All-Star game highlights week for area amateur baseball teams

by Dave Pedersen

Sun PRESS Newspapers

Weather permitting, the three area men’s amateur baseball teams will see a little more action than they did last week when there were fields of streams.

Fields were unplayable Sunday when Rockford was scheduled to face rival Loretto. The game was re-scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, July 20. Friday night games were also washed and blown out.

Joey Althoff of the Delano town baseball team leads the North Star League in batting. (Photo by Bill Nord)
Joey Althoff of the Delano town baseball team leads the North Star League in batting. (Photo by Bill Nord)

This week, Delano and Rockford play some league games before entering the Carver/Cologne Tournament June 29-30. Rockford opens play 11:30 a.m. against Ortonville in Cologne while Delano goes against Staples in Carver at the same time.

The losers play at 2 p.m. and winners at 4:30 p.m. at the same fields. The title game is at 3 p.m. Sunday in Cologne. The third place game is at 2 p.m. in Carver. The fifth place game is at 11 a.m. at Carver and the battle for seventh is at noon in Cologne.

The North Star League All-Star game is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3 at Maple Lake.

Loretto played just once last week, defeating Cokato 12-7. The Larks play host to Mound, 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 28 and is home to Hutchinson, 1 p.m. Sunday, June 30.

As of June 10, Loretto’s Luke Steinbach was tied for the league lead in hitting at .500. Tyler Maher was sixth at .464 and Ryan Pawelk was batting .450.

Rockford also only played once last week, edging Mound 5-4. Games Friday and Sunday were rained out. In the win, Jason Lesser pitched all nine innings, allowing three earned runs.

Andy Jorges was 3 for 4 and Ryan Rassatt was 2 for 5. Dusty Littlefield’s one hit was a game-winning double in the ninth. Rockford will play at Maple Lake, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 2.

Rockford will be represented at the All-Star game by four players, including pitcher Cole Hansen for his 2.70 earned run average, catcher Andy Jorges for a .433 batting average, second baseman Dusty Littlefield with his .429 average and first baseman/coach Ryan Rassatt for a batting average of .371.

Delano lost to Hutchinson last week 3-2 and overpowered Montrose/Waverly 14-0. Coach Steve Eilen said the Hutchinson game was a little disappointing as the A’s left 14 runners stranded.

Delano scored in the bottom of the first on a 2-run single by Joey Althoff, who led the way with three hits. Hutchinson came out swinging early as well and was able to tie the game in the second inning.

Delano’s starting pitcher was Aaron Swenson, who pitched seven innings and left with the game still tied at two. A throwing error brought in what turned out to be the winning run.

Against Waverly, Delano High School junior Hunter Hart played third base and collected three hits. Andy Brown, Kevin Jaunich, Ryan Hayes and Trevor Jaunich had two hits each. Starting pitcher Jud McKown worked the first five innings, giving up one hit with seven strikeouts. Josh Muckenhirn pitched the final two innings, striking out all six batters he faced.

Delano improved to 7-4 with the win. The team has had some close games early this season, winning most of them. Eilen said success has come despite playing with a limited roster due to the high school season running late with Delano at state.

“We have basically been playing with 10 or 11 guys,” said Eilen. “We look forward to adding some depth to help us out for the second half of our schedule.”

In a 5-4 win over Loretto in early June, Delano got down 3-0 before Joey Althoff singled to score Trevor Jaunich. Later, Althoff hit a 2-run home run to put the A’s ahead to stay in the seventh inning.

Althoff had three hits and Ryan Hayes added two to pace the offense. Cody Mathiesen made his first town team start, going six innings and allowing two earned runs.  Trevor Jaunich pitched the last three innings to pick up the save.

Delano also recently defeated Mound and Buffalo 3-2 in extra inning. Pitcher Matt Arens worked seven innings against Mound and McKown went nine innings to top Buffalo. Joey Althoff ended up picking up both wins in relief.

Offensively, Althoff was also tied for the league lead with a .500 batting average as of June 10.


Contact Dave Pedersen at [email protected]