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Baseball: 39ers tame Rockets to go 3-1 on the season
The North St. Paul American Legion Post 39 opened District IV play June 9, against the Rosetown Post 542 Rockets at the Rockets’ home field.
It was the first District IV encounter for both teams. When the dust had settled on a 6-4 North St. Paul win, the 39ers owned a 3-1 mark in early season play.
“It was a great game,” Rosetown coach Jeremy Nelson said following the game. “We kind of let them off the hook when we had those early chances in the first inning. A key hit would have made a big difference early on. But it is always a good game against North St. Paul. The teams are very competitive against one another. We’ll see them again down the road.”
From the North St. Paul perspective, manager Ron Adams said, “We got by that early threat and then settled down. We were able to hang around and then got some good pitching. Actually, I thought both pitchers threw well. We were able to get some key hits and made them count.”
In the bottom of the first inning, the Rockets were able to put a run on the scoreboard. Jesper Horstad led off and knocked a single. John Holleran followed and cracked a solid shot up the middle. The pair moved up the paths on a passed ball.
No. 3 hitter Evan Young smacked a sac fly to centerfield and Horstad came home after the catch. Tim Pasilak then worked a walk to load the bases with just one out.
A huge strikeout was in front of a wicked line shot to the mound off the bat of Luke Podobinski that was snared by 39ers’ hurler Brendon Herold, and the inning was over.
In the top of the third, the 39ers responded and picked up a pair. Sam Farley knocked a single to left center. Tom Mulvaney singled to right center. Adam Hildebrandt was safe on a fielder’s choice as Farley was forced at third. An infield out later, Joe Messerole slammed a 2-RBI shot to the left centerfield fence to push the count to 2-1 39ers.
It took one swing of the bat in the last of the third for the Rockets to knot the tally. Pasilak took a pitch to his liking and knocked it out of the yard 340 feet over the left centerfield wall.
It the top of the fourth the 39ers again moved into the fore. With two outs, Dylan Foote singled into left. He moved to second on wild pitch and came home on a shot into right field off the bat of Farley.
Again the Rockets responded in their half of the inning. Ian Harlander led off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. Noah Lyden singled in front of an infield out that scored Harlander. Lyden was out on a force as Holleran was safe on a fielder’s choice and moved to second on the play at the plate. Young then singled to left to score Holleran and Rosetown was on top 4-3.
Play moved into the sixth inning and Foote worked a one out walk Farley knocked a single—he was 3-for-4—into right and Zach Lauzon went into run for him. No. 9 hitter Tom Mulvaney then knocked a shot down the right field line to score Foote. Corky Hildebrandt hit a slow roller to the right side and Lauzon scored. Sam Blees hit a bouncer and beat the peg as Mulvaney crossed home with the 6-4 count with which the game would end.
Next up, the Rockets will meet Maplewood Green at Rosetown 6 p.m. June 18 and the Hamline Hylanders at home at 6 p.m. June 23.
The 39ers, at Kuenkel Field, will play double header games June 18 at 6 p.m. against the Hamline Hylanders and at 8:15 p.m. against the Hamline Purple Hawks. June 20-22 they will participate in the 39th Annual Grand Rapids Invitational. They return home to face White Bear Lake June 24 on the road.
Wally Wakefield can be reached at email@example.com.