Oakdale springs surprises in Legion baseball playoffs

Despite being seeded last among all nine teams in the tournament, the Oakdale Mavericks American Legion baseball team was the talk of the first few days of the Sub-State 7 playoffs. Oakdale rattled off three-straight victories to open the post-season and put itself in position to challenge for a spot in the state tournament.

At the deadline for this edition of the Review, Oakdale was one of two teams that had yet to lose in the Sub-State 7 tournament. There had also been three teams eliminated, leaving six still in contention.

As the No. 9 seed, Oakdale was certainly not expected to be one of those teams still alive more than halfway through the tournament. The Mavericks began their run with a 13-0 pasting of Rosemount II in the single-elimination, play-in round on July 18.

Following a day off, the Mavericks entered the double-elimination portion of the tournament and faced top-seeded Fridley Gold Eagle, which is made up mostly of players from Totino-Grace High School. The No. 1 seed next to Fridley’s name didn’t faze Oakdale, however, as it pulled off a 9-3 upset on July 20 under the lights at Kuenkel Field in North St. Paul.

The prime-time spotlight suited the Mavericks well the first time around and they made the most of a second straight night game. On July 22, Oakdale knocked off fifth-seeded Kramer-Berg from Mahtomedi 8-0 behind a superb pitching performance by Lukas Pasiuk.

Pasiuk, who will be a senior at Tartan High School this fall, threw a four-hit shutout and allowed only two Kramer-Berg baserunners to reach third. He struck out four and walked four and at one point retired nine straight batters.

Kramer-Berg starting pitcher John Schwietz also had a strong start as he blanked Oakdale for five innings.

The Mavericks finally got to Schweitz in the sixth and it started with Pasiuk leading off the inning. He hit a sharp grounder that shortstop Dylan Dierking couldn’t handle. Following a flyout, Oakdale rapped three straight hits to take a 3-0 lead. 

Brock Russell’s double moved courtesy runner Andrew Gustafson to third. Gustafson then scored on Corbin Reiling’s single and Robby Schwankl follwed with a double that plated both Russell and Reiling.

Armed with a three-run lead, Pasiuk returned to the mound and continued to befuddle the Kramer-Berg hitters.

If there was any doubt that Pasiuk wouldn’t be given the chance to close out the game in the ninth, the Mavericks removed that doubt by scoring five runs in the top of the ninth.

Raymond Voss led off with a walk and moved to second on Sam Conway’s single before Gino Campanaro’s bunt single loaded the bases. Following a strikeout, Pasiuk walked to score Voss and Connor Brass reached on an error that allowed Conway to score.

Another error, this one in the outfield on what should have been a routine fly ball, resulted in Campanaro scoring. Reiling then delivered a two-run single to give the Mavericks a five-run inning.

The Oakdale/Kramer-Berg contest was the last game of the day on July 21 and the last game of the tournament completed prior to the deadline for this edition of the Review.

Oakdale and second-seeded Hamline Purple met in the winners-bracket final on July 22. The teams that had only one loss following the July 21 games were third-seeded North St. Paul, No. 4 West St. Paul, fifth-seeded Kramer-Berg and sixth-seeded Rosetown.

The Sub-State 7 winner joins 15 other teams in the state tournament, which runs July 29 through Aug. 1 in Delano.

 

NSP 39ers

Upsets were plentiful in the first round of the Sub-State 7 American Legion baseball tournament last week. The North St. Paul 39ers were not immune to the plague of lower-seeded teams knocking off higher-seeded counterparts.

The 39ers, seeded third, did not necessarily receive a favorable first-round match-up. They faced sixth-seeded Rosetown, which beat North St. Paul once during the regular season and lost by only one run in the second meeting between the two Fourth District teams.

Rosetown took a 2-1 lead in the season series by upsetting the 39ers 10-1 on July 20 at Kuenkel Field.

The Rockets’ starting pitcher, Grant Young, threw a gem against North St. Paul as he gave up just one run on five hits. He walked three and struck out four in eight innings of work.

North St. Paul’s lone run came in the fourth inning when Vaughn Pouncy walked with one out, moved to third on Austin Potter’s double and came home on a groundout.

A half-inning earlier, Rosetown sent 11 batters to the plate and scored five runs. 

Following the 39ers’ run in the bottom of the fourth, Rosetown answered with two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. The Rockets then closed out the scoring with a single run in the top of the ninth.

The loss dropped North St. Paul into the losers bracket, where it was able to stave off elimination by beating Hamline Red 12-9 on July 21. Five different 39ers had two hits in the game, which North St. Paul led by eight after four innings.

Rosetown followed the victory by getting blown out 24-3 by Hamline Purple. American Legion playoff games are supposed to go nine innings, but the 10-run rule applies after seven innings. The Rosetown-Hamline Purple game ended after only six innings when the Rosetown coaches agreed to stop the game early.

Next up for North St. Paul was another elimination game, this time against Kramer-Berg. The game, and the rest of the tournament, took place past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

 

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

 

Sub-State 7 American Legion baseball tournament

 

Play-in game

Game 1 — Oakdale 13, Rosemount 0 (Rosemount eliminated)

 

First round

Game 2 — Rosetown 10, North St. Paul 39ers 1

Game 3 — Hamline Purple 7, Hamline Red 2

Game 4 — Kramer-Berg 4, West St. Paul Challenger 3

Game 5 — Oakdale 9, Fridley Gold Eagle 3

 

Second round

Game 6 — North St. Paul 39ers 12, Hamline Red 9 (Hamline Red eliminated)

Game 7 — Hamline Purple 24, Rosetown 3, 6 innings

Game 8 — West St. Paul Challenger 8, Fridley Gold Eagle 6 (Fridley Gold Eagle eliminated)

Game 9 — Oakdale 8, Kramer-Berg 0

 

Third round

Game 10 — Kramer-Berg vs. North St. Paul 39ers

Game 11 — Rosetown vs. West St. Paul Challenger

Game 12 — Oakdale vs. Hamline Purple

 

Fourth round

Game 13 — Game 10 winner vs. Game 12 loser

Game 14 — Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner

 

Championship round

Game 15 — Game 13 winner vs. Game 14 winner

 

 

 

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