The importance of insurance runs was put on display in the second game of the Alexandria Legion baseball team’s doubleheader against Perham on Thursday night.

Perham held a 5-4 lead heading into the top of the seventh, with one out, a sacrifice fly gave Perham a two-run lead despite center fielder Matthew Carlsen throwing out a base runner at third to end the inning.

Alexandria loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Isaac Peterson drove in a run with a hard-hit single to left field. However, Perham’s Steve Lindberg was able to strike out Andrew Revering to end the game.

“We left runners on base all night,” head coach Jake Munsch said. “These games sting a little more being one-run losses but I think we are playing with a lot of confidence right now. We have good pitching and good hitting. We played two evenly matched ball games today.”

Perham’s 6-5 win at Knute Nelson Memorial Field was saved in the bottom of the sixth inning. Alexandria had the bases loaded with two outs when Dominic Schmidt drove a ball to deep center field. Perham center fielder McCormick Meyer made a catch over his head running towards the wall that prevented three Alexandria runs from scoring.

“That was big for them,” Munsch said. “I noticed their outfielders were playing shallow. I thought that anything hit deep would give us the lead. Dominic put a good bat on it but he was able to catch up to it.”

Alexandria pitcher Taylor Jendro got the start in game two on Thursday night. He allowed one run in three innings.

“We feel good as a team right now,” Jendro said. “We played well this weekend and had a nice split on Tuesday. Perham is a good team and we thought we could’ve had both. We just have to start getting ready for the district tournament next weekend."

Alexandria lost the first game 3-2. Carter Stockert threw six innings and allowed three runs. Perham was able to take the lead with a Dawson Stevens two-run home run that capped off a three-run fourth inning.

Alexandria had a chance to tie the game in the sixth inning. After Josh Wegner walked, Riley Simonson hit a double that put runners on second and third with nobody out. Kade Loge allowed Wegner to score with a ground ball to the right side of the infield, making the score 3-2.

With one out, Luke Levasseur hit a fly ball to short left field. Jendro, the courtesy runner, took off for home thinking the ball wouldn’t be caught. Left fielder Josh Jeziorski made a diving catch and was able to get the force out at third to end the inning.

“We left runs out there today,” Jendro said. “They’re a good hitting team. They had five hits in the first game and 10 in the second. We’ve been hitting the ball better too, but we can’t leave that many runners on base.”

Alexandria’s postseason starts next week at the sub-state tournament in Detroit Lakes. Munsch feels like his guys are playing the right baseball at the right time. The tournament is scheduled to run from July 24-28.

“We had a good weekend at the Gopher Classic and I thought we played well in our two doubleheaders this week,” he said. “We are going to practice the three days leading up and keep doing what we are doing. I don’t think any team sticks out above the rest in this field, and I think we can win this tournament. There’s no point in making any major changes or putting pressure on our guys when they’re playing with confidence.”

With the week off, Alexandria will get some much-needed rest before heading to Detroit Lakes.

“We played a lot of baseball the last two weeks,” Jendro said. “Getting all of our arms back to go with how we are hitting right now is exciting. We are feeling good about ourselves. We win and lose as a team.”