39ers in thick of Fourth District race

Although the calendar just turned over to July, the American Legion baseball season is rapidly coming to a conclusion. The North St. Paul 39ers have only five Fourth District games remaining and it appears that all of them will be crucial.

The 39ers are locked in a battle for the district championship with Tri-City Red. The two teams began this week in a dead heat atop the district standings.

North St. Paul and Tri-City Red entered this week with one loss each in district play. The 39ers handed Red its only district loss thus far on the first day of the season and suffered their only district loss two days later.

That tie in the standings was set to be broken on June 5 when North St. Paul visited Tri-City Red for a 6 p.m. game at Mounds View High School. Barring any hiccups down the stretch for either team, this game, which took place after the deadline for this edition of the Review, should have decided the district championship.

North St. Paul won the first meeting between the two frontrunners on June 11 in the Coaches Classic Tournament at Kuenkel Field. The 39ers scored four runs in the bottom of the second en route to an 8-1 victory.

The 39ers suffered their only district loss on June 13 in a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Rosetown.

North St. Paul returns home to host Tri-City Maroon on July 6. Following a scheduled off day on July 7, the 39ers host the Jim Hanus Gopher Classic July 8-10.

Scheduled to play in the Kuenkel Field pool over the weekend are Coon Rapids, Omaha Roncalli (Nebraska), Saskatoon (Canada), Watertown (South Dakota) and Eagan. 

The Gopher Classic features 96 teams playing in 16 pools of six teams each. The 16 pool winners advance to the playoffs on July 13-14.

North St. Paul had a light schedule district-wise last week with only one game on the docket. The 39ers hosted North St. Paul Cavalry on June 28 and came away with a 6-3 victory. 

Cavalry took an early lead by scoring twice in the top of the first but the 39ers answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Nick Keenan led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a double by Jackson Uner.

Keenan and Uner scored on an error on a ball hit by Dylan Foote. Foote was then forced out at second as Vaughn Pouncy reached on a fielder’s choice. Pouncy later scored on a double by Logan Myers.

Cavalry tied it in the third but once again the 39ers responded in the bottom half of the inning. Myers reached on a two-out infield base hit, stole second and scored on a single by Louie Varland.

The 39ers tacked on two more runs in the sixth. Myers doubled to start the inning and Nathan Rubbelke followed with a walk. Both runners moved up on Austin Potter’s bunt single and Myers then scored on Thomas Wagner’s base hit.

Rubbelke later scored from third on a double steal when the throw to second to try and nab Wagner went all the way through.

The 39ers pulled double duty that night. Following the game with Cavalry, Oakdale took up residence in the third-base dugout and took on the 39ers in a non-district game. Varland went 3-for-3 for North St. Paul but the Mavericks rode a 4-for-4, two-RBI performance from Jacob Zwak to a 5-4 victory.

North St. Paul closed out June by hosting New Richmond (Wisconsin) in a non-district doubleheader on June 29. The 39ers won game one 11-4 as Foote drove in four runs and had a triple and Keenan went 3-for-4 with four runs scored.

New Richmond bounced back from the loss to beat North St. Paul 4-3 in game two.

North St. Paul spent the weekend in New Ulm playing in the Upper Midwest Classic tournament. Results of the tournament were not available for this edition of the Review.

 

Cavalry

North St. Paul Cavalry heads into the final two weeks of the regular season trying to build some momentum heading into the postseason. Through June 29, its record was 5-10 overall and 3-7 in the Fourth District.

One of those victories came last week as Cavalry edged Tri-City Maroon 2-1 on June 27.

The next night, Cavalry took on the North St. Paul 39ers and jumped out to an early lead. The 39ers answered quickly, however, and went on to a 6-3 win.

Cavalry got on the board in the first inning thanks to a two-run single by Joseph Baumann. He drove in Mitch Krueger, who led off the inning with a walk, and James Bothwell, who followed Krueger with a bunt single. Ronald Koran then bunted Krueger and Bothwell into scoring position to set up Baumann.

The 39ers answered with three runs in the bottom of the first but Cavalry was able to tie it in the third. Jacob Ogren led off with a double, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Koran’s sacrifice fly.

That would be it for the Cavalry scoring, however, and the 39ers went on to claim the victory.

Alec Buersken started on the mound for Cavalry in his final game of the season. He is heading to the Air Force and was saluted during the game.

Cavalry followed up its loss to the 39ers by facing Hamline Purple on June 29. Hamline pounded out 10 hits in its 12-0 victory.

Cavalry closed out the week by traveling to White Bear for a district game on June 30. Because of an early holiday deadline, the results of that game were unavailable for this edition of the Review.

In addition to the win over Tri-City Maroon, North St. Paul Cavalry also owns victories over Hamline Purple (6-1 on June 15) and White Bear (5-3 on June 19) in district play. Cavalry also beat the St. Cloud Chutes and Tri-Town in the St. Cloud Chutes Tournament on June 24-25.

Cavalry enters this week with five games left on the schedule. They visit Rosetown on July 6 and host Stillwater in a non-district game on July 7. Next week, they host Hamline Red for a doubleheader, which includes a make-up of a rain-out from June 14, on July 11. Cavalry closes out the regular season on July 12 with a non-district game against Fridley Gold.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

Fourth District American Legion baseball standings (Through June 29)

 

Tri-City Red 

NSP 39ers 

Hamline Purple 

Rosetown 

Hamline Red 

NSP Cavalry 

Tri-City Maroon 

White Bear 

W-L 

10-1

8-1

7-3

4-6

3-6

3-7

3-7

1-8

Games behind

-

1

2 1/2

5 1/2

6

6 1/2

6 1/2

8

 

 

 

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