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Baseball: Alexandria 50-and-older team shares memorable weekend with Prior Lake Tournament title

The Redbirds had to play three games in one day, a first for this group, to secure a share of the championship with a 3-0 record after rains washed out Sunday's schedule.

AlexRedbirds baseball.jpg
The Alexandria Redbirds, a 50-and-older baseball team, won the Prior Lake Tournament by winning three games on Aug. 27. Pictured are, back, left to right, Greg Stehn, Greg Serum, Jeff Hook, Scott Allen, Roger Johnson, front row, Joe Korkowski, Jerrod Kelley, Colin Quinn, Jon Brundell, Kurtis Kuhn, and Tom Anderson. Not pictured from the team is Mark Burns. Quinn, 78, is a Minnesota Senior Men’s Baseball Association Hall of Famer who started the Prior Lake Tournament.
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PRIOR LAKE — The Alexandria Redbirds had a weekend to remember for the players on this 50-and-older team on the way to winning the Prior Lake Tournament on Aug. 27.

The Redbirds swept three games, and all of them came in one day. Team member Tom Anderson wrote that it was the first time anyone on the team can remember playing three games in one day, and also the first time the team has won the Prior Lake Tournament.

Alexandria shared the tournament championship with a team from Puerto Rico (3-0) after heavy rains on Saturday night made the field unplayable on Sunday.

The Redbirds got an early start with a 10 a.m. first game at the tournament. Webster led Alexandria 3-2 in that one, but Greg Serum scored the tying run on a close play at the plate in the team’s final at-bats. Anderson then put the ball in play to score Joe Korkowski for the winning run in a 4-3 final. Serum tossed a complete game in the pitching win.

Alexandria's 50-and-older baseball team beat the Crosstown Traffic in the third-place game near Minneapolis to finish off a 14-win season.

That sent the Redbirds into game two where they faced Med City (Rochester) in a game Alexandria won by a 10-2 final.

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Greg Stehn limited the damage done to just two runs through the first three innings on the mound before Kurt Kuhn tossed three scoreless innings to close it.

Korkowski, playing center field, threw out two runners at the plate with longtime catcher Roger Johnson, 73, on the receiving end of those putouts.

The first came with a runner trying to score from second on a base hit where Johnson caught the throw on the first-base side and made a sprawling tag back to the third-base side to get the runner. The second putout came with a runner trying to tag up from third on a fly out.

“Again, the 73-year-old catcher made a great athletic catch and tag to get the runner,” Anderson wrote.

Alexandria played the Prior Lake Bald Eagles in its third and final game. Korkowski led the way to secure a share of the title as he allowed just four hits and no runs in the complete-game pitching performance. The Redbirds won the game by a 2-0 score.

Alexandria’s Mike Weber and Urbank’s Joe Dorn have developed a friendship centered around baseball that started more than two decades ago, which is why a recent honor they shared together was so special for them.

Jerrod Kelley helped lead the offense for Alexandria through the three games as he finished with five hits (1 double), 2 runs, and 2 RBI’s.

Korkowski had four hits (1 double), scored four times and stole four bases, while Anderson (4 hits, 3 runs, 4 RBI’s), Jeff Hook (3 hits, 1 run), Greg Serum (3 hits, 3B, 2 runs, 2 RBI’s), Kurt Kuhn (2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI’s, 3 SB), Johnson (1 run, RBI, HBP), Scott Allen (1 hit), Mark Burns (1 run, 2 RBI's, 1 2B), Greg Stehn (RBI, Sac.) and Jon Brundell (3 sacrifice bunts) all made for a well-rounded effort for the Redbirds.

Alexandria is back on the field for two more games on Sept. 10, this time in Alexandria at Knute Nelson Ballpark. The Redbirds play Crystal at noon that day. Crystal plays St. Michael at 2 p.m. before the Redbirds face St. Michael at 4.

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Alexandria wraps up the regular season on Sept. 17 with another doubleheader at home against White Bear Lake.

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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