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Junior legion: Alex Red goes 1-2 in Marshall Tourney

The Alexandria Red junior legion baseball team went 1-2 over the weekend at the Marshall Tournament, topping Sioux Falls East but falling to both Elk River and Worthington.

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Alexandria Red's Devan Swerman looks in for a sign from the mound during a sweep against Cold Spring at Knute Nelson Ballpark on June 26. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)

The Alexandria Red junior legion baseball team went 1-2 over the weekend at the Marshall Tournament, topping Sioux Falls East but falling to both Elk River and Worthington.

In the opening game of the tournament on June 27, Elk River took a big lead early on through three runs in the first inning and one each in the second and third. It turned worse in a hurry, as five more runs crossed in the fourth inning for a 10-0 game.

“I had hoped we would compete better with them, but their pitching shut us down,” Alex head coach Steve Radke said. “Elk River's pitcher was the best we had faced this year. He had excellent control and really was able to hit corners and put it where he wanted to. They also had a strong hitting team.”

Alexandria’s only offense came from Peyton Doty, who went 2-for-2 at the plate, but they were shut down otherwise in the 10-0 final.

The Saturday matchup with Sioux Falls East was more favorable for Alex. Caleb Wendel highlighted a four-run first inning with an RBI single, and Alexandria jumped ahead 4-0, all runs scoring with two outs.

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Alex Red scored twice more in the second frame, taking a 6-0 lead and never looking back en route to the 10-2 win.

“Our best game of the tournament was against Sioux Falls East,” said Radtke. “We played pretty good defense and offensively were able to put 10 runs on the board.”

Shay Endres backed the team at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three runs and an RBI. On the other end, Devan Swerman hurled four innings of two-hit ball, allowing one unearned run while striking out eight in the win.

To wrap up the tourney, Alexandria took on Worthington Saturday afternoon. Despite a quick 1-0 lead, a five-run fifth for Worthington broke a 3-3 tie and made the difference in Alex Red’s 8-4 loss.

“I expected that momentum to carry over against Worthington,” Radtke said. “...We had several mental errors in this game to allow runners to advance. We talked about how we need to eliminate these type of mistakes to improve as a ball team. Sometimes the scoreboard dictates how you approach the game, and we are still learning that.”
Both Aiden Kluver and Sam Boettner scored on a Worthington error in the fourth inning, making for the 3-3 tie. But a half inning later, the first six Worthington batters reached base safely -- five on singles and the other on a walk.

In total, it added up to an 8-3 game. And although Cole Walters scored in the bottom of the seventh, it wasn’t enough to avoid the 8-4 final.

Sunday’s game was rained out, marking the end of Alexandria’s tournament with a 1-2 record.

Alex Red returns to action at 9 a.m. Friday, July 6, when they open its home junior legion tournament with a rematch with Elk River at Knute Nelson Ballpark.

Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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