By Matthew Davis
With a double header shutout of Ham Lake Post 2000, Totino-Grace improved to 17-7 for the Legion baseball season entering July.
The Eagles beat the Ham Lake Heat 6-0 and 2-0 June 30 in Fridley to win their third straight and six of their last seven contests.
Eagles pitcher Dylan Dubuque struck out four batters and allowed six in the first game of the double header with Ham Lake en route to the 2-0 victory. Jack Kroehler fanned four batters and gave up five hits for the Eagles in the night cap, a 6-0 win.
The first contest went scoreless through five innings before Eric Rataczak and Peyton Schuler drove in sixth-inning runs to secure the 2-0 Eagles win. Schuler broke things open in the second game with three RBI on two hits. Kroehler and Ben Iannazzo drove in a RBI apiece.
Schuler, Kroehler and Ben Palmer each had two hits.
It marked the second double header sweep of the week for the Eagles. They swept Faribault Post 43 June 27 in 7-6 and 12-2 wins. Schuler and Rataczak drove in two runs apiece for game one, and Danny Clausen struck out four batters in four innings. Ryan Suggs had four RBI for the Eagles in game two, and Chad Fox fanned six batters over five innings in the rout.
Totino-Grace had its only split of the week at Hastings Post 47 June 29. The Eagles fell in the first game 9-8 but bounced back to win 10-7 in game two.
Hastings jumped out to a 7-0 second-inning lead in game one before the Eagles cut the lead to 7-5 in the third. After Hastings tacked on two more runs in the fourth, the Eagles tried to chip away but came up short despite out-hitting Hastings 14-11.
Clausen led the Eagles bats with two RBI. Rataczak, Iannazzo and Joseph Linders each had two-hit games. Linders and Bear Bowman split time on the mound pitching in the loss.
Hastings went ahead quickly in game two with a 2-0 first inning. The Eagles responded with four-run fourth and fifth innings to take control. The Eagles also staved off a furious Hastings rally in the bottom of the seven, giving up four runs but hanging on for the 10-7 win.
Sam Hill drove in three runs, and Kroehler had two RBI on four hits. Schuler struck out three batters in 2.2 innings pitched, and Zach Jezierski fanned three batters in 4.1 innings of work.
Irondale hosts Gopher Classic site
Tri-Cty Maroon, an Irondale-based Legion baseball team, will serve as host site for the 40th annual Gopher Classic Tournament July 7-11.
Irondale plays hosts to pool play contests Friday through Sunday. Annually, the Gopher Classic brings in 90 or more teams from around the U.S. and Canada to play in a tournament at sites around the Twin Cities.
Tri-City Maroon opens with two contests Friday: Eastivew at 3:30 p.m. and De Pere, Wisconsin at 6 p.m. Tri-City Maroon then has two contests Saturday: Excelsior No. 2 at 1 p.m. and Ham Lake at 3:30 p.m. Pool play concludes for Tri-City Maroon with Elk River at 8 a.m. Sunday. Eastview, De Pere, Excelsior, Ham Lake and Elk River will play each other in pool play throughout the weekend.
Winners of the New Brighton site pool enter the playoff bracket, which runs through July 11.
Tri-City Maroon has a 1-10 record so far this summer with its lone win coming against North St. Paul June 20 in a 10-8 victory.
Fridley Post 303 off to a 4-10 start
Fridley Post 303 dropped five-straight games to end June with a 4-10 mark. That stretch included several close losses such as a 10-9 loss to Superior, Wisconsin in Duluth June 24 and a 9-6 loss to Cambridge earlier in the day. Fridley also fell 4-1 to St. Michael in North Hennepin League play June 28.
Fridley last won June 23 in Duluth with victories of St. Francis, 15-5, and West Duluth, 6-1. Fridley returned to action Wednesday with Westphal Armstrong after press deadlines.
Follow the Sun Focus on Twitter at @MnSunFocus and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SunFocus