Wins elude Lions on the diamond

Jonah Udstuen considers a throw to first base after getting a force out at second base during 16 and under game versus Lanesboro. Photo by S. Lee Epps
S. Lee Epps

The American Legion boys (19 & under) were unable to get a game in last week with thunderstorms stopping action at Chatfield one batter into the third inning. 

In Junior Legion baseball (16 & under), Spring Grove split a home double header versus Lanesboro, falling to the Burro regulars in the first game 6-3 before defeating Lanesboro reserves in the nightcap 8-6.

The 14 & under guys had a holiday-week bye while the Little League guys (7th grade & under) and 11 & under Lions both dropped league games. 

American Legion (19U)

Chatfield was leading 1-0 when the game was called due to weather after the Lions had drawn a walk to start the third inning. That was the only the second Spring Grove batter to reach base after another free pass in the second inning.

The Gophers had scored one run on only one hit, aided by two walks, a hit batter and a passed ball. 

The regular season ended at home against Lake City just after the Herald went to press on Monday of this week. The Legion playoffs begin next week.

Junior Legion (16U): Lanesboro 6, SG 3

Spring Grove out-hit the visitors 3 to 2 in the five-inning opener, but nine walks and two errors were the downfall for the Lions.

Walks were crucial for both teams; eight of the nine players who scored had reached base with walks. Burro pitcher Wilson Storhoff was in complete control until the final fifth inning when three walks set the stage for an RBI-single by freshman Caleb Griffin, followed by a two-RBI double from Payton Leahy. Griffin (2 for 3) had the only other hit in the first inning.

The Burros took a quick 2-0 first-frame lead with a walk, a single and a two-RBI double from Ryan Holmen.

The first of two Spring Grove double plays halted that threat, and there would be no more Burro base hits. But walks, errors and stolen bases would fuel four other Lanesboro runs before the Lions finally scored in the last inning.

This was the first of only two scheduled evenings for the Junior Legion age group. However, many of these players are also active in Senior Legion games.

SG 8, Lanesboro 6

Spring Grove had only nine players available for both games, but several Lanesboro reserves played in the second game. 

Again, the Lions had a 3-to-2 edge in base hits - all singles from Griffin, Ty Cleven and Nathan Solberg (1 for 1). 

But Spring Grove had only one earned run while taking advantage of four walks and three errors. The Lions overcame five errors and nine walks issued to Burro batters.

Again the visitors took a 2-0 lead and then tied the score with two more runs in the second inning after the Lions had scored four in between.

Spring Grove replied again with four more runs to grab the lead for good at 8-4 in the bottom of the second.

Jaxon Strinmoen, the third Lion hurler, picked up the pitching win in two innings of relief (no runs, no hits, no walks, one strikeout).

He was helped out with two outstanding infield plays - first from Leahy at shortstop in the fourth. Then Solberg, playing third base, raced up the third base line and made a leaping, but amazingly accurate throw to first base for the opening out in the final half-inning.

Little League (7G&U): Hokah 4, SG 2

The Lions broke a scoreless tie with a run in the top of the fourth inning before the Hokah boys scored all four of their runs in the bottom of the inning. Two of the home team's three hits came in that rally, helped out by a few Lion errors.

Each team had three base hits, but the Lions had both of the extra-base knocks – RBI doubles from Gavin Ostern and Ezra Griffin. Austin Gleason singled and scored the second Spring Grove run in the fifth.

Hokah earned a split in league games with Spring Grove, which had won 12-11 earlier in the summer.

Hokah 12, SG 2

The second (non-league) game ended in the third inning with the run rule. Ostern had the only base hit for Spring Grove (4-8, 4-3 league).

11 & Under: Holmen 10, SG 9

The potential tying run for Spring Grove was put out at third base as the game ended.

It had been back and forth on the scoreboard with the Lions leading 1-0 and then trailing 6-4 before Jacob Solum belted a three-run home run for a 7-6 Lion lead. But the visitors answered with four runs to lead 10-7.

Spring Grove (1-7, 0-4 league) had two of its five hits in the final fourth inning while getting back within one run.

Devon Williams had a two-RBI double for the Lions, who also received singles from Travis Fisch and Lyric Stadtler.