BY DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Rockford does not mind meeting Delano like this, the amateur baseball team just does not like getting beat like this on two straight Sundays.
The neighboring town teams met in the championship game of the Cologne Tournament Sunday, June 30, a game won by Delano 8-4. A week later on July 7 Delano won in North Star League play 5-1.
Aaron Swenson started for Delano, pitching seven and a third innings, allowing one earned run. Cody Mathison closed out the game. Joey Althoff provided the big offensive spark by slamming a double and home run to drive in two runs. Jay Stevens and Ryan Hayes both went 2 for 4 and Toby Hanson drove in the other run with a sacrifice.
After losing to Hutchinson 4-3 on June 19, Delano has won seven straight games, improving to 14-4 on the season.
Coach Steve Eilen said it is nice to beat the teams they are supposed to beat, but now the tough teams are on the schedule. Delano plays at Howard Lake, 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 12 and at defending state champ Maple Lake, 6 p.m. Sunday, July 14. Delano plays at rival Loretto, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 17.
For Rockford, Jake Gleason pitched seven innings, allowing four earned runs. The River Bandits had seven hits, with Andy Jorges going 2 for 3 with a double. Against Maple Lake rookie Josh Green was 2 for 3 with a double.
In other North Star League action last week, Loretto nipped DC 6-5 and lost to Maple Lake 11-2 after yielding seven runs in the seventh inning. Rockford lost to Maple Lake 14-5.
Rockford plays at Hutchinson, 7:30 p.m. July 12, at DC, 7 p.m. July 14 and at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m. July 17.
Teams took a break for the All-Star game July 3 when the West
beat the East 6-5. Loretto manager Herb Koch coached the East squad, taking along Tyler and Nate Maher and Ryan Schaust. Delano was represented by Andy Brown and Aaron Swenson. Trevor Jaunich was named to the team, but is out with a hamstring pull.
Rockford was part of the winning West All-Star team. Jorges started at catcher. Cole Hansen pitched one and two-thirds innings, allowing no earned runs and had two strikeouts. Dusty Littlefield and Ryan Rassatt both went 1 for 2. At the end of June, Jorges was batting .433 and Littlefield .429.
The top seven teams advance to the Region tournament. The final spot will be decided by a mini-tournament played July 24-28. As of June 30, Delano was fourth, Loretto fifth and Rockford ninth.
The region tourney is July 31-Aug. 11 in Howard Lake and the state tournament is set for Delano Aug. 16-Sept. 2.