Post 56 falls against Patriots
Published 5:35 pm Thursday, July 23, 2015
ROCHESTER — Despite amassing 20 hits, the Albert Lea Legion Post 56 baseball team fell to the consolation bracket.
Jonathan Fleek went 5-for-6 at the plate with a two-run blast over the 355-foot sign in left field during the first inning, but Rochester Post 92 held off Albert Lea 15-11 Thursday in the District 1 championship bracket semifinals at Dale Massey Field.
Post 56 erased an 8-2 second-inning deficit to take its first lead, 10-9, in the bottom of the sixth and tacked on another run later in the inning to take a two-run lead. However, the Post 92 Patriots — a team with players from Rochester John Marshall — outscored Post 56 6-0 in the final three innings.
Email newsletter signup
“They handed us the game several times, and we just handed it right back to them,” said Albert Lea coach Jay Enderson. “It was a very winnable game.”
Post 56 hosted a twinbill against Post 92 on July 13 during the regular season. Albert Lea lost 14-1 in Game 1 but rebounded by overcoming a 5-0 deficit in Game 2 to win 7-6.
After seven complete innings in the postseason rematch, Post 56 led 11-10, but Legion playoff games have two extra innings.
Along with Fleek’s five hits, Mason Hammer and Alex Bledsoe each had four, and Jake Bordewick added two.
Jake Kilby took the loss on the mound. He pitched six innings, struck out three batters and gave up nine hits, four earned runs and five walks. After allowing eight runs in the first two innings, Kilby held Post 92 to one run through the next four.
“He struggled early but came back,” Enderson said. “A lot of that was us not making plays (in the field) early on, which put a lot of pressure on him. I would have loved to have left him in, but he had 123 pitches. I had to take him out.”
Jake Bordewick took the hill in relief and gave up three earned runs and three walks in two innings.
As Albert Lea’s closer, Fleek entered the game in the ninth. He gave up three runs, but none were earned.
“Two errors cost us three runs, and that makes it a whole different game right there,” Enderson said.
Along with four errors, Enderson was unsatisfied with his team’s passive demeanor.
“We had no effort on balls and we dogged on the bases,” he said. “It was a tough day.”
Enderson said he hopes to see his team show more hustle in the consolation bracket quarterfinals at 3 p.m. today at John Adams Field in Rochester. The game is the only non-first-round game that will not be played at Dale Massey Field.
“Now, we’ve got to win one on Friday, two on Saturday and one on Sunday,” Enderson said. “We’ll have to use positive thinking and go from there.”
In the consolation quarterfinals, Albert Lea will play Waseca (3-12 District 1) or Winona (8-7 District 1). Waseca will play Winona at 10 a.m. today in the first round of the consolation bracket.
During the regular season, Post 56 swept Waseca 4-3 and 5-4 on July 10 and lost Game 1 of a doubleheader on June 21 against Winona 8-4 but rebounded with a 10-0 win in Game 2.
Statistics are in the Scoreboard: July 23 post.