Post 15 plays to District championship, before falling to Moorhead
Strikes one and two came early for the Detroit Lakes Post 15 Legion baseball team, but the final strike didn't come until the last possible round.
After losing in the opening round of the tournament Post 15, made a run that lasted into the championship games before losing to the Moorhead Blues 10-0 on Saturday, which marks the deepest Post 15 team has advanced in tournament play in the last several years.
In the opening round, East Grand Forks jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.
But Post 15 came back to score three runs late to tie the game.
In the sixth inning, Jake Kiebke singled, moved to third base on a Doug Dickey double.
Ben Magnuson grounded to shortstop scoring Kiebke from third. With two outs in the eighth inning, Magnuson singled and scored when Chris Gilson hit a line drive home run to left field, to tie the game.
However, an unearned run in the bottom of the 11th inning sent Post 15 to the loser's bracket with a 4-3 loss.
Thief River Falls was the next opponent and after falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, Post 15 pitcher Brock Johnson limited TRF to only one more run.
Post 15 jumped on starting pitcher Spencer Johnson and other Prowler pitchers to score seven runs in the fourth inning and piled on six more in the fifth to break the game open.
In the fourth, back-to-back doubles by Magnuson and Gilson scored one run.
Connor McLeod walked to put runners at first and third, with Max Bentley following with an RBI single to tie the game.
Reed Oistad and Kiebke walked to load the bases and consecutive singles by Doug Dickey and Magnuson concluded the seven-run inning.
More came in the fifth inning Post 15 put together five consecutive hits to lead off the inning.
Adam Thielen, McLeod, Bentley, Oistad and Aaron Gnoinski's triple accounted for the four runs.
Two more scored on a Magnuson double later in the inning.
Detroit Lakes added two more in the sixth on singles by McLeod, Bentley and Oistad to make the final score 15-3.
Oistad, Magnuson, McLeod and Bentley all had three hits to lead Post 15.
DL had a rematch with East Grand Forks on Friday and again, fell behind early but rallied to win 12-2 behind the stellar pitching performance of Jon Tolbert.
Post 15 scored five second-inning runs to take the lead.
A lead off walk to Gilson and four consecutive singles by Thielen, McLeod, Bentley and Oistad scored three quick runs.
Kiebke's single scored Bentley and Oistad to put Post 15 up 6-2 after two innings.
Three more runs were added in the fifth inning on singles by Magnuson and Thielen, sandwiched between was a Gilson walk.
The big hit in the inning was a two-run double by Bentley. Oistad led the team with four hits, while Kiebke added had three hits.
On Saturday Post 15 played Fergus Falls for the right to play Moorhead to secure a berth to the Minnesota State Tournament.
Post 15 took an early lead and never looked back as Nick Polejewski pitched a gem in a 15-5 win.
After a 6-2 lead after three innings Post 15 scored four runs in the seventh, adding one in the eighth and ended the game with a three run ninth.
Every hitter had at least one hit, with Dickey leading the way with three hits.
Moorhead pitcher Kyle VanDyke limited Post 15 to two hits as Moorhead defeated Post 15 and end their season.
"I was very happy with the way we competed throughout the year, and excited about the way they played at the end of the year," said Post 15 head coach Mitch McLeod. "The kids hit the ball extremely well and played great defense.
"I also thought that we pitched well, especially in the tournament. It was a lot of fun coaching these kids. They played hard, made great adjustments, and never quit. It was a great group of kids and I was really proud of them during the season and it was a thrilling run through the tournament."