The Tri-City Red American Legion baseball team took its first step toward a state-tournament berth on Tuesday. Tri-City opened the Sub-State 8 playoffs with a 17-7, 7-inning victory over White Bear.
With the victory, top-seeded Red advances to Wednesday’s third round at 8 p.m. at Midway Stadium against fifth-seeded Stillwater, a 6-3 winner over fourth-seeded Maplewood Green on Tuesday.
White Bear drops into the loser’s bracket and takes on Maplewood Green at 5 p.m. at White Bear Lake Area High School.
The playoffs continue through Saturday.
At one point during Tuesday’s game, Tri-City Blue head coach Todd Niklaus told a spectator, “All we do is hang around.”
Tri-City Blue, the sixth seed, was able to hang around more effectively than a couple of other lower seeds in the Sub-State 8 American Legion baseball playoffs but in the end wasn’t able to pull off an upset. Third-seeded Forest Lake held on for a 4-2 victory in the first round of the double-elimination portion of the tournament.
The two teams seeded lower than Tri-City Blue still in the tournament, Chisago Lakes and White Bear, both lost their games on Tuesday by 10 runs.
The loss drops Tri-City into the loser’s bracket and an elimination game Wednesday at 2 p.m. against seventh-seeded Chisago Lakes at White Bear Lake Area High School.
Tri-City pitchers Zach Siggelkow and Sam Melchior held Forest Lake’s lineup, made up of a number of players who played in the high school state tournament last month, to four single-run innings. Offensively, Blue managed only two single-run innings of it own.
Tri-City Blue struck first with a run in the top of the second inning. With one out, Mike Hankner was hit by a pitch and scored via a pair of back-to-back, two-out singles by Leo Skillings and Patrick McGuire.
Forest Lake tied it with a run in the bottom of the fourth and added single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Tri-City made it a 3-2 game with a run in the seventh. Melchior walked with one out, moved to second on Ryan Bernardy’s two-out base on balls and scored on Siggelkow’s single.
American Legion Sub-State 8 playoffs
White Bear 10, Tri-City Maroon 5
Game 1 – Forest Lake 4, Tri-City Blue 2
Game 2 – Lino Lakes 10, Chisago Lakes 0, 7 innings
Game 3 – Stillwater 6, Maplewood Green 3
Game 4 – Tri-City Red 17, White Bear 7, 7 innings
Third round, Wednesday, July 24
Game 5 – Tri-City Red vs. Chisago Lakes, 2 p.m. at White Bear South
Game 6 – White Bear vs. Maplewood Green, 5 p.m. at White Bear South
Game 7 – Forest Lake vs. Lino Lakes, 5 p.m. at Midway Stadium
Game 8 – Stillwater vs. Tri-City Red, 8 p.m. at Midway Stadium
Fourth round, Thursday, July 25
Game 9 – Game 7 loser vs. Game 6 winner, 5 p.m. at White Bear South
Game 10 – Game 8 loser vs. Game 5 winner, 5 p.m. at Midway Stadium
Game 11 – Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 8 p.m. at Midway Stadium
Fifth round, Friday, July 26
Game 12 – Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 2 p.m. at White Bear South
Loser’s bracket final, Friday, July 26
Game 13 – Game 11 loser vs. Game 12 winner, 5 p.m. at White Bear South
Championship round, Saturday, July 27
Game 14 – Game 11 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 12 p.m. at White Bear South
Second game, if necessary, to follow immediately