Baseball: Alexandria College and CLC-Brainerd play even to force game three in playoff series

Alexandria won game won, but CLC-Brainerd won game two, to force a winner-take-all game three at Knute Nelson Memorial Park on Sunday at 1 p.m. The winner of that game advances to the NJCAA DIII Region 13 Tournament.

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Alexandria College's Brady Goebel steps in the batter's box during the second game of a playoff doubleheader against CLC-Brainerd on May 5, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

UPDATE: As of 8:50 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, 2023, game 3 of the Alexandria College-CLC Brainerd series has been moved to Sunday, May 7, 2023, at 1 p.m.

ALEXANDRIA - The Minnesota Collegiate Athletic Conference has been wide open this year, with no team being too far apart from another.

The Alexandria College Legends and Central Lakes College-Brainerd Raiders were two of those teams and squared off in a play-in series at Knute Nelson Memorial Park.

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Alexandria College's Levi Lampert taps helmets with teammates after hitting a home run in game one of a playoff series against CLC-Brainerd on May 5, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The series is a best-of-three series, with the winner advancing to the NJCAA DIII Region 13 Tournament.

Early runs in game one gave Alexandria a 6-4 win in game one, but a late rally gave CLC-Brainerd a 7-6 win in game two to force a game three on Sunday at 1 p.m.


“The team that produced when the opportunity was there won,” Alexandria head coach Jason Fischer said. “We had a ton of opportunities to score runs (in the second game). And we didn't come through when we needed to. But we still have another game of life. We’ve got to flush this, come back tomorrow, and compete the way we're capable of competing.”

Alexandria led 6-4 in the sixth inning in game two, when CLC-Brainerd started a rally. Alonso Bacame knotted the game up at six with a two-run home run, and CLC-Brainerd took the lead with an Adam Braun RBI single in the top of the seventh inning.

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Alexandria College's Lucas Burgum (front) makes a throw from his knees to first base during a playoff game on May 5, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Alexandria (17-7) got a runner on second base in the final inning but couldn’t knock the game-tying run home.

“I don't think they're ready to be done,” Fischer said about his team. “I think they want to continue to play baseball, and I think they understand that.”

Earlier in the game, CLC-Brainerd (16-13) took the momentum with a 3-run third inning that put them up 3-1.

But with another big swing of the bat, the Legends took the momentum back. This time, it was a 3-run home run by Albany alum Brady Goebel.

The Legends added another run in the inning, but the Raiders responded immediately with a solo home run to make it a 5-4 game.

In game one, Levi Lampert launched a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning that put Alexandria ahead for good. That one swing of the bat by Upsala alum knocked in three runs and put the Legends ahead 5-2. And while the Raiders cut the Legends' lead all the way down to one, the Legends added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth to seal the 6-4 win.


Alexandria’s record against CLC-Brainerd this spring is 2-2, ahead of the winner-take-all game three.

Fischer said pitching will make a big difference in the game.

“We’ve got to do simple baseball stuff,” he said. “Pitchers have to throw strikes, we got to play defense in, and when you have an opportunity to drive a run in with less than two outs, you have to be able to do that. We both we through our top two today, but to me, that's going to be the big difference, who's got the fresher arms.”

Game one - 

CLC-Brainerd - 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 - 4 9 2

Alexandria - 2 3 0 1 0 0 X - 6 13 2 

ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Calen O’Connell - 2-3, R; Jacob Merrill - 2-4, 2 R; Carter Lang - 2-4, R; Felix Porras - 2-4; Brady Goebel - 1-3, RBI; Noah Lower - 1-3; Austin Henrichs - 1-3, R; Levi Lampert - 1-4, R, 3 RBI; Mason Conrad - 1-4

ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Lucas Burgum - W - 5 IP, 8 H, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO; Logan Bullock - 2 IP, 1 H, BB, 3 SO, Save


Game two - 

CLC-Brainerd - 0 0 3 1 0 2 1 - 7 10 1

Alexandria - 1 0 4 0 1 0 0 - 6 9 0

ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Mason Conrad - 1-2, 2 RBI, 2 BB; Levi Lampert - 1-2, R, BB; Jacob Merrill - 2-4, R; Carter Lang - 2-4, 2 R; Carter Ruschmeier - 1-3, RBI, BB; Brady Goebel - 1-4, R, 3 RBI; Felix Porras - 0-3, BB

ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Jalen Vorpahl - 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R 5 ER, 8 SO; Parker Jendro - 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 3 SO

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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