Maple Grove Legion kicks off 2013 season

The Maple Grove Legion Team Sponsored by Post 172 is off to a 3 – 4 start. One-run losses to Osseo, Armstrong, and a two-run defeat to Champlin Park left the Crimson battling to get above the .500 mark.

Riley Byland threw a strong game for the Maple Grove Legion team in the St. Cloud Chutes Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Rich Moll)

Riley Byland threw a strong game for the Maple Grove Legion team in the St. Cloud Chutes Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Rich Moll)

Maple Grove’s first win of the season was 5-4 decision over Anoka. Brady Meyer pitched the first four innings to pick up the win. Meyer did not allow a hit and faced only  one batter over the minimum in hurling four shutout innings. Joe Franta led the offense going 3-3 with three runs scored. Ben Osborn collected a two-out, two-run double while Blake Whitecotton and Corey Palyan picked up the other two Maple Grove hits.

Post 172 traveled to St. Cloud for The St. Cloud Chutes Tournament June 20-23. Through all of the rain, MG got three games in and went 2-1 on the weekend.

The Crimson opened with a 5-4 loss to Sauk Rapids. The Crimson picked up eight hits but left nine men on base in suffering another one-run loss.

In game two, Noah Croaker struck out 10 batters in picking up his first American Legion win 5-3 over Clearwater/Annandale. Croaker threw shutout ball for 6 2/3 innings. The Crimson picked up 10 hits with Osborn going 3-4 while Tyler Field and Nate Gillman each picked up two hits.

In game three of the tournament, Post 172 defeated Sartell 4-2. Riley Byland threw five shutout innings allowing only three hits to keep Maple Grove in this tightly contested contest. Field’s first inning RBI double plated the singling Franta to give MG a 1-0 lead.

Sartell tied the score in the top of the sixth but the Crimson responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Gillman and Jack Kuebelbeck had clutch two-out RBI singles to put MG back on top, Mike Wallace picked up the win and Field the save. Kuebelbeck went 3-3 on the day and threw out a runner at home plate in the fifth inning to preserve the 1-0 lead.

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