Inexperience shows in Post 15’s Fargo tourney performance
This past weekend’s 42nd annual American Legion Baseball Tournament in Fargo was a tough test for the young Post 15 Legion baseball team, as the Detroit Lakes players managed to eke out just a handful of hits over four games against some of the region’s best teams.
But that was pretty much the point of taking part in the tournament in the first place, according to Post 15 coach Mitch McLeod.
“I like playing in a tournament like this, because we know we’re going to face some really good pitching,” he said, adding that he wanted his young team to experience what it felt like to face off against some top-shelf pitchers.
Pitchers like Tri-City’s Josh Gaworski, who pitched a no-hitter against Post 15 in DL’s final game of the tournament, where they lost to Tri-City’s Red team 12-0.
“He may have been the best pitcher we’ve seen so far,” McLeod said of Gaworski, a right-hander who will be a senior at Mounds View this fall.
Post 15 fared slightly better in their first three games.
On Friday night, Detroit Lakes faced one of the Midwest’s best teams, taking on Blue Springs, Mo., in their opening game of the tournament.
“We gave them three unearned runs in the first inning,” said McLeod of that matchup, where Post 15 ended up losing 4-1.
“If you take away that first inning, we played pretty well, but we only had one hit, from Sam Voz in the third inning,” he added.
After that inauspicious first inning start, where DL gave up two errors and three unearned runs, pitcher Austin LaFriniere came in to relieve starter Matt Haire.
“He pitched awesome,” McLeod said of LaFriniere. “He gave up one run in four innings.
“Blue Springs is one of the top teams in the Midwest, and we played pretty well against them, but you don’t have a chance of winning when you can only get one hit.”
In DL’s second game of the night, against Chanhassen, Post 15 came up with its best offensive effort of the weekend, though it still ended up as a loss on the books.
“We lost that game 10-6,” McLeod said. “We swung the bat a little better in that game, and we scored a lot of runs late, but…” ultimately, Chanhassen’s offensive production was better overall.
“Chanhassen hits the ball pretty well,” McLeod added.
Against Shoreview, Post 15 once again found itself overmatched, losing 11-1 in six innings.
“We had three hits against Shoreview,” the DL coach said — and Connor McLeod had two of them, finishing the game 2-2. “It’s tough to be competitive against top teams when you can’t consistently hit.”
Post 15 is looking to rebound this week, traveling to Alexandria for a Tuesday night game and then facing off against Moorhead in another away game on Thursday.
Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.