Post 15 team rebounds from slump, wins 3 of last 4
After a disappointing 0-5 showing in the Fargo tournament to cap off the month of June, the Post 15 Legion baseball team has had a much more promising start to the month of July.
Detroit Lakes won three of their four games on Monday and Tuesday at Washington Ballpark, giving Post 15 a 7-5 record in the conference, which also includes Perham, Thief River Falls, Fergus Falls, Moorhead, East Grand Forks, Bemidji and Alexandria.
DL swept Thief River Falls in a doubleheader Monday, then turned around and split another doubleheader against Perham Tuesday, winning game one 4-3 before losing a nail-biter in the nightcap, 5-4.
Pitching played a strong role in DL’s turnaround.
“Two well-pitched games for Detroit Lakes,” said Post 15 coach Mitch McLeod of Tuesday’s effort against Perham. “Connor Johnson and Ryan Cihak both pitched well for us.”
Richie Grossman, Austin Eiter and Reed Johnson each had two hits in game one Tuesday, while Ryan Cihak and Kirk McLeod each claimed a pair of hits in game two.
Though neither team scored through the first couple of innings in game one, DL turned things around in the third. After Sam Voz earned a walk, Grossman flied out, but then Cihak got a single and advanced to second on another walk from McLeod. Taylor Magnuson then struck out before Eiter singled home both Voz and Cihak to give DL an early 2-0 lead.
In the third inning, DL scored again, as Sam Velde singled, then advanced to second on a Voz bunt, Grossman reached on an error. Cihak popped out before McLeod singled home Velde to put DL up 3-0.
Unfortunately, Perham had an answer in the fifth inning, as a pair of DL errors put runners at first and third, and Eric Brauch hit a three-run homer to tie the game.
The two teams remained scoreless until the eighth inning, when DL’s Grossman singled home Reed Johnson with the winning run. Johnson had hit a double to start the inning, before Velde flied out and Voz reached on an error.
Things didn’t fall DL’s way in the second game, however, despite a solid pitching effort from the home team. Highlights for Post 15 included a pair of runs in each of the third and seventh innings.
In the third, Voz walked, then reached second on a Connor Johnson sacrifice. After a ground out from Grossman, Cihak doubled to score Voz, then McLeod singled to bring Cihak home.
In the seventh, Voz singled, then advanced to second on a Connor Johnson ground out. After Grossman flied out, Cihak reached on an error, then McLeod singled to bring home Voz and Cihak before Magnuson popped out to end the game.
Post 15 sweeps TRF
In game one of Monday’s doubleheader, Detroit Lakes scored early against Thief River Falls, and never looked back.
“We scored our first run in the first inning, when Grossman singled, then stole second and scored on Magnusson’s single,” the DL coach said.
Grossman singled again in the third inning, and advanced to second on a sacrifice before McLeod singled him home. Johnson then singled to score McLeod.
DL scored twice more in the fourth inning, when Connor Johnson started things off with a single, then advanced on another single from Cihak. McLeod then singled to drive in Johnson.
Magnusson singled again, then Eiter hit a sacrifice fly to score Cihak and give DL its fifth run of the game. Post 15 went on to win 5-3.
Magnusson finished the game with three hits, while Grossman, McLeod and Reed Johnson each had two.
In the second game, DL finished with another 4-2 victory over TRF.
“Sam Voz pitched really well,” said coach McLeod. “He struggled a bit in the first, walking two and hitting one, but after that he was really good. He kept the ball down.”
DL once again started off its scoring in the first inning, when Grossman singled once again, stole second and scored on another Magnusson base hit.
Post 15 struck again in the fourth, when McLeod walked, advanced on a Magnusson single and scored on a ground out.
DL’s final two runs of the game came in the fifth inning, despite being down two outs after a leadoff single from Sam Velde.
“With two outs, we got a hit from Cihak, Kirk McLeod singled to score a run and Magnusson singled to score another run,” said the DL coach.
“Magnusson was 3-3 in the game.”
After playing four straight games at home, Post 15 travels to the Twin Cities this weekend for the Gopher Classic, before returning to Washington Ballpark next Wednesday for a game against East Grand Forks.
Follow DL Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.