Legion team moves on in playoffs

The Maple Lake Legion baseball put it all together just in time to make a play-off run and continue on to the Division 6 play-offs in Cross Lake. In their double elimination three-team bracket, Maple Lake beat Howard Lake in their first game, but lost to Breck in their second play-off game. However, Breck lost to Howard Lake, so after the first-round all three teams had one loss. Maple Lake then eliminated Howard Lake and went on to beat Breck in the final game.

Maple Lake vs. Howard Lake

Howard Lake came to town on Tuesday, July 22, and the two teams battled it out in the first game of play-offs in Maple Lake, the site of the play-off bracket.

Maple Lake stepped to the plate first against Howard Lake as they were designated as the visiting team. Aaron Rassat led off the game with a single and Riley Decker followed suit with a single of his own, but three straight outs left Maple Lake scoreless in the inning. However, they managed to hold Howard Lake scoreless as well behind the arm of Decker.

Both Rob Hannon and Ryan Kotila got aboard the base paths to lead off the top of the second inning, and with two outs Lawler loaded the bases up as he was hit by the pitch. Howard Lake managed to get out of the jam as they recorded a ground-out. Maple Lake's defense held strong in the bottom of the second as they held Howard Lake scoreless and Decker recorded two more strikeouts.

The first run of the game was scored by Maple Lake in the top of the third as Jordan Kelm, who reached on a single, scored as Rob Hannon ripped an RBI double. In the bottom half of the inning Maple Lake held Howard Lake scoreless for the third-straight inning.

Mitch Wurm ripped a one-out double for Maple Lake's only hit in the top of the fourth, as their offense couldn't come through with the clutch hit. Decker and company got out of the fourth inning unharmed as they got out of a bases-loaded jam.

Maple Lake scored two more runs in the top of the fifth inning to increase their lead to 3-0. Kelm started the rally with a single and Nick Hudek then reached the base paths as he was hit by the pitch. Hannon stepped to the plate next and ripped his second straight double to drive in Kelm, and Kotila followed suit as he drove in Hudek. However, Howard Lake got one of their runs back in the bottom of the fifth to put the score at 3-1.

In the top of the sixth, Maple Lake continued their offensive production as they had two more runs cross the plate. Wurm and Lawler, who both reached with singles, were batted in as Decker connected for a two-RBI double. Maple Lake's defense came through again in the bottom of the sixth as they got out of the inning unharmed after Howard Lake ripped two singles.

The seventh inning gave both teams their last chance to score some runs as Maple Lake was leading 5-1. Maple Lake took advantage of the final inning as they scored six more runs, but Howard Lake, on the other hand, came up empty-handed as they were held scoreless behind the arm of Decker and Maple Lake took the 11-1 win.

More information appears in this week's issue of the Messenger or subscribe to the on-line E-dition of the paper.

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