Another strong Legion baseball season by Tri-City Red ended last week when the Red won two of four games in the state tournament in St. Cloud. The Red, consisting of Mounds View athletes, finished with a 20-9 record.
The Red lost their opener to St. Cloud Chutes 4-0, limited to three hits by Chutes hurler Andrew Rott, although they had 12 hard-hit balls. Sean Goldman took the loss, allowing four runs. Brandon Cook finished with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
TCR downed Grand Rapids 14-3, highlighted by three solo homers, two by Ike Mezzenga over the right-field fence, and one by Ben Rosin off the left-field scoreboard. Connor Chervany belted a two-run double, and Sean Goldman stole third and home after hitting a double. Andrew Boeser pitched all six innings, allowing five hits, striking out two.
The Red blanked Rosemount 5-0 on Friday with Rosen throwing 6 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and striking out seven. When he reached the pitch limit, Leo Fleischhacker got the last out. Mezzenga smacked a solo homer. Cooper Kleppe, Paul Diekoff and Chervany also had RBI’s and Landon Both was 2-for-2 with two runs.
Willmar ousted TCR 8-2 with Sam Etterman limiting the Red to six hits while striking out nine. He also delivered a two-run single during a five-run third inning. Mezzenga took the loss, allowing five runs in three innings. Brandon Cook pitched 2/3 innings and Fleischhacker finished with 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Diekman hit a solo home and Chervany singled home the other run.
For the season, TCR, coached by Nik Anderson, had a .314 team batting average and scored 5.5 runs per game.
Mezzenga led the team with six homers and 10 doubles, while hitting .365, scoring 32 runs and knocking in 20. Both had the top batting average, .375, scored 25 runs and drove home 17. Reid Thurston led with six triples, 33 runs and 27 stolen bases, while hitting .370 with nine doubles and 21 RBI.
Kleppe hit .347 with nine doubles, 31 runs, 12 RBIs. Diekoff led with 28 RBI’s while hitting .329 with 23 runs and one homer. Also hitting over .300 were Goldman .311, Maddox Folska .302 and Cole Hinkel .302 (with 19 RBIs).
Ten pitchers had at least one win, with nobody throwing more than 32 innings. Diekoff was 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA; Folska 3-0 and 3.27; Ben Rosin 3-1 and 2.65; Mezzenga 3-1 and 2.74; and Boeser 2-1 and 2.08. Strikeout leaders were Diekoff with 33 in 23.3 innings and Rosin with 32 in 31.7 innings.
Bruce Strand is a sports contributing writer for Press Publications. He can be reached at email@example.com or 651-407-1200.