Town team report
Action continues in the North Star Amateur Baseball League when Rockford travels to Loretto, 2 p.m. Sunday, June 23.
Rockford flexed its offensive muscles last week in defeating first place Maple Plain 13-10 and Montrose 15-2. It was the first two wins of the season to go with seven loses.
“It was the first two games when we had the lineup I envisioned at the beginning of the season,” said Rockford coach Ryan Rassatt. “I was able to slot everybody where they need to be.”
A big boost came from the return from college of Adam Brion (8 for 15) and Trent Bestland (6 for 14). The pair helped the River Bandits raise the team batting average by 75 points in two games. The team had 18 hits against Montrose and 20 against Maple Plain and Andy Jacobson, a former Rocket player who is one of the top pitchers in the league.
Against Montrose, Jason Lesser pitched six innings, allowing one earned run. Brion was 3 for 4 with two doubles and 3 RBIs. Andy Jorges was 2 for 4 with a home run and 3 RBIs. Ben Fontana was 2 for 4 with a homerun.
Rockford trailed Maple Plain 8-0 after two innings before scoring two runs in the third, two in the fourth and four in the seventh to tie the game at 10. Three runs in the ninth secured the win. Rassatt said nobody gave up, which was nice to see.
Brion was 4 for 6 with a double as the leadoff batter. Dusty Littlefield was 4 for 5 with a double. Ian Keen was 3 for 6 and drove in three runs. Rassatt was 2 for 5 and Cole Hanson pitched three scoreless innings to earn the win.
Littlefield is batting .458 with 11 RBIs. Rockford High School junior George Faue has helped pitch in relief and has eight strikeouts in four innings of work. He also plays for a summer high school team.
Rassatt said the team lost several close games against good teams early in the season. The team was tied with Howard Lake 1-1 and had the bases loaded with no outs in the ninth but did not score and lost 2-1. Rockford led Hutchinson 2-0, but an error and “bad call” led to a 3-2 loss.
Loretto also got the bats going in a 23-0 romp over Montrose and is 7-4 on the season.
Delano improved to 6-3 with three one-run victories. Following a 5-4 win over Loretto June 9, Delano edged Buffalo 3-2 in 11 innings and Mound 3-2 in 10 innings last week.
Top softball teams in action
The top two-ranked men’s softball teams in the nation at the Major level will resume the rivalry at the annual Dudley Budweiser Classic-Sponsored by Easton National Invitational tournament June 21-23 in Brooklyn Center.
The tournament in BC will be played at the Brooklyn Center Community Center, Highway 694 and Shingle Creek Parkway. Games also will be played at Evergreen Park next to BC high school and Becker Park in Crystal, County Road 81 and Bass Lake Road.
Action starts at 5 p.m. Friday, plus 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday with the championship game scheduled for late Sunday morning.
Currently, the top team in Conference USSSA is Resmondo-Specialty Tank/Worth (30-4), the defending Minnesota tournament champion and multi-USSSA World Series champion.
Dudley runner-up LaserVision/Desert Falls/Boomhah/Easton (30-8) turned the tables on Resmondo to win the top prize, the World Series crown last fall.
Both teams return to the Brooklyn Center tournament where conference teams earn points at invitationals to qualify and be seeded at the World Series.
Another national power is Shoppe/Tyja/Louisville Slugger (20-8). The top Minnesota teams who plays in the national conference are Nordkap/Suncoast/Rebok (20-10) based in Andover and Xtreme/Miken from Brooklyn Park. Nordkap is ranked third in the Conference USSSA and Xtreme is 16th.
The Minnesota tournament includes the top local teams that have a chance to be competitive because of the home run limits in place.
A national website called www.Softballcenter.com will provide daily blogs and videos, plus broadcast the final games. Tourney information can be found on www.usssa.com.