A pair of close losses ended the Litchfield legion baseball team's season this weekend, as it fell in the Northeast Sub-district No. 7 tournament.
Following a first round victory against Eden Valley-Watkins on Thursday, top-seed Litchfield hosted No. 2 Paynesville. Litch, which hosted the tournament, was shut down by Paynesville.
Litch mustered only one hit and one walk in the contest, and couldn't get a run across in a 1-0 loss. Owen Boerema accounted for the team's only hit and threw a complete game on the mound, striking out 11 and not allowing an earned run.
“That's a tough one. We felt pretty good going into that game with our No. 1 pitcher on the mound," head coach Scott Marquardt said. "The first couple innings, we had a couple hard hit balls … right at people. Sometimes you'd be better to be lucky then good ... Credit to Paynesville, we never got a whole lot going after the second or third inning.”
With the loss, Litchfield was forced to play an elimination game immediately after against New London-Spicer. NLS jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning, but Litchfield responded with a run in the second, two in the third and another in the fourth. Three more runs for Litch in the fifth gave it the lead, and another two runs in the sixth ended the advantage to 9-5. NLS scored two runs in the seventh, but Litchfield held on for a 9-7 win.
“I think the kids were having a little bit of a hangover against NLS from the previous game and came out flat," Marquardt said. "The season's on the line at that point. … It was a fun game and really nice to see the kids fight back from a situation that was looking pretty bleak.”
Litchfield advanced for a rematch with Paynesville in the championship series Sunday. Needing two wins to advance to the district tournament, Litch jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Paynesville responded by piecing together two runs in the third inning to tie the game, and posting two more in the fifth to take the lead. Litchfield added a run in the sixth, but it wasn't enough in a 4-3 loss to end its season.
"We didn't have much luck against Paynesville," Marquardt said. "If you look at the quality at bats and the number of balls, we had the upperhand there … we couldn't get anything to go our way."
Paynesville Legion 1, Litchfield Legion 0 (District 7 NE sub-district, July 20)
Paynes ... 001 000 0 - 1
Litch ...... 000 000 0 - 0
Batting - O. Boerema 1-3; C. Marquardt 0-2, BB; M. Tibbits 0-3; J. Pennertz 0-3; C. Block 0-3; B. Wendlandt 0-2; D. Kotzer 0-2; B. Lecher 0-2; T. Peterson 0-2; Totals - 1-22, 0R, 0RBI, 1BB, 4K
Pitching - O. Boerema (L) 7IP-4H-1R-0ER-1BB-11K
Litchfield Legion 9, New London-Spicer Legion 7 (District 7 NE sub-district, July 21)
NLS .... 140 000 2 - 7
Litch ... 012 132 x - 9
Batting - O. Boerema 2-5, 2R, RBI; C. Marquardt 2-3, HBP; M. Tibbits 1-2, R, 3RBI, 2BB; J. Pennertz 1-3, R, BB; B. Wendlandt 0-4, RBI; C. Block 0-3, R, HBP; D. Kotzer 1-2, 2R, BB, HBP; B. Lecher 2-3, R, RBI, BB; T. Peterson 0-1; B. Alsleben 1-3, R, RBI; Totals - 10-29, 9R, 7RBI, 5BB, 3K
2B - Pennertz
Pitching - A. Liestman (W) 6IP-8H-5R-1ER-2BB-6K; T. Peterson 1IP-2H-2R-1ER-0BB-0K
Paynesville Legion 4, Litchfield Legion 3 (District 7 NE sub-district, July 21)
Paynes ... 002 020 0 - 4
Litch ...... 200 001 0 - 3
Batting - O. Boerema 0-3, BB; C. Marquardt 1-3, R; M. Tibbits 0-4; J. Pennertz 1-1, 2R, BB, HBP; C. Block 2-2, RBI, BB; D. Kotzer 0-3; B. Alsleben 1-3, RBI; B. Lecher 0-3; T. Peterson 0-1, BB; C. Kelsey 0-1; Totals - 5-24, 3R, 3RBI, 5BB, 4K
2B - Block
Pitching - J. Ramthun 4IP-3H-2R-2ER-2BB-2K; B. Wendlandt 2.1IP-5H-2R-2ER-1BB-0K; J. Pennertz 0.2IP-1H-0R-0ER-0BB-0K