Junior Legion baseball edges Caledonia; Lions share Little League lead

Jacob Olerud makes diving outfield catch at New Albin. Photo by S. Lee Epps

The age 16-and-under Junior Legion Lions (2-0) rallied for a satisfying 3-2 home win over Caledonia on June 25. 

The 13-and-under boys (12-5) had a busy week with three wins and a loss in Little League daytime action and two Coulee Region League evening losses. They now share the Little League lead with New Albin.

The 11-and-under lads (3-7) faced some formidable Coulee Region competition. 

The 19-and-under Senior Legion (3-1) was idle last week; mid-season statistics are available. 


>SG 3, Caledonia 2

Caleb Nerstad drove in Zach Rains for the tying run and scored what would become the winning run on a ground out. The Lions came into the bottom of the fifth trailing 2-0 and into the sixth down 2-1.

Both teams had five hits, but Caledonia had both of the extra-base hits - a triple by Donnie Lakey and an RBI-double from Noah Jennings as the Warriors took a quick 1-0 first-inning lead.

Back-to-back singles along with a Lion error made it 2-0 in the fourth.

Winning pitcher Chandler Bergrud struck out 10 batters and walked none. Meanwhile for Caledonia, Lakey walked only three and hit one batter. But the third walk helped SG get on the scoreboard when Caleb Griffin drew the base on balls and later scored on a two-out single by Payton Leahy.

Of the five Lion hits, three came in succession as SG tied the score and took the lead in the bottom of the sixth.

Trailing for the first time, the Warriors went down in order in the top of the seventh with the game ending with strikeout number 10 for Bergrud.

SG hits came from Rains (2-for-3), Leahy, Nerstad and Caden Grinde.  Jennings had two of the Warriors' five hits.

Cal  100  100  0 - 2  5 1

SG   000  012  x - 3  5 2

LOB: Cal 2, SG 6

WP-Bergrud, LP-Lakey

Bergrud 7 IP, 5H, 2R, 1 ER, 10K, 0W

Lakey 6 IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, 4K, 3W, 1HB



These boys play in two leagues – Little League in the daytime with area summer recreation squads and the Coulee Region League in the evenings. 

The Lions were rained out at Mabel on Tuesday morning (June 26) but made it to Shelby that evening for doubleheader losses and a 1-3 summer record in Coulee Region League action. But the same Lions swept two Little League games at Preston on June 29 over Grand Meadow and Preston. 

They lost sole possession of the Little League lead with a July 2 road loss at co-leader New Albin, both win 5-1 records. The Indians’ lone loop loss was at Spring Grove.

>Goodview 6, SG 5

Spring Grove never trailed until the final swing of the bat - a walk-off 2-RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning. Down 5-4, Goodview drew two opening walks, which quickly became the tying and winning runs. 

The Lions, taking advantage of eight walks and a hit batter, had taken the lead with only two hits, both by Elijah Solum.

SG  112  01 - 5 2  1

Gv   103  02 - 6 4  3

LOB: SG 6. Gv 6


>Goodview 11, SG 5

The Lions scored first again, but Goodview took control with a six-run second inning that featured a bases-loaded double.

Solum had the lone Lion base hit and the defensive play of the game when he backhanded a ground ball near the third base line - and while on his knees - threw out the batter at first base!

The game went only four innings due to time limit.

SG  401  0 - 5 1  4

Gv   263  x -11 5  1

LOB: SG 5. Gv 3


>SG 12, Grand Meadow 1

It was a run-rule, three-inning mismatch against a young Superlark squad. While Solum tossed a one-hitter, eight Lions contributed to a 13-hit attack. Seven of those hits went for extra bases. Solum (home run), Nathan Solberg (double), Logan Brumm (2 doubles), Caleb Griffin (double) and Caleb Ranzenberger each went 2 for 2. Jacob Olerud and Ty Cleven each had a triple.

SG  570  -12 13  1

GM  001 - 1   1   3

LOB: SG 1. GM 3


>SG 13, Preston 3

Three of the first four Preston batters scored for a 3-0 lead, but Ty Cleven limited Preston to only one more hit and no more runs. Cleven fanned six batters in only three innings with only one walk

SG tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the first and went on to another 10-run-rule win with only one out in the third.

