Eastview, Burnsville fall short in American Legion tourney

Thunder goes 2-2, Cobras drop two games

Kathan Decker of Eastview steals second base during the Thunder’s 12-2 victory over Spring Lake Park at the state American Legion baseball tournament. Photo by Mike Shaughnessy

Tri-City Red defeated Ham Lake 6-3 in the Minnesota American Legion baseball Division I championship game Monday at CHS Field, and both teams went on to regional play this week.

Eastview went 2-2 in the state tourney, and the Sub-State 6 champion finished its season 23-11. Sub-State 5 champion Burnsville lost its two state tourney games, both by one run, and finished 20-11.

Eastview opened the tournament with a 12-2 victory over Spring Lake Park at CHS Field on Friday. The Thunder scored five runs in the top of the first inning, giving winning pitcher Ryan Fering a secure cushion before he went to the mound. The Thunder scored two runs each in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings before ending the game via the 10-run rule after adding its 12th run in the eighth. Eastview had 14 hits to Spring Lake Park’s six and also was the beneficiary of four SLP errors.

Owen Granger had three hits and four runs batted in as the Thunder won its state opener. Brady Miller had three hits and scored twice, Logan Tollefson had two hits and three RBI and Jack Young drove in two runs.

After Eastview used a fast start to gain the upper hand in its game against Spring Lake Park, the Thunder saw host team Tri-City Red start quickly in a second-round game Friday. Tri-City Red led 11-1 after 2 1/2 innings before Eastview rallied, cutting the lead to 11-8 after seven innings. Tri-City Red added five more runs in the top of the eighth and Eastview couldn’t respond.

Ten pitchers took the mound in the Eastview-Tri-City Red game, five for each team. The teams combined for 34 hits, 18 by Eastview. Zach Kadlec and Young had four hits each for the Thunder.

Eastview remained alive in the tournament with a 5-4, 12-inning victory over the Rochester Patriots on Saturday. Tollefson drove in three runs, and his double off the wall in the bottom of the 12th scored the winner. Miller had two hits and drew two walks. Winning pitcher Kyle Nelson worked the final eight innings, holding the Patriots to five hits and striking out three.

The Thunder headed to Minneapolis for an elimination game later Saturday against Excelsior at Siebert Field, and a nine-run fourth inning for Excelsior essentially ended the Thunder’s season. Excelsior went on to win 12-2 in seven innings. Zach Kadlec, the first of four pitchers the Thunder used in the game, took the loss. Miller had two hits and Cullen Buck drew three walks.

Stillwater scored the eventual winning run in the top of the 10th inning to defeat Burnsville 7-6 in a first-round game at Siebert Field. The Cobras twice came back from three runs down to tie the game, including a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Starting pitcher Henry Ristvedt worked the first six innings and also drove in two runs for the Cobras. Brandon Hugo added two RBI. Mitchell Kohler pitched the final four innings but wound up with the loss.

Burnsville’s state tournament run, and its season, ended with a 4-3 loss to St. Michael in an elimination-bracket game Friday afternoon. St. Michael scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning and held the lead the rest of the way. Zach Matthews started on the mound for Burnsville and pitched the first 6 1/3 innings before Kohler finished the game in relief. William Bean drove in a run for the Cobras.

Tri-City Red and Ham Lake went to Dickinson, N.D., for the Central Plains Regional tournament that runs through Sunday. Teams from North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa also are competing in the regional, which sends its winner to the American Legion World Series beginning Aug. 10 in Shelby, N.C.

Junior Legion

Edina defeated Excelsior 3-2 in the championship game of the state Junior Legion tournament Sunday at Legion Field in Apple Valley. The victory sends Edina to the Mid States Junior Regional Tournament that starts Thursday in Fargo, N.D.

Edina, the Minnesota tourney’s No. 1 seed, needed two victories over Excelsior on Sunday to advance. Edina beat Excelsior 8-3 in Sunday’s first game, setting up the rematch for the championship

Apple Valley was seeded third, Eastview seventh, Burnsville eighth, Lakeville North 10th and Eagan 12th in the 16-team state tournament. Apple Valley and Lakeville North advanced the farthest of the local teams, falling in elimination games Friday. Both teams were 2-2 in the tournament. Burnsville and Eagan both were 1-2 and Eastview went 0-2.