Paynesville Legion takes third place at state tournament

This article submitted by Aaron Ziemer on 8/12/97.

Paynesville 5
Milroy 4

Paynesville finished third in the State American Legion Baseball Tournament by defeating Milroy, 5-4 last Sunday in Hibbing.

Brent Heinen and Mike Stalboerger pitched for Paynesville, and Heinen earned the win by allowing only three earned runs in just over five innings of work. Stalboerger pitched the last one and one-third inning, earning the save.

Paynesville got out to an early lead in the top of the second when Dustin Looman walked to lead off the inning, and then stole second. Looman scored when Nate Schutz reached on an error and Paynesville rose to a 1-0 lead.

Paynesville added three more in the top of the third, bringing the score up to 4-0. Brent Heinen led off with a single, and was followed by another single from Josh Williams. David Hemmesch drove in both Heinen and Williams.

Hemmesch moved to third on a single by Chris Soine, but on the play, while rounding third, Hemmesch sprained his ankle and was forced to leave the game.

Looman drove in Stalboerger who was in for Hemmesch, and Paynesville kept their 4-0 lead.

Milroy scored one in both the third and fourth innings, bringing the score to 4-2, but Paynesville added one more in the top of the fifth when Stalboerger tripled and Looman drove him in for a 5-2 lead.

Milroy made it interesting by getting two runs in the bottom of the sixth when Raleigh Schmidt hit a solo home run and Andy Schmidt drove in Brian Dolan for a score of 5-4. However, Paynesville held on, bringing home the third place trophy.

LeCrescent 4
Paynesville 2

In the semi-finals of the State American Legion Baseball Tournament, Paynesville lost to LeCrescent, 4-2. LeCrescent went on to win the state championship over Perham.

David Hemmesch pitched for Paynesville, allowing only two earned runs in six innings of work, although he wasn't helped by Paynesville's defense. Paynesville committed four errors during the game against LeCrescent, giving up two unearned runs.

LeCrescent got off to an early lead when Chad Bjerke led off by reaching on an error. He went on to score when Paynesville turned a double play.

Paynesville tied the score in the top of the third when Ken Leo walked with one out and scored when Josh Williams reached base on a strike out.

However, LeCrescent regained the lead in the bottom of the third, after a one out double by Bob Gordon who was driven in by Brian Baker, making the score 2-1, LeCrescent.

LeCrescent added one more in the bottom of the fourth when Andy Senn led off the inning with a solo home run. The score reached 3-1, LeCrescent.

Paynesville came back in the top of the fifth to keep the game close when Josh Erickson led off the inning with a double. He was then driven in when Brent Heinen singled, making the score 3-2, LeCrescent.

However, Paynesville couldn't get any more runs and wound up losing the game, 4-2.

"We just didn't get a couple of breaks, that would have made the difference in the game," said Skoglund.

Paynesville 4
Madison 1

In the first round of the State American Legion Baseball Tournament, Paynesville defeated Madison, 4-1 last Saturday in Virginia. Mike Stalboerger pitched for Paynesville, allowing only one run on two hits while striking out eight.

Paynesville took the lead in the bottom of the second when Bret Aagesen got hit by a pitch, and Josh Erickson followed with a single. Dustin Looman drove both of them in when he reached on an error, bringing Paynesville up, 2-0.

Stalboerger cruised through the third and fourth, but gave up Madison's only run in the fifth. Bret Jacobs drove in Bob Schlieman, making the score 2-1, Paynesville.

Paynesville answered back with two more runs in the sixth when Brent Heinen walked and Josh Williams got a base hit. David Hemmesch drove in Heinen, and Stalboerger helped himself by driving in Williams. The score rose to 4-1, Paynesville and remained there for the rest of the game.

"It was great, after our victory, to have all of our fans waiting to congratulate us. It was something that I will never forget," commented coach Brad Skoglund.

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