Five of the 11 Lion hits went for extra bases. Brumm completed a 5-for-5 day with two RBI triples and a single against Preston.

Griffin also finished off a 5-for-5 morning with a triple, an RBI double and RBI single versus Preston.

Jaxon Strinmoen added an RBI double along with singles from Olerud, Ranzenberger, Solberg and Solum.

Pr  300  - 3  4   8

SG 364 -13  11  0

LOB: Pr 3, SG 2


New Albin 7, SG 1

The Lions were out-hit only 4 to 3, but three walks set up a grand slam home run by New Albin’s Eddie Peters. Peters was also the winning pitcher, striking out 12 and walking only two.

Down 6-0, Solum led off the Lion fourth inning with a single and scored on a Solberg double. The other SG hit was game lead-off double by Griffin.

SG 000  10 – 1  3  2

NA 006  1x – 7  4  0

LOB: SG 5. NA 7


>SG 8, New Albin 2

In the second, non-league game, Peters hit another home run for the Indians, but Solum sent a 3-RBI shot over the fence to put SG up 3-2. The Lions added five more runs in the fifth, highlighted by a lead-off double from Cleven, a 2-RBI single by Dane Edgington and an RBI single from Solum. Brumm and Strinmoen also supplied base hits for the Lions.

Solberg earned the pitching win, striking out eight and walking only one. At the plate, he was robbed of a hit by an excellent grab in center field.

The defensive play of the game for SG was an incoming diving catch in right field by Olerud.

SG 003  05 – 8  6  1

NA 200  00 – 2  5  4

LOB: SG 5, NA 



The Lions (3-7, 2-5 league) were rained out against Holmen but fell at home against Boys & Girls Club of La Crosse and on the road at Shelby.

>B&G Club 21, SG 7

Lion pitchers had difficulty throwing strikes against visiting Boys and Girls Club of La Crosse. 

Eliot Bartell and Jackson Moen each singled in two runs while Trevor Donlan added an RBI single.

>Shelby 21, SG 0

It was more than challenging for lower-level SG against an elite upper-level club from Shelby. Moen and Zach Brumm  had the two base hits. 

There was an outstanding running catch in left field by Emmet Engeldinger, and second baseman Braedon Solie converted a line drive grab into a double play.


Statistics have been tabulated through the first four games of what is expected to be an eight-game summer season.


W vs. Dover-Eyota 5-2

W vs. Wabasha-Kellogg 3-1

W vs. Chatfield 5-3

L vs. Plainview 12-13

BATTING AVERAGE: team .306, opponents .218, Individual leaders: Nic Peterson .667, Toby Leahy .571, Drew Wyffels .500, Noah Elton .364, Alex Folz .364, Chandler Bergrud .357, Payton Leahy .333  

RUNS BATTED IN: team 20, opponents 10, Carter Bratland 5, Chandler Bergrud 4, Nic Peterson 3, Isaac Griffin 2, Kyle Hagen 2, Alex Folz 2, Noah Elton 1, Caden Grinde 1

RUNS SCORED: team 25, opponents 19, Alex Folz 9, Caden Grinde 3, Isaac Griffin 2, Toby Leahy 2, Carter Bratland 2, seven other players with one each

HOME RUNS: none, TRIPLES; none, 

DOUBLES: team 5, opponents 2, Chandler Bergrud 2, Payton Leahy 1, Noah Elton 1, Carter Bratland 1

STOLEN BASES: team 5, opponents 7, Alex Folz 3, Carter Bratland 1, Nic Peterson 1

WALKS: team 18, opponents 22, Carter Bratland 4, Alex Folz 3, Caden Grinde 3, Payton Leahy 2, Kyle Hagen 2, Chandler Bergrud 1, Toby Leahy 1, Caleb Nerstad 1, Isaac Griffin 1

HIT BY PITCH: team 4, opponents 4, Alex Folz 3, Isaac Griffin 1

PITCHING ERA: team 2.50, opponents 5.54, Alex Folz 0.60, Carter Bratland 2.71, Chandler Bergrud 4.67, Caleb Nerstad 9.00

STRIKEOUT-to-WALK RATIO: team 1.8, opponents 1.4, Alex Folz 2.0 Carter Bratland 1.8, Chandler Bergrud 0.7

PITCHING RECORD: Alex Folz 2-0, Carter Bratland 1-1