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Legion team is District 6 runner-up
The Maple Lake Legion baseball team traveled to Paynesville on Thursday, July 23, for the first round of the District 6 Legion playoffs. This year's double elimination tournament had eight teams: Maple Lake, Paynesville, Bertha-Hewitt, Royalton, Cross Lake, Kimball, Aitkin, and Sebeka.
Maple Lake took on tournament host Paynesville in the first round. Their bats came up big early and built a big enough lead for Maple Lake to win the game easily.
Maple Lake won the coin flip to determine the home team and elected to take the field. Cam Knudsen started the game pitching and struggled with his control early. He got help from his shortstop, Brian Redemske, who turned a 6-3 double play to get him out of a jam.
Maple Lake jumped ahead and scored five runs in the first while batting around. The big hits came from Nick Hudek and Redemske when they hit back-to-back extra base hits with two outs and runners on. Knudsen then did what he had to do and retired the first three batters in the top of the second to get his team back up to bat again.
Aaron Rassat led off the inning with a walk and was followed by Luke Fobbe's second single of the game. Riley Decker coaxed a walk to load up the bases for Mitch Wurm, who sent a 2-0 fastball over the fence in left field for a clutch grand slam to bring the lead to 9-0.
Knudsen continued to have control issues in the third and allowed one run in the inning. After a scoreless bottom of the third, Luke Fobbe relieved Knudsen on the mound and allowed one run for a score of 9-2.
Maple Lake got one more run across when Derek Rachel drove in Redemske with a two-out single. Maple Lake and Paynesville both scored one run the rest of the game to bring the final score to 11-3.
Pick up a copy of the July 29 Messenger to see players' stats and read about the Legion games against Royalton, Bertha-Hewitt, Paynesville, Cross Lake and their second face-off against Royalton for the tournament title.