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Run ends with two wins at state

After dropping its first game against Lakeville North, the Alexandria Legion Post 87 baseball team bounced back to win twice against Delano and Rochester in the double-elimination state tournament last weekend in Eagan before falling to St. Cloud.

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Alexandria’ Dan Kuhn throws during a game against Brainerd from earlier this year on July 21. Kuhn had a save in both of Post 87’s wins at the state tournament this weekend. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

After dropping its first game against Lakeville North, the Alexandria Legion Post 87 baseball team bounced back to win twice against Delano and Rochester in the double-elimination state tournament last weekend in Eagan before falling to St. Cloud.

Alexandria had high expectations heading into state tournament play for the second straight year, but head coach Jake Munsch said two wins in four tries was a solid finish against some of the best Legion baseball teams in the state.
“I thought we bounced back pretty good,” Munsch said. “We came out a little flat against Lakeville, and they were a good team. But we bounced back and beat Delano and beat a very good Rochester team. We were happy with our two wins.”
The tournament started out Friday with a 13-4 loss to a strong Lakeville North team. Blake Stockert has been Alexandria’s number one pitcher all season, but he still could not slow the powerful Lakeville bats and allowed six runs, four of which were earned, in seven innings.
“Everybody can hit down there,” Munsch said. “Lakeville put up a ton of runs against Blake, and he is one of our best two (pitchers).”
Mitch Thompson drove in two RBIs in the game, and Casey Hammerback reached base twice and scored two runs.
Alexandria bounced back from the loss to pick up an 11-7 victory over Delano. Mitch Thompson got the win by going 5 1/3 innings and allowing five runs, four of which were earned. Danny Kuhn came on in relief for a save by pitching the final 3 2/3 innings and holding Delano to two additional runs.
Both Spencer Lucas and Parker Bowden drove in two RBIs in the game, and Kris Setterstrom scored a team-high three runs.
Alexandria’s third game resulted in a 10-7 victory over the Rochester Redhawks. Parker Bowden picked up the win by pitching eight innings on the mound and allowing seven earned runs. Danny Kuhn came on to pitch a scoreless ninth inning for his second save of the tournament.
Mitch Thompson led the Alexandria offense by going 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Travis Krueger also had a strong game at the plate in going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
The victory set up a fourth game versus the St. Cloud Chutes. With Alexandria already playing three nine-inning games, they started to run out of pitchers who still had fresh arms. They were forced to use Kuhn, in a relief role, to help close out the second and third games of the tournament.
“When you play that many games, you start to run out of pitching,” Munsch said. “We had to use Danny Kuhn in a relief position, which is generally one of our starters.”
St. Cloud took advantage of the Alexandria pitching in the final game, scoring 21 runs on 17 hits in a 21-6 victory. Grant Hockert was given the loss after he allowed four runs in the first inning. The Alexandria relief pitchers did not fare much better against the Chutes’ offense. Chris Leary went four innings and allowed seven runs, Travis Krueger pitched 2 2/3 innings and surrendered eight runs before Micah Hedstrom came on for 1/3 of an inning in relief, allowing two runs.
Stockert led Alexandria’s offense in the final game, going 2-for-2 with one run scored and three RBIs.
Games with plenty of scoring were common throughout the tournament with the state’s best teams all vying for the title. Alexandria’s offense for the most part continued its strong run production, scoring 31 times through four games.
“I was satisfied with how we hit the ball,” Munsch said. “We struggled a little bit, but for the most part we hit it right on the nose.”

SEASON WRAPS UP AT STATE

The state tournament wrapped up a 28-12 season for the Alexandria Legion team this season.
The state tournament appearance was the second straight for Alexandria after they went 1-2 in 2013. Munsch could tell the players were having fun this season, especially after winning 20 of the final 22 games before state.
“The guys still wanted to keep playing,” Munsch said. “They battled, and they didn’t want their summer to end.”
Munsch said the season was a success after they earned another state tournament bid and won twice in Eagan. He also said the two teams they lost to at state – Lakeville North and St. Cloud – both had excellent chances to play each other in the state championship.
Munsch wished the team’s seniors luck in the future and said he was looking forward to another summer of Legion ball with the returning players.
“I’m proud of the guys and what they did,” Munsch said. “Chris (Koep) and I are honored to be their coach and we hope we taught those kids about baseball, but also about how to be a good person and a good teammate.”

GAME RESULTS

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LAKEVILLE 100 500 061 – 13 14 1
ALEXANDRIA 000 110 020 – 4 8 5
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Blake Stockert – L, 7IP, 7H, 6R, 4ER, 5BB, 4SO; Chris Leary – 2IP, 7H, 7R, 7ER, 0BB, 0SO
ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE – Grant Toivonen – 0-5; Casey Hammerback – 1-3, 2 runs, BB; Toby Helgeson – 1-4, run; Mitch Thompson – 1-4, 2 RBIs; Travis Krueger – 0-3, BB; Parker Revering – 2-4, run; Cody McLaughlin – 0-2; Chris Leary – 1-2; Kris Setterstrom – 1-4, RBI; Parker Bowden – 1-3, BB;
DELANO – 002 003 200 – 7 9 3
ALEXANDRIA – 043 101 20x – 11 13 3
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Thompson – W, 5.1IP, 6H, 5R, 3ER, 5BB, 2SO; Danny Kuhn – S, 3.2IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 4BB, 2SO
ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE – Hammerback – 2-4, 2 runs, RBI; Helgeson – 1-5; Thompson – 3-5, run; Stockert – 1-3, run, RBI, BB; Krueger – 0-4, 2 runs, RBI; Revering – 0-4, BB; Setterstrom – 1-3, 3 runs, RBI; Spencer Lucas – 2-3, run, 2 RBIs; Kuhn – 1-1, run, RBI; Bowden – 2-4, 2 RBIs
ROCHESTER – 013 000 300 – 7 11 3
ALEXANDRIA – 000 323 11x – 10 15 1
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Bowden – W, 8IP, 10H, 7R, 7ER, 2BB, 3SO; Kuhn – S, 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0SO
ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE – Hammerback – 2-5, run; Helgeson – 1-4, run, RBI; Thompson – 3-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs; Stockert – 2-4, run, 2 RBIs, BB; Krueger – 3-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Revering – 2-5, RBI; McLaughlin – 1-4, RBI; Setterstrom – 1-3, run, RBI; Lucas – 0-4, run
ST CLOUD – 405 053 4 – 21 17 2
ALEXANDRIA – 100 200 3 – 6 9 4
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Grant Hockert – L, 0IP, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 0H; Leary – 4IP, 8H, 7R, 6ER, 2BB; Krueger – 2.2IP, 7H, 8R, 8ER, 3BB, 1SO; Micah Hedstrom – 0.1IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB
ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE – Hammerback – 0-4; Helgeson – 0-2, run, 2BB; Thompson – 2-4, run; Stockert – 2-2, run, 3 RBIs, 2BB; Krueger – 0-3; Hedstrom – 0-0, BB, run; Revering – 1-4; McLaughlin – 1-2; Brody Erdman – 1-2; Kris Setterstrom – 1-3, run; Bowden – 1-3, run

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