Offense erupts for 35 runs in Post 87’s 4-1 weekend at Gopher Classic
JD Hennen and Devan Swerman add to their team-leading RBI totals with big games.
The Zimny Insurance American Legion Post 87 Alexandria baseball team (15-5-1) found out firsthand how tough the competition is at the annual Gopher Classic American Legion Tournament this past weekend.
Alexandria went 4-1 through five games in its pool, and that still was not enough to advance to the championship portion of the tournament. Forest Lake also went 4-1 in that pool, and a 6-4 head-to-head win over Alexandria on Sunday advanced Forest Lake and ended Post 87’s run despite playing well throughout much of the weekend.
Alexandria was leading 3-1 against Forest Lake through five innings, but a four-run top of the sixth was enough for Forest Lake to get the win. Parker Jendro went 5 2/3 innings for Post 87 in that final game and allowed four runs, just one earned, on four hits, two walks and two strikeouts.
Wins for Alexandria came against Omaha in a 7-5 game, Brookings S.D. in an 8-0 final, Osseo by a 7-4 score and then against Edina in a 9-6 decision.
Devan Swerman and JD Hennen both had big weekends at the plate. Swerman homered and doubled against Omaha on his way to five RBIs in the 7-5 win.
Reed Reisdorf, Hennen and Nate Hammerback all added two hits apiece, while Hennen got the pitching win after going five innings and striking out six. Jendro closed out the win by going the final two frames and allowing one run on three hits.
Swerman added four more hits, three runs and an RBI in the win over Osseo. That included two doubles. Hennen also doubled and drove in three runs, giving Will Suchy plenty of run support. Suchy went 6 2/3 innings for the win, allowing four runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out six.
Elijah Holthaus had Alexandria’s most dominant pitching outing of the weekend. Holthaus went all six innings against Brookings in the 8-0 win. He scattered three hits and three walks while striking out eight.
Hennen provided the offense with a home run and a double as part of a three-hit, three-RBI game. Caleb Runge scored twice. Brock Lerfald added a hit, a run scored and two RBIs, and Swerman was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Alexandria had 13 hits total against Edina. Hennen again was a big part of that with a double that was part of two hits, a run scored and three RBIs in the 9-6 win. Swerman was 2-for-5 with a run scored, and Reisdorf and Lerfald each had three hits, and Hammerback doubled and drove in three runs.
The 35 total runs scored at the Gopher Classic are part of what has been a good summer offensively for Alexandria. Post 87 is hitting .328 as a team with an on-base percentage of .426. Reisdorf (.476), Hennen (.440), Dayton Downing (.429), Swerman (.415) and Brock Lerfald (.346) are leading the charge with batting averages over .300.
Hennen has a team-best 22 RBIs, with Swerman close behind at 19.
A busy stretch for Post 87 continues as Alexandria goes to Bemidji for a doubleheader on Monday, July 12, that starts at 4 p.m. ahead of a doubleheader at East Grand Forks on July 14 at 3 p.m.
The district tournament runs July 21-25 in Fergus Falls.