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Legion baseball: Alexandria edged in summer opener at Willmar

Alexandria's Taylor Jendro pitches during the high school season on May 16, 2019. Jendro got the start in the Legion baseball opener on June 17 and allowed three runs, just one earned, in five innings at Willmar. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

The Alexandria Post 87 Legion baseball team opened up its summer season on Monday night by going on the road and falling in a 3-2 game at Willmar.

“We played pretty well overall,” Alexandria head coach Jake Munsch said. “Just a couple key hits here and there was the difference in the game. Taylor Jendro pitched really well, and we had an opportunity to get some kids some time who didn’t see a lot of playing time during the high school season. That’s kind of what summer baseball is all about is preparing our kids for the next high school season and just keep developing them.”  

Post 87 tied it at one apiece in the top of the fourth when Blake Hoelscher tripled and Isaac Peterson hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score him.

It stayed a 1-1 game until the bottom of the fifth when Willmar scored two runs with the help of a hit batter and an Alexandria error.

Jendro got the start on the mound for Post 87 and went the first five innings. He took the tough-luck loss after scattering five hits and allowing just three runs, one earned. Josh Ballou allowed a hit and struck out one in a scoreless final inning.

Jendro threw only a handful of innings during the spring high school season, and Ballou didn’t pitch. Ballou will be a senior next season, so he’s just one of the guys who might see a little more time during the Legion season as Munsch tries to get some guys more experience who will be leaned on in 2020.

“Our goal is always to win, but at the same time we’re being conscious that we’re also developing for our high school team the next year,” Munsch said. “Our seniors over the years have understood their roles when it comes to that. During the summer season, they’re still going to get a lot of playing time, just not as much as before. That’s just the overall mission of the program is to keep developing so we’re competitive in the following years.”

Munsch is looking for anyone who steps on the field to be ready to take advantage of an opportunity. This is a program that expects to be competitive throughout the summer and win games with the goal of being at its best come tournament time in late July.

“I expect them to take advantage of the opportunity and be excited about it,” Munsch said. “The high school season is so short. You don’t have a lot of opportunities to try things that you can in summer baseball. Obviously, you want to win and you want to play well, but it’s a day-by-day thing and focusing on getting better for the district tournament.”

Post 87 is on the road again tonight, Tuesday, for a doubleheader in Fergus Falls. Alexandria hosts its home tournament this weekend with games going on June 21-23.

POST 87     000 101 0 - 2 5 2

WILLMAR   100 020 X - 3 6 1

ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Taylor Jendro - L, 5IP, 5H, 3R, 1ER, 1BB, 2SO; Josh Ballou - 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO

ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Dominic Schmidt - 0-3; Luke Levasseur - 0-2; Carter Stockert - 0-2; Kade Loge - 0-4; Blake Hoelscher - 1-3, 3B, 1 run; Isaac Peterson - 1-2, 2B, RBI, 1 run; Riley Simonson - 1-2; Josh Wegner - 1-3; Cody Richardson - 1-2, BB, RBI; Tate Breitkreutz - 0-3

Eric Morken

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.

(320) 763-1229
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