Alumni, junior high, Legion play ball; Looking back at spring, ahead to summer

Payton Leahy on the base paths. Photo by S. Lee Epps

Most of the summer athletes open league play this week with a new Spring Grove senior American Legion baseball team opening at home Thursday at 6 p.m. Some of the same boys will have begun summer league basketball at La Crosse yesterday (Tuesday). Younger guys with gloves embark on an evening schedule in addition to the usual summer recreation morning games.

The high school girls begin Wednesday night summer league volleyball tonight at St. Mary's University at Winona with the annual Tuesday night basketball league at Viterbo starting next week (June 12).

Here is a brief look back and a quick look ahead at baseball players of many ages.


Looking back at the school spring season, the eighth grade team went 3-3-1 while the seventh grade squad was 5-2. There were also some sixth graders playing on these teams this spring. 

"Combined 8-3-1 on a shortened season because of weather conditions," said coach Blaine Storlie. "I really enjoyed watching these kids grow from day one of practice, especially with the lack of practice time on the field because of all of the snow and rain we got in March and into April. Biggest surprise this year was Nathan Solberg. He worked his way into (being) the starting shortstop after not even playing last year."

>>8th grade (3-3-1)

1-0 vs. L/P 14-2

1-0 vs. G-E/A-C 3-2

1-0-1 vs. M-C 6-0, 7-7

0-1 vs. R-P 1-10

0-1 vs. Houston 0-9

>>7th grade (5-2)

1-0 vs. G-E/A-C 9-3

1-0 vs. L/P 9-2

1-0 vs. Houston 7-0

2-1 vs. M-C 5-4, 5-6, 15-5

0-1 vs. R-P 0-2


The "odd" graduation year team reclaimed the travelling trophy from the "even" graduation year team with a 10-8 come-from-behind win in the annual Syttende Mai alumni baseball game. 

Andy Folz, Class of 2007, delivered the big blow for the Odds with a booming three-run triple. Class of 1975 graduate Kim Sherburne went 1-for-1 with a walk and a stolen base.


Two SEC baseball teams are still alive in the playoffs. Lyle/Pacelli heads to the Section 1A Tournament as the sub-section runner-up to Rushford-Peterson.

Conference champion Randolph is undefeated thus far in the Section 4A Tourney.

Class AA Caledonia is one win away from its first section title and state tourney berth. The Warriors need to take one of two this week versus Lourdes. 


Southeast Conference champion and state-ranked Randolph (22-1) has gone on to win the Section 4A softball title as well and received the No. 4 seed in this week's Class A State Tournament. The Section 1A champion is Hayfield.


Spring Grove will have a senior American Legion (19 & under) team for the first time in recent memory. Games are played on Mondays and Thursdays. The Lions open at home versus Dover-Eyota this Thursday, June 6.


This age group will play the traditional Little League summer recreation season on Tuesday and Friday mornings, but they will also play double headers Tuesday evenings in the Coulee Region League.

These Lions opened the season with a runner-up finish at a June 2 Tournament. They defeated Lanesboro 5-2 with Nathan Solberg going all five innings while striking out nine and walking none.

Ty Cleven and Caleb Griffin combined to toss a five-inning no-hitter in the 5-2 win over Hokah. Cleven struck out nine batters in four innings while Griffin fanned one batter in one inning of relief.

Spring Grove managed only two hits as the tourney journey ended against a dominating pitcher in an 8-0 loss to New Albin. 


This age group will also play in the Coulee Region League with games on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Spring Grove has so many players in this age group, the coaches are dividing the Lions into two 10-player teams. One team will play the Tuesday schedule, and the other lineup will play on Thursdays. Action begins this week.