Stranded runners hinder Albert Lea VFW
Published 7:14 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2015
In a battle of baseball teams in the top fourth of the VFW District 1 standings, timely hits were scarce for Albert Lea Post 442.
Although Albert Lea produced seven hits, the team stranded 10 runners through the last five innings, and Rochester Post 1215 took advantage of scoring opportunities off eight hits in an 11-3 win Tuesday during Game 1 of a doubleheader at Hayek Field.
“We had the opportunities,” said Post 442 coach Cory Thomas. “Our guys competed hard, but we just weren’t able to get the hits when we needed them.”
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Game 1 counted toward the district standings; Game 2 didn’t.
Post 1215, a team that fields mostly players from Rochester Mayo High School, beat Albert Lea 22-3 in Game 2.
“Those type of games aren’t much fun, but there’s always something to learn from baseball,” Thomas said. “You can learn to compete and never give up on at-bats. I was proud of their effort.”
In Game 1, Blake Simon took the loss on the mound after throwing a shutout against Rochester Century and a no-hitter against Winona.
“Blake Simon has been our ace this summer,” Thomas said. “It’s just that not every day can always be your day.”
Ben Witham completed the last 3 2/3 innings on the hill. He struck out one batter and allowed two hits.
Witham and Jake Bordewick led Post 442 with two hits each. Parker Smith, Ty Harms and Alex Ulve added one hit each.
With Rochester’s win over Albert Lea and Owatonna’s 6-3 win Tuesday over Northfield, Post 1215 (6-0 District 1) became the only undefeated team in the district. Post 447 (5-2 District 1) is No. 4 in the standings. Stewartville is at No. 16 and is the only winless team in District 1.
Since Game 2 was a non-district matchup, the focus for Albert Lea was developing depth.
“We’re trying to build some guys who can help us later in the year,” Thomas said. “They will learn from it.”
Between June 20 and 30, Post 442 will play 10 games. However, Albert Lea’s schedule slows down in July with three individual games and a tournament before the playoffs start on July 18.
Next, Albert Lea will host Waseca (5-3 District 1) at 5 p.m. today.