just one inning in his first start for the Blue Anchors. Tyler Beck (Augsburg) relieved him in the second and gave his team a chance to climb back in it by limiting Duluth to one run over five innings.
The Alexandria Post 87 baseball team used a couple solid pitching performances to secure 8-2 and 8-0 wins in Thief River Falls last Tuesday night. Beau Backhaus and Chris Leary helped make the long drive worth it by tossing a couple gems. Leary allowed just one hit in six innings in the nightcap. He walked one and struck out two. "This was a very good outing for Chris, especially after Monday night when his stuff just was not on," head coach Jake Munsch said.
Two of the best teams in the Resorters Baseball League met up on Sunday in Evansville looking to accomplish many of the same goals. The Brandon-Evansville Bluedogs and the Carlos Cougars gave fans the kind of game they expected between two first-place teams. Brandon-Evansville struck early, building a 7-3 lead before the Cougars eventually rallied for an 8-7 win. "We always play Carlos close," Bluedogs' third baseman Josh Meissner said.
The Alexandria Post 87 Legion baseball team is averaging more than eight runs a game this summer and a big part of that has been the consistent hitting of Cody McLaughlin. McLaughlin, a junior this past school season, was at it again on Monday night as his team split a doubleheader with Perham. He stepped up in the bottom of the seventh inning in game one and delivered the walk-off winner on a single that scored Ben Allen from second. McLaughlin wasn't done as he drove the ball all over the park in the nightcap.
The Alexandria Legion Post 87 baseball team has shown an ability to fight back all season but Perham had an answer for every Alexandria run in game two as the two teams split a doubleheader on Monday night. Cody McLaughlin gave Post 87 a walk-off win in game one as he laced a single that drove in Ben Allen for a 6-5 win. Alexandria came back with 16 hits in game two but it wasn't enough as Perham won a shootout 13-11. "Getting the first one was nice and not getting the second one was really disappointing," shortstop Zach Peterson said. "Overall, we can't complain.
The Alexandria VFW I baseball team continues its stretch of good baseball this summer as it moved to 18-4 with three wins in an eight-team Marshall tournament this past weekend. Alexandria rolled over teams in pool play. They won 18-4 behind a 17-run second inning against Sioux Falls East last Friday. That came before a 9-0 win over Worthington and a 16-2 win over Marshall Orange on Saturday.
The Brandon-Evansville Legion baseball team finished the Osakis tournament 2-1 before dropping a close game with Urbank-Parkers Prairie during Urbank Days this past Sunday night. Brandon-Evansville and Urbank-PP exchanged the lead four times on Sunday before Urbank prevailed with a 7-6 win. Matt Thoennes got the win in relief after his team gave him a lead on a two-RBI double by Logan Riedel in the bottom of the sixth. "I can only hope we run into these guys again this year," B-E head coach Trent Hintermeister said.