First American Legion playoff win recorded by New Richmond Junior Legion team
New Richmond's Junior American Legion team earned the first post-season tournament win in the three years of the program's history last week.
New Richmond was able to win its first game in the state U16 regional tournament. New Richmond lost its next two games to be eliminated from state contention.
New Richmond's win came last Thursday over Black River Falls, 8-3. Elliot Smallidge earned the pitching win, allowing four hits in five innings. Cameron Hausman pitched no-hit ball in the final two innings.
BRF scored three times in the first inning. New Richmond's boys looked nervous at the start, committing three errors that led to those runs. New Richmond didn't commit another error in the rest of the game.
New Richmond came up with several timely hits to win the contest. Nick Lubow and Austin Anderson each supplied two hits. Anderson and Brady Gaspord both drove home two runs.
In the second round last Friday, New Richmond lost to the host Chippewa Falls team, 8-4. Caleb Manecke got the pitching start Friday, giving up two earned runs in four innings. Hausman and Norris Patraw pitched in relief.
Lubow, Gaspord and Drake Durham led the offense with two hits apiece.
New Richmond was eliminated from the tournament with an 8-7 loss to Black River Falls on Saturday. New Richmond built a quick 5-0 lead, but BRF took the lead back by scoring six times with two outs in the second inning.
New Richmond coach Arron Manecke said defensive issues were the main trouble for the team this season.
"Four unearned runs really hurt us," he said. "Not making routine plays has been the story of our season."
New Richmond hit well enough to win the game. Lubow finished a strong tournament by going 3-5. Durham, Gaspord and Manecke each had two hits in the loss.
The Junior Legion team finished the season with a 9-14 record. This was one of the younger Junior Legion teams in the area.
"We played in the 16U regional with 15 and 14 year olds which means we can still be a 16U team next year minus just one player. Being young definitely contributes to a lot of our problems defensively," he said.
Durham, Gaspord and Lubow were the team's leading hitters, all finishing above the .400 mark.
"Manecke and Hausman did an excellent job on the mound as 14 year olds this summer. Even though it didn't translate into wins, pitching was a strength for the team this year," Coach Manecke said.
The New Richmond Senior Legion team squares off with Menomonie in a best-of-three tournament this week, with the winner earning a spot in the American Legion state tournament.
All the tournament games will be played at Wakanda Park in Menomonie. The first game will be played at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The second game will be played at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. The third game, if necessary, will follow at 7:30 p.m.