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Legion Baseball: 39ers ease past Lakers
North St. Paul 3 - White Bear Lake 2
The North St. Paul American Legion Post 39 baseball team was locked in a pitchers’ duel with the White Bear Lake Post 168 Lakers before emerging a 3-2 winner in District IV league play at White Bear Lake High School Tuesday, June 24.
For most of the game Ernie Price on the mound for the Lakers went toe-to-toe with 39ers pitcher Sam Blees.
The 39ers managed to score three runs, five hits, two errors and left five runners stranded on base. The Lakers line score read 2-7-0-7.
“It was very good ballgame for us,” stated White Bear Lake manager Joe Janitschke. “I thought our pitcher (Price) did an excellent job for us.
“He hasn’t had much experience this year, but he held a good hitting club down. We played well in the field and had some chances. All we needed was a key hit or two and the outcome would have been different. We had a good effort and that’s all you can ask.”
North St. Paul manager Ron Adams said, “They played us tough. It was a good pitching effort by both kids.
“Our kid (Blees) had a good game. We played OK in the field and got the outs when we needed them. It was a good effort by both teams.”
The 39ers were able to garner a run in the top of the first inning when Corky Hildebrandt worked a leadoff walk. Nate Rubbelke slapped a line shot to right field and Joe Messerole loaded the bases when he walked.
Steve Orme lofted a high sacrifice fly to left field and Hildebrandt scored after the catch.
In the bottom of the fifth the Lakers countered when Jake Prokosch singled and later came home when a fielder bobbed the ball.
In the upper sixth the 39ers got the run back when Messerole worked a one-out walk. He stole second and moved to third on a single by Orme. Sam Farley then put a suicide bunt on the ground and Messerole flew home with the 2-1 tally.
The game-winner came in the top of the seventh. Jace Piepgras worked a two-out walk and promptly stole second. Hildebrandt smacked a RBI single into center field to run the count to 3-1 39ers.
In the bottom of the seventh Prokosch singled and scored on a single by Jacob Kramlinger to post the final run on the scoreboard.
The 39ers face the 3M Post 599 Mapleleafs at 6 p.m. July 2 at Hill-Murray High School field, before embarking on their annual trip to the Alexandria Invitational Tournament in Alexandria July 4-5. They return home to meet the Rosetown Post 542 Rockets at 6 p.m. July 8 at Kuenkel Field.
Wally Wakefield can be reached at email@example.com.