Alexandria Post 87 splits doubleheader with Detroit Lakes; Lerfald, Hennen shine

Two offensive showdowns on Tuesday end up in a doubleheader split with Detroit Lakes. JD Hennen records six hits in two games and Brock Lerfald allowed zero earned runs on the mound in four innings.

JD Hennen (left) makes a play at second base next to Reed Reisdorf in Alexandria Zimny Insurance American Legion Post 87's 13-8 win in the second game of June 22, 2021's doubleheader. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

It was an up and down Tuesday evening for the Alexandria Zimny Insurance American Legion Post 87 baseball team.

After dropping game one of the doubleheader to Detroit Lakes 10-6, Alexandria (5-2-1) got back in the win column with a 13-8 victory in game two. Crooked numbers in the first and second innings provided 11 of Post 87's 13 runs in the nightcap.

Starting pitcher Brock Lerfald got in some early trouble after a single on a hit-and-run play. He was able to strand the two Detroit Lakes runners on second and third to end the inning with a groundout to JD Hennen at shortstop.

After Post 87 gave up 10 runs in the first game of the doubleheader, Lerfald needed to give his team a chance to take an early lead.

"It's important for me to trust my defense, and I did that all night tonight," Lerfald said. "I think I only struck out two people. I trusted my defense, and they made plays. We got some double plays. I don't want to say it was great baseball today, but they were good for me out there."


Brock Lerfald pitches in the second inning of Alexandria Zimny Insurance American Legion Post 87's 13-8 win over Detroit Lakes on June 22, 2021. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

Post 87 got rolling right away, with the first five batters reaching base. Alexandria put up seven runs, with two of them coming on a Parker Jendro double over the head of the Detroit Lakes left fielder. Jendro, who didn't get an at-bat during the high school season, made the most of his first opportunity.

"It's a lot of fun to see that, especially when your friend doesn't have an at-bat all year and then rips one," Lerfald said. "It's a fun group of guys to be around when stuff like that happens."

The Alexandria bats kept working into the second. Post 87 put up four runs– capitalizing on an error and a wild pitch. Detroit Lakes committed four errors in the first two innings.

Hennen was lights out at the plate on Tuesday. In the doubleheader, he tallied six hits, including a double and a triple, to lead Alexandria offensively. Hennen has a .414 batting average this summer in 30 plate appearances.

"JD is flat-out a dude," Alexandria head coach Jake Munsch said. "He's playing really good baseball right now. Offensively, he's tearing the cover off (the ball), and he's really good in the field. He's stepped up and took on a leadership role when it comes to his athleticism. We're hoping that stays consistent throughout the summer. If you ask JD, he would be a little disappointed with his start to the high school season. But he's really turned it on now."


Nate Hammerback leads off from second base in game two of Alexandria Zimny Insurance American Legion Post 87's doubleheader split with Detroit Lakes on June 22, 2021. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

Lerfald never recorded a 1-2-3 inning in his four-inning start on the mound, but he limited Detroit Lakes' damage to just two unearned runs. He also drove in two runs with a single in the top of the fifth inning.

"Brock is a guy that hasn't pitched a whole lot for us, but when he does, he goes out there and does his thing," Munsch said. "He's not going to be a guy that's going to go out and strike out a whole bunch of players. We just ask him to throw strikes and trust that the defense is going to make plays."

Detroit Lakes added a pair of runs on a two-RBI single with the bases loaded in the top of the fourth inning. In the top of the fifth, another bases-loaded hit and a passed ball cut Alexandria's lead to 11-5. Reed Reisdorf, who came in relief for Lerfald in the fifth, got out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts.

Detroit Lakes put a similar comeback scare in the top of the seventh as Alexandria did in the last inning of game one. A two-out double over the head of centerfielder Will Suchy made it 13-8. But a flyout one pitch later to Suchy cut the rally short.

The sun pokes through the trees in the outfield as Jake Munch leads a mound meeting in the fifth inning of Alexandria Zimny Insurance American Legion Post 87's 13-8 game-two win over Detroit Lakes on June 22, 2021. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

Elijah Holthaus finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate out of the leadoff spot. He also pitched the last inning and gave up two runs on two hits.


Detroit Lakes had the bats rolling in game one of the doubleheader. In the top of the third, Detroit Lakes scored seven runs on six hits with two walks. Alexandria took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double from Hennen and an RBI single from Nate Hammerback.

Post 87 scored four runs in the final three innings, but couldn't make up the third-inning deficit. Hennen went 3-for4 with two RBIs. Reisdorf went 2-for-3 with a walk.

"We jumped out to a lead in both games," Munsch said. "DL had some timely hitting and took advantage of our mistakes… I felt like our guys were a little too loose tonight. It allowed DL to inch their way back into that second game. We had a lot of guys pitch and play different positions that they don't normally play. That's what summer is all about– giving kids opportunities."

Reed Reisdorf pitches in the fifth inning of Alexandria Zimny Insurance American Legion Post 87's 13-8 game-two win over Detroit Lakes on June 22, 2021. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

Consistency is a focus for this summer season. Post 87 has the talent to compete with good teams from around the state, but Munsch needs to see his players more mentally present.

"It's a matter of the kids staying focused and being in the game," Munsch said." If we do that, we'll be alright. Summer is a different beast. In the high school season, we get to practice every day. In the summer, kids have other sports and jobs that take them away from baseball. We're very understanding of that. They're teenage kids with a lot going on. But when they come to the field and step between those lines, that should be their focus. If we're going to get beat, we want the other team to beat us because they're better and not because of the mistakes that we made."

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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