Legion baseball update

The road to the Minnesota American Legion state baseball tournament began July 19. The North St. Paul 39ers must overcome seven other teams in a double-elimination tournament to clinch one of the 16 state berths.

North St. Paul plays in Sub-State 7 and enters this year’s tournament as the defending champion. Among the other teams in the sub-state that are usually strong are Mahtomedi, Fridley Gold Eagle, West St. Paul and Hamline Purple.

Before they could turn their attention to the post-season, the 39ers had to wrap up their Fourth District schedule. North St. Paul played four district games last week, two of which were completed past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

The 39ers opened up the week on July 12 with a 6-3 win over White Bear. At the same time, Tri-City Red was thumping Tri-City Maroon so the White Bear victory kept North St. Paul even with Red in the loss column.

The next day, North St. Paul ventured to Cretin-Derham Hall High School to face Hamline Purple and dropped a 10-6 decision. The loss meant that the best the 39ers could do in the district standings was tie with Tri-City Red.

North St. Paul hosted White Bear on July 15 before heading to Mounds View High School on July 16 for its regular-season finale against Tri-City Red. The 39ers needed a win over White Bear and to defeat Red to share the district title.

Prior to last week’s district games, North St. Paul played in the annual Gopher Classic. The 39ers hosted one of the 16 pools at Kuenkel Field and went 2-2. 

North St. Paul lost its first two games of the tournament despite scoring first in both contests. The 39ers opened the tournament on July 8 against Coon Rapids and got on the board in the first inning when Vaughn Pouncy singled home Jackson Uner. Coon Rapids answered with three runs in the top of the first and went on to win 7-2.

Later that day, North St. Paul faced Omaha Roncalli, Nebraska, and took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Dylan Foote’s single that plated Joseph Vondrachek. Omaha tied it in the fourth and went to win 2-1.

North St. Paul broke into the win column on July 9 with a pair of wins. Louie Varland got the 39ers on the board against Saskatoon, Canada, by stealing third and scoring on an error. 

North St. Paul went on to win 6-2 behind a strong pitching performance from Tanner Berwald. He threw a complete game and gave up just one earned run on two hits while striking out nine. Contributing at the plate was Joseph Donovan, who went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

The next win for the 39ers came against Watertown, South Dakota. North St. Paul pulled out a narrow 3-2 victory as Varland scored three runs, Austin Potter had three hits and drove in two runs and Max Faust drove in the other run.

North St. Paul was scheduled to close out the weekend by facing Eagan on the evening of July 10 but that game was cancelled due to the fact that neither team had a chance at advancing to the playoff portion of the tournament.

Coon Rapids had already wrapped up the pool with a 5-0 record on the weekend. Coon Rapids followed up its perfect weekend by winning its first-round playoff game over Omaha Burke, Nebraska, 8-0 in five innings. Its tournament run then came to an end in the quarterfinals in a 3-1 loss to Omaha Skutt, Nebraska.

Skutt went on to win 7-6 over Fargo, North Dakota, in the semifinals before dropping the championship game 3-2 to Wayzata.

Wayzata, whose roster includes a number of players from Wayzata High School’s state-championship team, also beat Rapid City, South Dakota, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and Omaha Creighton Prep, Nebraska, in the playoffs.

 

Notes

The seeds and schedule for the Sub-State 7 tournament were determined over the weekend, past the deadline for this edition of the Review. Check out www.lillienews.com for updates throughout the tournament.

The 39ers are trying to make it to state in back-to-back years for the first time. North St. Paul went to state in 2015 to end a four-year drought. 

 

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 July 14)

 

Tri-City Red 

NSP 39ers

Hamline Purple 

Rosetown

Hamline Red 

NSP Cavalry 

Tri-City Maroon

White Bear 

W.I.

12-1

9-2

9-5

7-6

7-7

4-10

3-11

1-11

Game Behind

-

1 1/2

3 1/2

5 1/2

8 1/2

9 1/2

10 1/2

 

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