Burnsville goes 1-2 in American Legion World Series

Loss to California team ends Cobras’ season

Burnsville’s most successful American Legion baseball season ended Sunday with a 3-1 loss to Petaluma, Calif., at the national tournament in Shelby, N.C.

The Cobras, 36-12 overall, were 1-2 in the American Legion World Series. Burnsville opened with a 4-0 victory over Napoleon, Ohio, on Friday and lost to Brooklawn, N.J., 8-1 on Saturday.

Burnsville had scoring opportunities in Sunday’s game against Petaluma with eight hits, three walks and one batter hit by a pitch. But the team was 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. The Cobras had the potential tying run on base with two outs in the top of the ninth innings but couldn’t convert.

Logan Vermeer’s fourth-inning single drove in Bo Hellquist with Burnsville’s run. Peter Nordgren had two hits for Burnsville.

Cooper Maas pitched the first six inning of Sunday’s game for the Cobras, allowing five hits and three earned runs while striking out four. Zach Smith worked two scoreless innings of relief.

Burnsville tied an American Legion World Series record with four double plays in Saturday’s game against Brooklawn, but it wasn’t much help as the Cobras couldn’t score until the ninth inning.

Maas drove in Tyler Hill with a single to keep Burnsville from being shut out.

Brooklawn took the lead with a five-run fourth inning against Burnsville starting pitcher Aaron Rozek, who had allowed only one hit over the first three innings.

Rozek pitched the first five innings and was charged with seven runs, five earned. Vermeer and Luke Hansen pitched in relief. Zach Smith was 2-for-4, the only Burnsville player with a multiple-hit game.

Tyler Hanson and Rozek combined to shut out Napoleon in Friday’s World Series opener. Hanson allowed six hits and four walks in the first 7 1/3 innings. He struck out five. Rozek pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to earn a save.

Camden Traetow’s three-run double broke a scoreless tie in the seventh inning. He then scored on a single by Eric Watters.

Hellquist reached base all five times he came to the plate with a single, double and three walks.

Burnsville finished second in the Minnesota state tournament to qualify for regional play for the first time. The Cobras then went 5-0 in the Central Plains Regional to advance to the World Series. They are the first Minnesota team to reach the national tournament since Eden Prairie two years ago.

In addition to playing on the first Burnsville team to reach the American Legion World Series, Hanson, Hill and Hellquist played on Burnsville High School’s state Class AAA championship team in 2011.

Hill and Hellquist will be sophomores in college next season – Hill at Truman State in Missouri and Hellquist at Minnesota-Duluth. Hanson, a June 2013 BHS graduate, will play baseball at the University of Minnesota.

This also was expected to be the final season for Cobras head coach Greg Nesbitt, who recently was named head baseball coach at Prior Lake High School. Nesbitt has been involved in Burnsville traveling baseball for almost 20 years as a player and coach. He also has been an assistant coach at several local high schools, including Burnsville, Apple Valley and Lakeville South.