The Alexandria legion baseball team just didn't fold through a memorable tournament run.
Alex lost its second game of the Sub-State 14 Tournament, but the five consecutive wins that followed helped Post 87 run the table and secure their spot at the state tourney after Sunday's 7-5 championship win over Moorhead in East Grand Forks.
"I think we showed some big resiliency," head coach Jake Munsch said. "We reminded the players that we've done this before. We've lost in the first round and came back to win it. It's possible."
It happened again on Sunday, as Carter Stockert tossed a complete game with two earned runs on six hits, while Blake Hoelscher and Riley Simonson each had two RBIs to lead the bats.
"Carter obviously pitched well again. Offensively, we were able to put the bat on the ball," said Munsch. "Some guys stepped up tremendously. (Braden) Reisdorf had an incredible last few games, Blake Hoelscher put the bat on the ball. It just amazes me how some guys can just take those moments and run with them and do really well. There's a lot of confidence throughout our order."
Sunday's win was Alexandria's fifth in three days. They had to beat Bemidji and Perham Friday, July 27, and then East Grand Forks and Moorhead on Saturday, July 28, before Sunday's rematch with previously unbeaten Moorhead.
"You just have to treat it one game at a time," Munsch said. "If you look at how much you have to do, it seems monumental, but you just believe you can win the next game. Then you just keep winning one and moving on to the next. That's kind of what we did and gained some momentum offensively from there. We got to the end and we're like, 'Well, we might as well do it now.'"
Munsch also noted that the competitiveness tends to amp up when the season-and even careers-are at stake.
"The energy level is much higher than the regular season," he said. "It's all on the line. Win or you don't move on. Everything's done. Their career in Alexandria, for the seniors, is over."
But with the sub-state title now in hand, Alexandria will meet Sauk Rapids at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, in the first round of the Division I state tournament in Edina. The winner will meet the Tri-City Red/Mankato National winner at 5 p.m. Thursday, while the losers will play an elimination game at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
"(Our goal) is no different than before," Munsch said. "We take it one game at a time, play our best, try to control the things we can and let the chips fall where they may. Hopefully we can keep this rolling and win a couple games down there."
ALEXANDRIA 203 200 0 - 7 10 4
MOORHEAD 001 220 0 - 5 6 1