Sleepy Eye Legion Post 7 played Jordan in their first match-up of Districts on Wednesday, July 25.
Jordan 6
Sleepy Eye 1
The first game didn’t go quite as planned for Post 7. Zach Haala dropped a double from the top of the order to start off offensively. Post 7 ended up stranding him, and Carter Brinkman, who was walked, during the first.
During the second inning, the same thing happened. With the bases loaded, Post 7 just couldn’t find their footing. “We started to find our way on the offensive side now,” said Head Coach John Mielke, “But we still had trouble bringing our runners in.”
When the fourth rolled around, Post 7 finally got a run on the board after Andrick Sanchez hit a double and Jacob Berg hit a go-ahead single to bring him in. Jordan added three runs of their own to keep poking holes in the boys’ boat. With the last three runs in the sixth, Post 7 was pretty much sunk. Nick Labat came close to scoring in the seventh, after Brinkman smacked a double, but never made it home.
Avery Stevens pitched for five and two-thirds innings for Post 7. He struck out 11, walked seven and gave up two hits and four runs. Kyle Domeier came in at relief and pitched one and one-third inning. He struck out one, walked two and gave up two hits and two runs.
Sleepy Eye 12
Faribault 5
After a tough game one loss to Jordan, Post 7 was determined to win. The boys did have the pants scared off them though, as Faribault scored three runs in the first inning.
Post 7 opened up one of Captain Insano’s infamous cans and scored seven runs in the third. Carter Brinkman had the highlight of the inning with a triple that scored three runners.
Brinkman drew praise from his coach. “Carter Brinkman really was on fire our last couple of games. He came through for us big time,” said coach Mielke.
Brinkman belted another triple in the fourth. Andrick Sanchez brought him in with a single. Post 7 would add another two runs in the fifth, with their last run in the seventh.
Jacob Berg pitched a complete game for Post 7. He struck out nine, walked one and gave up nine hits and five runs.
Mankato American 11
Sleepy Eye 1
Mankato American was the team that knocked  Sleepy Eye out of the District Tournament on July 26.
Post 7’s one run of the game was scored by Zach Haala. Nick Labat got the RBI. Carter Brinkman was still hot from games one and two and hit a double, but ended up getting stranded.
Mankato American scored a run in the second and third, but the last nine runs came in the fourth and fifth.
“We just couldn’t quite get over the hump—they (Mankato American) came out ready to play,” said coach Mielke.
Dominic Helget took the loss for Post 7. He struck out three, walked two and gave up seven hits and six runs.
Coach Mielke was proud of how his team competed this year. Post 7 is the smallest team in the conference they compete in, and they still managed to give some of the larger teams fits. “We probably could drop down a conference a win more games,” said Mielke. “But lots of our kids go on to play in really competitive amateur leagues and some even to college programs.”
Post 7 will have most of the same group returning next year. “We got really lucky with the kids this year. Most of them won’t turn 19 until after January 1st (so they are eligible to play in the legion league again next year) and some of the younger kids coming up look pretty good,” said Mielke. “I think the only person we’ll lose is Caleb Berg, who will be missed.”
The loss to Mankato American closes the curtain on another Legion season. They will look to grow as a team next summer.