Post 15 finishes third at Sub-State
Detroit Lakes falls shy of the championship game in one-run loss to Bemidji in the elimination bracket final.
After a first round walk-off loss to Alexandria, Detroit Lakes Post 15 made a run through the elimination bracket of the Sub-State 14 American Legion baseball tournament falling a game shy of a shot at the championship.
Post 15’s season came to an end in a high-scoring 13-12 loss to Bemidji.
“The team battled and never gave up, hitting the ball well,” head coach Phil Kirchner said.
Bemidji and DL got on the board early in the elimination final.
The Centaurs allowed four runs to Post 15 in the top of the first, but got three runs back in the bottom half.
“Giving up four in the first and then responding with three, we just knew it was going to be one of those games where you have to stay engaged to win,” Bemidji head coach Nate Blumhagen told the Bemidji Pioneer’s Micah Friez. “That’s how we tailored it. We knew we’d win it with the bats more than defense or pitching.”
DL was in a similar boat with limited pitchers available due to injuries.
Post 15 led 5-3 after the top of the second. Jordan Tucker tripled to bring home Andrew Kulik with two outs.
Bemidji’s Ben Corradi hit a two-RBI single in the bottom half to tie the game at 5-5.
A third inning Jake Bishop double scored Blaine Henderson and DL led 7-5 after a Swiers squeeze bunt plated Grady Kirchner from third base.
Corradi struck again with a grand slam in the Bemidji half of the third inning for a 10-7 Centaurs advantage.
DL got two runs back in the top of the fourth. Mason Omberg’s bases-loaded grounder brought Jordan Tucker home from third base on an error. A Bishop fielder’s choice scored Zack Oistad to get within a run down 10-9.
Bemidji responded with a two-run bottom of the fourth to extend the lead to 12-9.
After a scoreless fifth, DL tied the game at a dozen runs each with a three-run, two out rally.
With the bases full, Bradly Swiers singled in Henderson. Omberg scored on an error at shortstop on a Hunter Korth ground ball. Kulik earned a bases-loaded walk to bring Kirchner home with the tying run.
A Tucker liner to centerfield for the lead was caught by JD Kondos for the final out.
The tie did not last long.
Brandon Lussier led off the bottom of the sixth with a single and scored the eventual game-winner on a Sawyer Nendick sacrifice fly.
Henderson reached on a walk in Post 15’s final at-bats, but Sawyer Nendick struck out three DL batters, two looking, to end the game.
Detroit Lakes defeated Thief River Falls 7-3 in the first elimination game and got the bats rolling in a 14-4 victory over East Grand Forks to force a showdown with Perham.
Tucker picked up the pitching win against TRF; Swiers threw a complete game to eliminate EGF.
Against Perham, Post 15 rallied from a 7-6 deficit in the seventh inning to advance.
Kyler Johnston’s grounder was booted by Perham’s shortstop allowing Kulik to advance to second base.
Henderson executed a sacrifice bunt moving Kulik to third with one out. Omberg delivered a clutch triple tying the game 7-7, followed by a Bishop double to score Omberg for an 8-7 lead.
Trevor Schnathorst came on in relief of starter Jacob Thomas and closed the game out with a 13-pitch save, striking out one batter.
DL collected 16 hits in the game. Schnathorst had three of those hits.
Thomas was the winning pitcher in what coach Kirchner called a gutsy performance. Only two of the seven runs allowed to Perham were earned.
Detroit Lakes placed third overall and ended a successful season with an overall mark of 23-15.
The Moorhead Blues advanced to the title game out of the championship bracket with no losses, but had to beat Bemidji Sunday after the Centaurs forced the extra game with an 8-1 victory in a game played just after defeating Detroit Lakes on Saturday.
In the final, Bemidji trailed Moorhead 5-0 with two outs and nobody on base in the bottom of the seventh. The Centaurs got within a run on a desperate four-run rally trying to keep their season alive.
Bemidji scored three of those runs on Grant DeClusin’s bases-clearing single. Ty Lundeen followed up with an RBI double to put the tying run on second base.
Blues’ reliever Ryan Luthi struck out Lussier to end the game.
Moorhead will represent Sub-State 14 at the 95th Annual Minnesota Division I State Tournament beginning with pool play Thursday, July 29, in St. Cloud. The tournament runs through August 1.
Games will be spread throughout the St. Cloud metro area at Dick Putz Field, Joe Faber Field, St. Cloud Orthopedics Field in Sartell, Bob Cross Park in Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud Technical High School.
Read more stories by Robert Williams here .