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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch
  • SE Legion falls to Owatonna, Fairmont in playoffs

  • The season is over for the Sleepy Eye Post 7 Legion summer baseball team after going 1-2 in the Minnesota Sub-State 2 Division 1 American Legion Baseball Tournament last weekend.
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  • The season is over for the Sleepy Eye Post 7 Legion summer baseball team after going 1-2 in the Minnesota Sub-State 2 Division 1 American Legion Baseball Tournament last weekend.
     
    On July 24, Sleepy Eye hosted Owatonna for the opening round of playoffs. Sleepy Eye got on the board right away after three infield singles and a sacrifice from Mike Hirsch scored two runs in the first inning. After three scoreless innings due to a pitching dual, Owatonna scored its first run of the game in the fifth after a RBI double to right field scored one.
     
    In the seventh, Sleepy Eye committed three straight errors on the field which scored another run for Owatonna to tie the game. After a walk was thrown from David Surprenant, the bases were loaded with no outs. However, Sleepy Eye was able to get out of the jam after two straight infield pop flies plus a ground out ended the inning.
     
    Despite the break in the seventh, Owatonna scored a final run in the top of the ninth inning after recording a few more hits. Sleepy Eye had a chance to score in the bottom of the ninth after two players got on base, but a nice catch was made from the Owatonna first baseman on a line drive from Jared Rothmeier to end the game with Owatonna winning 3-2.
     
    Brandon Helget and Surprenant scored the only two runs for Sleepy Eye. Sam Hirschboeck and Jon Kopacek each went 2-for-4 to lead at bat, while Surprenant recorded four strikeouts, five walks, two runs and one hit over seven innings of work. Elliot Braun stepped in and recorded no strikeouts, three walks, one run and one hit.
     
    The next day, Sleepy Eye traveled to Stark to take on New Ulm Blue in the loser’s bracket.
     
    New Ulm started strong, after a double plus a balk gave them an opportunity to score in the first. However, Hirsch caught the runner in a rundown to end the chance. In the third, New Ulm hit another double, which this time converted into a run after two more singles were hit to take the lead.
     
    In the fifth, New Ulm made it 2-0 after a throwing error to first base was made by Sleepy Eye. However, Sleepy Eye had a big fifth inning. A walk, a single from Surprenant, plus a RBI single from Helget put Sleepy Eye on the board. Hirschboeck then drove in Helget, and two more RBIs were hit to give Sleepy Eye the 4-2 lead.
     
    After a run was scored from New Ulm in the seventh, Sleepy Eye responded with two runs of its own. Hirschboeck hit in the first on a sacrifice, while a RBI from Hirsch scored the second.
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    Sleepy Eye quickly pulled away in the eighth inning, after five hits were made which scored four runs. A RBI double from Hirschboeck scored two, while a New Ulm throwing error scored another. New Ulm scored one in the ninth but it was to no avail as Sleepy Eye won 12-4.
     
    Surprenant and Helget led at bat, each scoring three runs and recording two RBI. Hirschboeck added two runs and two RBI. Hirsch went 4-for-5 at the plate, hitting two RBI. Jay Helget scored two runs as well. On the mound, Mike Zinniel led with four strikeouts, no walks and 10 hits.
     
    Just a few hours later, Sleepy Eye hosted Fairmont where Fairmont won 3-2.
     
    Fairmont started the game with three straight singles which scored a run in the first inning. Another run was scored off of a fielder’s choice and Fairmont had a 2-0 lead.
     
    In the fifth, a double from Jay Helget was followed by a RBI single from Matt Berkner to give Sleepy Eye its first run. Several minutes later, Sleepy Eye had another opportunity when Zinniel and Hirsch recorded singles and Jake Mielke walked to load the bases. Berkner stepped up again with another RBI single to tie the game 2-2. However, the inning was quickly over after a ground out double play was made from Fairmont and a controversial call was made at first base.
     
    In the top of the 10th, two singles plus a bunt loaded the bases for Fairmont, and a sacrifice hit scored in the winning run for Fairmont.
     
    Sleepy Eye ends its season with a 6-11 record.
     
    “I was happy with the team,” said Coach Scott Salfer on the season. “We were missing guys for quite a few games on vacations and stuff but we played competitively and we stayed close in many games.”

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