Maple Grove Legion wins St Cloud Invitational; 2 comeback wins lead to championship

The Maple Grove American Legion team sponsored by Post 172 went 4-0 this past weekend to win the St. Cloud Invitational championship.

The Crimson opened play with a 12-1 win over Rochester. Mitch Bauer improved to 2-0 on the season with a five inning, seven strike out complete game. MG collected 12 hits with Logan Hershey, Alex Naasz, Shay Torgerson, and Ben Osborn collecting two hits each. Hershey collected three RBIs while Osborn and Joe Franta’ picked up two RBIs each.

In game two played Friday afternoon Maple Grove defeated the St. Cloud 76’ers 6-0. Torgerson threw five shutout innings to pick up the win. Tyler Fields pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh inning to finish up. Torgerson helped his own cause with a three for four three RBI night. Brady Jacobs also had a big night going 3-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Post 172 rallied to defeat the St. Cloud Chutes Friday. The Chutes, made up of players from Class 2A state runner-up St. Cloud Cathedral, opened up a 6-0 lead before Jaxxon Anderson entered the game with no outs in the third.

Anderson shut the door with five innings of no-hit ball. Anderson faced only two batters over the minimum and needed only 49 pitches in his five innings of work. His efforts gave MG the opportunity for a big comeback.

The Crimson picked up four runs in the fourth inning and added a single run in the sixth. This set the stage for an exciting finish. Tanner Ruprecht led off the seventh with a walk and Torgerson followed with a single to center.

Osborn moved both players up with a sacrifice bunt. Austin Bies drove in the tying run with a RBI ground out to second base. With two outs Nate Gilman drove a single to right field scoring Torgerson for the dramatic game-winning hit.

The exciting comeback put MG in the championship game versus the also undefeated Sauk Rapids. A pitcher’s dual between Maple Grove’s Erik Kivi and Sauk Rapids Ben Chapa had the Crimson looking at a 2-1 deficit heading into the bottom of the sixth.

A walk to Torgerson and a single by Fields set the stage for another comeback. Bies delivered his second hit of the game for a game tying RBI single to right. Osborn’s hard ground ball could not be handled at third base, which allowed the winning run to score. Naasz picked up the save with a scoreless seventh inning. Kivi moved to 2-0 on the season with the win.

Maple Grove travels to the Fargo-Moorhead Invitational this weekend where it opens play against Omaha Nebraska. Pool play will include games against Tri City Red, Fargo and Detroit Lakes.