Legion team closes in on league title
Post 225 also goes 4-1 in Gopher Classic
The Legion Post 225 baseball team is continuing to play well as the postseason draws near. The squad went 4-1 in the Gopher Classic tournament over the weekend, then swept a double-header from Mahtomedi in league play on Monday.
The six wins over four days improved Forest Lake’s record to 15-4. With a record of 11-2 in Division 10 play, the boys need to win one of their final three regular-season games to clinch the League F title.
The Gopher Classic featured top-notch teams from around the Midwest and Forest Lake saw its share of good ones in pool play at Benilde-St. Margarets. The tournament features 14 pools. Each pool champion and two runners-up advance to the championship round.
Under the runs-allowed format that determines which runners-up advance, Post 225 would have been the next team in.
“We had a terrific weekend,” said coach Valdie Magstadt. “We got everything we wanted out of that tournament.”
Forest Lake opened play on Friday with a 6-1 win over Ash Port (WI). The team from the Green Bay area entered the weekend with a record of 24-2 and consists of players who took second in the state in the high school season.
Noah Brown allowed one run on three hits over five innings to earn the win. He also drove in a pair of runs. Joe Vacinek went 3-3 with two runs and two RBI.
Later that day, Forest Lake won 7-5 over Chester Bird, the team from Benilde. Phil Sauer tossed six shutout innings before the Birds rallied against the bullpen. Reid Larson reached base four times while Jack Schmidt and Vacinek each had two hits and an RBI.
Post 225 won its lone game on Saturday 3-2 over Andover. Schmidt started and was staked to a 3-0 lead after two innings. He allowed two runs on three hits in a complete-game effort. Sauer singled in a run in the first. A walk and a balk in the second capped the scoring for the home team.
Playing the No. 2 team in the state, Forest Lake fell 2-0 to Eastview on Sunday. Post 225 managed just three hits. Kyle Parker allowed three hits and two runs over six innings.
The local Legion team bounced back with a 5-4, extra-inning win over West Fargo (ND), a state champion high school foe. Forest Lake scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game, then won it in the eighth. Parker singled to knock in the seventh-inning runs, and Schmidt drove in the game-winner with a bunt. Parker had four hits. Dylan Dresel tossed three scoreless innings and went 2-4 at the plate.
Post 225’s sweep of Monday’s home doubleheader put the team in good shape in the standings.
Brown and Schmidt teamed up for a shutout in a 2-0 win in the first game. Forest Lake totaled just five hits but manufactured runs via a balk and a sacrifice fly.
The banged-up squad was down to 10 healthy bodies for the nightcap, which it won 8-1. Trent Rabel started and Sauer gutted out four innings on the mound despite the original plan to rest him. Matt Schmidt reached base four times and drove in three runs. Parker went 2-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
The postseason seeding meeting is set for Sunday. Post 225 played at Inver Grove Heights this Wednesday and heads to Woodbury for a doubleheader on Sunday.