It Will Be An All League G Final Today in Legion Baseball
The Kenyon, Pine Island and Goodhue Legion baseball teams are the only squads left in the 16 team 3rd District American Legion Baseball Tournament.
At 11:00 this morning Kenyon plays Goodhue and the winner will tangle with Pine Island for the title and a berth into next weekend's State Tournament in New London-Spicer.
All three teams have one loss heading into the final day of action.
In the first game of the day in Montgomery Kenyon defeated Plato 3-1 by getting just enough offense and a terrific pitching performance by Gavin Roosen.
Roosen struck out eight, walked two and tossed a two hitter while throwing 92 pitches and came in Kenyon's 9-6 win over Holy Family in Waterville later in the day.
The only two hits for Plato were doubles and one of Roosen's walks was the only run to score in the elimination bracket game.
Kenyon Post 78 scored two runs in the first inning thanks in large part to three Plato errors. Kenyon also collected three hits in the inning and probably should have had more runs on the scoreboard.
With one out Roosen smacked a single, Carter Leninger had a single and Matt Houglum cracked a single.
Roosen scored on an error when the center fielder mishandled a ball, Leninger scored on an error by the third baseman and the third baseman had another error in the inning but Houglum was picked off second base.
In the fifth inning Kenyon got some insurance when Tyler Craig walked to start the inning, stole second and stole third base and scored on a sacrifice fly by Dylan Craig.
Kenyon had six hits and two errors in the game.
In a battle of unbeaten teams in the tournament, Pine Island and Holy Family of Waconia hooked up in Waterville.
The game went 8 innings before Pine Island won 7-4.
Joe Bauer got the win and Brady Braaten the save.
Kenyon arrived in Waterville and then played against Holy Family in the next game.
Kenyon jumped on top by scoring three runs in the top of the second inning.
Tyler Ryan started the inning being hit by a pitch, Owen Hilkey was walked, after a strikeout Cole Flom was walked and with the bases loaded Tyler Craig picked up an RBI after being hit by a pitch.
Believe it or not, Dylan Craig also got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Gavin Roosen finished the scoring with an RBI single.
Holy Family responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning with Matt Houglum on the hill for Kenyon Post 78.
After a single and a pair of walks loaded the bases the number eight hitter smashed a two RBI double and there was an RBI single in the inning also.
Kenyon took a 4-3 lead in the fourth when the inning started with an error by the shortstop of a ball hit by Mitchell Boyum. Cole Flom sacrificed Boyum to second and Tyler Craig went with a pitch nicely to right center field to score Boyum.
Holy Family then took the lead with two runs in the fifth inning. The crooked number came after there were two outs when a young man from Holy Family clubbed a two run homer down the left field line at William J. Grose field in Waterville.
Kenyon scored two runs in the top of the sixth.
Tyler Craig started the inning with a walk and Dylan Craig had a sacrifice bunt to get Tyler to second. Roosen hit a double and with two outs Houglum knocked in two runs with a single up the middle.
Holy Family tied the game by scoring a run on a bases loaded balk in the seventh.
At the time many of us sitting behind home plate thought the batter had called time and that's why Houglum stopped in his motion and didn't throw the pitch.
After the game Coach Mark Strandemo told me he thought the same thing but after going out to talk to the umpire he was told the Kenyon catcher called for time. Coach Strandemo asked him if that was the case and Dylan Craig said yes he did.
The umpire is not obligated to grant the time out and didn't, thus causing the balk by Houglum because he stopped in the middle of his motion and never threw home.
Eight Kenyon batters stepped to the plate in the 8th inning to secure the win with three hits in the inning.
Dylan Craig started the inning with a double to right center, Roosen hit a fly ball to right deep enough to advance Craig to third base. Carter Leninger collected an RBI on a single to right center and Houglum was walked.
Following a pitching change Tyler Ryan hit an RBI single to left field. Owen Hilkey was hit by a pitch on a full count and Houglum scored on an error.
Kenyon had 10 hits and Holy Family 12 in the action packed contest with Post 78 stranding 12 runners on base, 5 in scoring position.
Holy Family left 8 on the bases and 6 were in scoring position.
Houglum was up against the 120 pitch count after retiring the first batter in the eighth inning and Roosen threw 10 pitches to retire the next two batters.
Houglum gets the win and Roosen a save.
Pine Island then played Goodhue in the next game in Waterville.
Goodhue defeated St. Peter 8-3 in Montgomery to get to that game and they are a red hot team right now.
In my book I had them with 19 hits in a 14-8 eight inning win over Pine Island.
Pine Island also had 11 hits and was saving their top pitchers for the title game to be held later today.
Pine Island had been unbeaten going into the Goodhue game so even after losing will be in the championship game against the winner of the 11:00 a.m. game between Kenyon and Goodhue.
I know it is a funky way to run a tournament, essentially rewarding the losing team by placing them in the championship game.
I believe Pine Island should be in the title tilt, but after beating Holy Family in my mind they earned the right to not play the rest of the day and let the remaining teams with one loss whittle down to their next opponent.
Then that opponent would have to defeat Pine Island twice to go to state.
Obviously the Legion Tournament organizers don't agree.
So at 11:00 this morning Goodhue and Kenyon wipe the sleep out of their eyes and battle to see who plays Pine Island in the title game to follow at Grose Field in Waterville.
I'll have updates on Twitter @GordyKosmo.