39ers bow out of tournament with 1-2 mark 

The season for the North St. Paul Post 39 baseball team came to a close with a second loss in three games in the 2015 American Legion State Tournament hosted by Chanhassen Post 580. 

The trip to the American Legion State Tournament was the fourth in the long tenure of manager and head coach Ron Adams. 

The 39ers also represented the 4th District in 2008, 2010 and 2012. 

When it was all done, North St. Paul manager/coach Ron Adams summed up the State Tournament experience by saying, “We didn’t get it done in game one. ‘Rubes’ (the 39ers closer Nate Rubbelke) didn’t have it for the first time all season and we ended up with the loss. 

“Then, in game two, the Maple Grove team didn’t have much. We hit the ball well and in game three we had our chances but couldn’t get the hit we needed. A big hit could have made a great difference. We had the bases loaded on a couple of occasions but then couldn’t get a hit that would have changed the outcome.

“Overall the kids played well and we’re happy in the way it all turned out. If at the beginning of the year you would have told me we’d be in the State Tournament, I might not have believed you. We got into the second day of the tournament and I’m very happy with the season and the way things turned out. The kids had a lot of fun and that’s the most important part of being a coach. I’m proud of this team and with the season as a whole.”

Austin 7 — North St. Paul 6 

In game one the 39ers went up against the Austin Post 91 Aristocrats. The game was moving along in the 39ers’ favor until an eighth inning 6-run rally by the Aristocrats destroyed a 6-1 North St. Paul leeway and left the 39ers on the short side of a one-run ballgame. 

On the mound for the 39ers was Gus Varland who deserved a better fate. In the seven innings he was in command he racked up 14-strikeouts while allowing one earned run on 5-hits and one walk. 

In the top of the fourth inning North St. Paul put 3-runs on the board when G. Varland knocked a one-out single into right field. Sam Farley belted a double down the left field line putting runners at third and second. Jace Piepgras followed with a single into left Field scoring G. Varland and moving Farley to third. A sac fly off the bat of Louie Varland put Farley across the plate. An error on a ball hit by Dylan Foote scored Piepgras giving the 39ers a 3-0 margin. 

Austin scored a lone run in the bottom of the fourth. 

In the top of the seventh the 39ers doubled their score when Joe Lenart led off and knocked a single through the left side hole. Jake Steckler followed and hit a Texas  leaguer into center. A strikeout later Adam Hildebrandt gained the paths on a fielder’s choice that pushed Lenart to third and scoring Lenart. G. Varland singled to score Steckler and an infield error allowed Hildebrandt to cross home pushing the 39ers advantage to 6-1. 

In the bottom of the eighth the roof caved in on the 39ers when the 39ers committed 2-errors, a couple of hits by Aristocrats 4-walks and a hit batter allowed 6-runs to cross the plate. 

The line score read North St. Paul 6-12-2-7;  Austin 7-7-3-6 .

North St. Paul 13 — Maple Grove 4

In game two on July 31 the 39ers took on the Maple Grove Mapleleafs and put the game away in favor of the locals when they scored their 13-runs in the first 4-innings. 

The Mapleleafs drew first blood with 3-runs in the top of the first. 

In the last of the first the 39ers responded with singles off the bats of Steckler, G. Varland and Foote, along with walks to Jimmy Bothwell and Hildebrandt and an error that put 5-runs across the plate. 

In the last of the second inning the 39ers pushed their leeway to 8-3 when Sam Blees  doubled to left. Hildebrandt walked and G. Varland crashed a triple into centerfield. He then scored on a wild pitch. 

In their half of the fourth the 39ers put the game on ice with five more runs when  parlayed singles by Blees, Hildebrandt, Farley, Foote and Lenart, along with walks to Blees (2) and Bothwell into a 13-3 leeway. 

The Mapleleafs put their final runs on the board in the top of the seventh and ninth. 

The line score read, North St. Paul 13-12-2-8; Maple Grove 5-8-2-6.

Prior Lake 4 — North St. Paul 2 

In game three of the tournament the 39ers met the Prior Lake Post 447 Pirates and bowed out with a 2-4 loss. 

The 39ers went up with runs in the third and fourth innings but were unable to add to the total as the Pirates topped them with two in the fifth and single tallies in the sixth and ninth. 

Foote led off the last of the third with a walk. He was erased at second on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Lenart who stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. He then came home on a sac fly off the bat of Steckler. 

In the fourth the 39ers scored their last run of the season when Hildebrandt beat out a slow roller to the left side. G. Varland followed with a single into left. Hildebrandt moved to third on an infield out and came home on an infield single off the bat of Piepgras to give the 39ers a 2-0 margin. 

The Pirates erased that margin as they shut the 39ers out the rest of the game. 

The line score read Prior Lake 4-10-0-12; North St. Paul 2-8-2-9.

The 39ers finished the season with an overall record of 29-16. In District IV North St. Paul finished with a mark of 9-4 good for third place. 

Wally Wakefield can be reached at wwakefield@lillienews.com or 651-748-7826.

 

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