Lions run-rule D-E in Legion opener

ABOVE: Caden Grinde slides under the tag at third base, one of his four stolen bases while going 4 for 5 at the plate with three RBIs during the 17-7 American Legion win at Dover-Eyota. BELOW: Isaac Griffin dives safely back into first base as Tiegan Miller takes the pick-off throw. Griffin batted 2 for 4 and scored three times while driving in another run. Photos by S. Lee Epps
S. Lee Epps

Caden Grinde batted 4 for 5 while driving in three runs and stealing four bases, and Carter Bratland unloaded two doubles (2 for 4) with four RBIs while Isaac Griffin went 2 for 4, driving in one run and scoring three times as the Spring Grove American Legion baseball team battered Dover-Eyota, 17-7.

The June 13 road game at Eyota was the summer opener for the Lions while the Eagles slipped to 0-2.

After the teams traded five-run eruptions, Spring Grove continued to cross home plate until the game ended an inning early with the 10-run rule.

Trailing 4-0, D-E took advantage of three walks with back-to-back doubles to suddenly surge ahead 5-4 in the bottom of the second inning.

But the Lions quickly answered with five runs of their own, taking advantage of two errors and a walk with three hits. 

After two outs, Bratland doubled in two runs and then completed the five-run rally by scoring on the second Eagle error. The Lions had re-established their four-run lead, 9-5.

There would be no more D-E errors, but the Lions would score multiple runs with multiple hits in every inning except the first. The Grove guys scored 10 of their 17 runs after two outs.

Spring Grove led 9-6 in the fourth when freshman Caleb Griffin delivered a clutch two-out, two-strikes single to send two runners home for a now more comfortable 11-6 cushion.

In the next inning, there were again two outs when three straight singles added two tallies to make it 13-6.

Both teams finished with four extra-base hits, but the Lions out-hit the Eagles overall 14 to 8. All nine Lions making the trip had a base hit and scored. 

There were solo hits from Chandler Bergrud (double, 2RBIs, 3 runs), Payton Leahy (double), Caleb Griffin (3 RBIs), Caleb Nerstad (2 RBIs), Kyle Hagen and Jonah Udstuen.

For D-E, Logan Johnson hit 3 for 4. Gavin Gust had an RBI-triple.

Bergrud was the winning pitcher, striking out six and walking four while allowing six hits in four innings of mound duty. Nerstad tossed the final two frames (1 run, 1 strikeout, 2 walks).

The defensive gem came from Bergrud, who while playing first base, made a retreating, over-the-shoulder catch of a foul ball. 

Spring Grove hosted Caledonia just after this issue went to press.

SG 17, Dover-Eyota 7

SG   135 224 -17 14  4

DE   051 010 -  7  8   2

LOB: SG 8, DE 7

SG: 4 doubles, 10 singles

DE: triple, 3 double 4 singles

SG RBIs: Bratland 4, Grinde 3, Caleb Griffin 3, Nerstad 2, Bergrud 2, Isaac Griffin 1

WP-Bergrud, LP-DeFrange

Bergrud 4 IP, 6H, 6R, 6 ER, 6K, 4W

Nerstad 2 IP, 2H, 1R, 0 ER, 1L, 2W

DeFrange 3 IP, 6H, 9R, 6ER, 3K, 4W, 1HB

Lehnertz 3 IP, 8H, 8R, 8ER, 4K, 5W


SCHEDULE - 6 p.m. starts unless noted (updated since print edition)

6/06 at Wabasha-Kellogg, canceled

6/10Lewiston-Altura, canceled

W at Dover-Eyota 17-7

L vs.Caledonia 3-12

6/20 at St. Charles

6/24 Houston7 p.m.

6/27 Plainview-Elgin-Millville

7/01 at Chatfield

7/08 Lake City

7/15 playoffs begin