Season ends for Post 447

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 22, 2003

WASECA &045; With six innings of pitching under his belt and his squad facing a one-run deficit, Ryan Truesdell did his best to rally the Albert Lea VFW baseball team.

But there was no one on base when he did it, and Owatonna was there to answer.

Truesdell blasted a long home run in the top of the seventh, lifting Post 447 into a 3-3 tie in the Western Division tournament semifinals, but Owatonna scored in its final at-bat to claim a 4-3 victory Monday at Waseca’s Tink Larson Field.

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The loss ended the season for Albert Lea, which finished 10-12 under coach Matt Trygstad.

&uot;I give the guys a lot of credit for battling back,&uot; said Trygstad. &uot;We were down 2-0 and came back to tie it up. Truesdell, for most of the night, put the team on his back. We just didn’t get the breaks we needed in the last inning.&uot;

Owatonna broke open a scoreless game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third, and it remained 2-0 until the fifth, when Post 447 knotted it. Alex Paul and Nate Goodnature walked and, with one out, Donald Graves and Brandon Klukow hit back-to-back singles to score Paul. Brock Sorenson added a sacrifice fly.

There was one out in the top of the seventh when Truesdell unloaded what Trygstad estimated to be a 420-foot shot over the left center field fence.

&uot;I’d say 420 feet at least,&uot; said Trygstad. &uot;He crushed it. It’s the biggest clutch hit I’ve seen in quite a while.&uot;

Graves then reached on an error, stole second and, after a fly out, stole third. A ground out ended the inning.

Truesdell struck out the first batter in the bottom of the seventh before giving up a single and a walk, prompting a pitching change to Graves. After a double-steal, Owatonna’s No. 3 hitter was intentionally walked. On an 0-1 count, the winning run scored on a suicide squeeze bunt.

Truesdell took the loss. He gave up three earned runs on four hits, with five walks and one strikeout in 6 1/3 innings.

At the plate, Truesdell was 2-for-4. Klukow, Graves and Preston Dahl had one hit apiece. Graves stole three bases.

&uot;All in all, it was a great effort,&uot; said Trygstad. &uot;The guys definitely didn’t leave anything on the field.&uot;

Owatonna 4, Albert Lea 3




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LP – Ryan Truesdell

(Contact Jim Lutgens at sports or 379-3437.)