The Post 112 Elk River Legion baseball team made the top 10 in the Legion baseball rankings for the first time this year, coming in at No. 9 in the league’s most recent rankings on July 2.
Elk River, who boasts a 12-2 record heading into the July 4 break, has been getting production up and down the lineup, including tremendous performances from their four starting pitchers Sam Orgon, Joey Bahneman, Adam Eldredge and Austen Humphrey. The four-man pitching staff collectively holds a 0.798 earned run average in 74 innings pitched, while the 16-man roster holds a team batting average of .335, with five players hitting over .400 with 30 or more at-bats.
Elk River also leads the North Hennepin League with an 8-1 record, outscoring teams in the league 65-35 over nine games. They currently have a five-game winning streak in league play with wins over Ham Lake (12-6), Maple Grove (5-1), Fridley (8-3), Andover (7-6) and Tri-City Blue (10-0).
The highlight of Elk River’s season so far came at the Alexandria Legion tournament on June 21, when they beat Sartell and Alexandria in pool play and then beat Apple Valley en route to a 4-0 championship victory over Champlin.
Elk River has four more games in league play until they participate in the Division I Sub-State Playoffs during the week of July 22.
Post 531 Rogers turning in strong Legion season as well
The Post 531 Rogers Legion baseball team may not be in the top 10 rankings, but they’ve proven to be one of the top teams in Legion baseball this summer.
Rogers, who has received votes in every rankings polls this summer, has built on momentum from the high school baseball team’s fifth-place finish at state, holding a record of 8-6-1 with a roster that includes most of the varsity baseball squad. That being said, it’s been a strong supporting cast around those varsity players that have carried the load so far this summer.
Given the varsity team took part in the state tournament, Rogers head coach Jason Lund has featured junior varsity players and high school graduates in the lineup for most of the season, adding some of his varsity players have needed time off following a long spring season. In their absence, Lund has seen countless players step up, saying it’s been a good opportunity to grow the next wave of Rogers players.
That being said, Lund noted Nick Smegal and Jonah Maurer stepped in right away after their junior seasons with the varsity team and have provided great leadership for the Legion team, while producing at a high level at the plate and in the outfield. Smegal currently leads the team with a .375 batting average, team-high 10 runs and five stolen bases, while Maurer is second on the team with a .370 batting average and is tied with 2018 graduate Brydon Hegarty with a team-high 10 RBIs. Chase LaMotte, Carson Boeck, Gavin McLaughlin and Riley Daun have had a good seasons at the plate as well, batting .361, .350, .350 and .344, respectively.
On the mound, Rogers has had six pitchers make starts, with Logan Kimbler, Riley Daun and Luke Chapman drawing three or more starts. Among those with 10 or more innings pitched, Kimbler leads Rogers with a 3.048 ERA to go along with a 2-1 record. As a staff, Rogers is 8-6 with a 3.075 ERA. After going through a 1-4-1 stretch, Rogers has won three of their last four games. They most recently won 8-1 over Hutchinson on June 29, with Chapman recording the win on the mound in a complete game effort. Kimbler went 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs.
Rogers has 13 more games before the sub-state playoffs.
Zebras off to 3-3 start to season
The Zimmerman Zebras Legion baseball team has played .500 ball through six games, holding a 3-3 mark after two wins over Princeton on June 25.
As they’ve done all season, they relied on starting pitchers and brothers Nate and Ian Carlin to deliver strong outings on the mound, with Nate recording 11 strikeouts in an 8-0 Game 1 win and Ian allowing one run in a 9-1 Game 2 victory. Through six games, Nate has averaged around 10 strikeouts a game, while Ian has allowed only two runs in 13 innings pitched.
At the plate, Zimmerman was just as strong against Princeton, with Tim Gruis leading the way in Game 1 with three hits and three RBIs while Noah Nelson led the way in Game 2 with three hits and an RBI. Wyatt Petron and Jake Deal also had good Game 2 games, going 3-for-3. On the season, Ian leads the team with a .562 batting average, while Nolan Spence is second with a .500 average.
Zimmerman head coach Michael Lorden said that while it’s still early in their season, he’s optimistic about what they could accomplish as they work toward building on a strong postseason performance at the sub-state tournament last season.
“We are still in the very early portion of the season, oddly enough, but we brought back the entire roster from last summer and have added a few younger guys to come in and contribute,” Lorden said. “Overall, I am excited for what this team can do, considering our run to the semifinals last summer. This team has pretty much been the same for the past three summers now, so they are finally the older kids on the field compared to being the youngest. We got swept in our first series and the rust was evident, but since then the guys have played some good baseball and it has been good to see.”
Red Devils also off to a .500 start
The Rogers Red Devils, a townball team in the Sauk Valley League, is 4-4 through eight games after taking a pair of losses to Foley (20-2) on June 26 and Albertville (5-3) on June 29. They currently hold a 2-1 record in Sauk Valley - East play.
Prior to the losses, Rogers won four of their first six, recording victories over Sartell (7-1), Becker (1-0), Albertville (12-10) and Clear Lake (11-6). The Red Devils have been led by Jake Orwoll at the plate, who holds a team-high .357 batting average, while Luke Selken (.346), Calen Kirkland (.333) and Bryan McCallum (.320) also hold averages above .300. McCallum and Ryan Davidson lead the team with five RBIs, while McCallum also has a team-high seven runs. On the mound, Davidson has a 1.00 ERA in nine innings pitched, while Mitch Annis holds a 4.50 ERA in 16 innings pitched. Selken leads the team with 22 strikeouts.
Up next, the Red Devils play a doubleheader at Monticello on July 6.
Knights struggling through midway point of season
The Nowthen Knights, a townball team in the Eastern Minny League, has mightily struggled through 11 games, holding a 0-11 record.
Despite a difficult season, Isaac Grothe, Matt Johnson and Dustin Rode have been bright spots offensively, with batting of .355, .344 and .323, respectively. Grothe and Johnson each have a home run on the season as well to go along with a team-high four RBIs. Jesse Bistodeau also has four RBIs. On the mound, Nowthen has struggled, as their pitching staff holds an 11.97 ERA.
Nowthen will attempt to get back on the winning track in their next game on July 8 at East Bethel.