Blue Earth fends off Lake Crystal

FAIRMONT – For the second time in the 2nd District, Southwest Sub-District baseball playoffs, Blue Earth VFW Post 4580 jumped out to a lead.

This time, Blue Earth was able to hold off a seventh-inning rally by Lake Crystal Post 294 to win 6-5 on Friday at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.

Blue Earth Post 4580 (10-6) advances to face Mapleton for the second time in the tournament at 2 p.m. today at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.

“We got a lead today, which we had done (Thursday), but this time we held it,” said Blue Earth head coach Jeff Bell.

And hold the lead they did.

After jumping ahead 3-0 after three innings, Blue Earth added two runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh to go ahead 6-3.

Lake Crystal used three hits and a walk to get back into the game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut its deficit to one.

Blaid Friedricks led off the inning with a hit to right, before wheeling to second on a wild pitch.

Blue Earth starting pitcher Adam Legred then recorded one of his seven strikeouts, sitting down Brady Swanson.

Mike Anderson then drew a walk to put runners on first and second.

Blue Earth then brought in Alan Davids to try and pitch out of the jam.

Nick Ewy, however, reached on an error to load the bases for Lake Crystal.

Jake Hagge then delivered his only hit of the game, rocketing a shot to center to score Friedricks and Anderson to make it 6-5 and moving Ewy to third.

Mac Graupman, who went 3-for-4 in the game, then ripped one of his hits for a single, loading the bases with one out.

Fortunately for Blue Earth, Davids got Shane Ellanson to hit a grounder to the mound, getting the 1-2-3 double play to end the game.

“We made just enough plays to hold on and win,” said Bell. “Today was a cleaner game then yesterday, and that was a big double play to end the game.”

Blue Earth got ahead early in the game thanks to a pair of runs by Kaylan Legred and Adam Legred in the first inning.

Kaylan Legred led off the game by sending the first pitch to center for a hit.

Kaylan Legred then swiped second before Adam Legred was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second.

Then on a wild pitch, Kaylan Legred and Adam Legred each advanced to third and second base.

Kaylan Legred then raced home during Cole Hendricksen’s at-bat, scoring on a wild pitch to make it 1-0.

Adam Legred also advanced, cruising into third.

After Hendricksen hit a ground ball to third for an out, Davids delivered an RBI by hitting a grounder to second that allowed Adam Legred to slide under the tag to go ahead 2-0.

Blue Earth then added to its lead in the third.

Kaylan Legred worked a walk out of a full count to take first, before taking third on Adam Legred’s hit to left and a throwing error to first base.

Hendricksen then hit a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Kaylan Legred to tag up and score to go ahead 3-0.

While Adam Legred and Kaylan Legred were racking up hits and runs, Adam Legred also was doing his best to keep Lake Crystal off the scoreboard.

Legred, who threw 6 1/3 innings, allowed five runs on seven hits, struck out seven and walked four to earn the win. He held Lake Crystal scoreless until the third inning.

“I thought that Adam did a good job of throwing strikes most of the game, and he only had four walks which isn’t bad,” said Bell. “He got himself into a couple jams, but he got out of them also which was big.

In the third, Lake Crystal rallied to tie the game.

Donnie Peterson led off with walk, before Friedricks’ hit forced Peterson out at second.

Swanson then hit a ball to right, before Anderson drew a walk to load the bases.

Nick Ewy then hit a grounder to short, that was bobbled, allowing Friedricks to score and kept the bases loaded.

Graupman then delivered a blast to center, scoring Swanson and Anderson to tie the game at 3-3.

In the sixth, Blue Earth added two runs, and tacked on another one in the seventh to retake the lead.

Logan Jahnke, who went 2-for-4, led off the sixth with a double before reaching third on Michael Mack’s grounder to second that was misplayed.

Chris Jenkins, the Blue Earth designated hitter, then earned an RBI with a bunt down the third baseline to score Jahnke and move Mack to second.

Zac Schonrock then got a hit to right, moving Mack to third, before Kaylan Legred drove in Mack with a hit to left to go ahead 5-3.

Kaylan Legred finished 2-for-3 in the win.

Anderson pitched seven innings for Lake Crystal, striking out seven, walking one and allowing six runs – three earned – on nine hits to absorb the loss.

BE 201 002 1 – 6 9 2

LC 003 000 2 – 5 9 3

Adam Legred (WP), Alan Davids (7, Sv) and Kaylan Legred. Mike Anderson (LP) and Jake Hagge.

LOB-Blue Earth 8; Lake Crystal 8. 2B-Mike Anderson (LC) and Logan Jahnke (BE). SF-Cole Hendricksen (BE).