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New Richmond Legion continues to set pace

The New Richmond American Legion baseball team is now 10-1 in St. Croix League play after winning three games last week.

The Legion team got an important win in their hopes of getting a league title when they defeated Baldwin last Tuesday, by an 8-4 score.

New Richmond then travelled to Amery on Thursday, scoring a sweep over the Amery Legion team.

New Richmond's boys travelled to Unity for a scheduled double-header on Friday, but action was stopped in the first inning of the first game due to rain. The games will be rescheduled to a later date.

Tuesday's 8-4 win over Baldwin was important for New Richmond for several reasons. The Baldwin-Woodville baseball team won the Middle Border Conference title this spring, and this team featured a large majority of those same Baldwin players. This game also gives New Richmond an advantage over Baldwin in the Southern Division of the St. Croix League.

Baldwin came into Tuesday's game at a disadvantage. Baldwin could only muster eight players for the game. That's why it was decided to play one seven inning game instead of the standard two five-inning games.

Baldwin scored twice in the first inning against New Richmond starting pitcher Michael Jansen. Jansen then threw shutout ball in his next three innings before handing the game over to Nick Swystun. Swystun threw shutout ball in the fifth and sixth innings before allowing two runs in the seventh.

By then New Richmond was safely ahead. New Richmond had scored once in the first inning and four more in the second inning. Baldwin gave up a number of wild pitches that helped New Richmond's boys flow around the bases in the early innings.

New Richmond added three runs in the sixth inning, with Jordan Maxon's triple being the big hit of the frame.

Dan Leavens led New Richmond with three hits in Tuesday's win.

The two wins at Amery on Thursday were decidedly different games. New Richmond won the opening game 2-0 behind Swystun's shutout pitching. New Richmond broke out the bats in the second game, winning 16-3.

New Richmond got both of its runs in the opening game during the third inning. Jack Johnson led off with a walk and scored on Jansen's single. Jansen would score on a double by Leavens. New Richmond had five hits in the game, but Amery could only manage two hits off Swystun.

Leavens and Jared Kidder were the first two New Richmond pitchers in the second game, but neither could make it through a full inning. Dylan Leslie then came on and opened some eyes. He worked the final 3.2 innings, allowing no hits and one walk, while striking out seven. That earned Leslie the pitching win.

New Richmond scored almost at will in the second game. New Richmond amassed 11 hits, with Leslie, Maxon, Sam Skatrud, and Jeremy Slicer each getting two hits. The big hit of the game was a bases-loaded triple by Slicer during the five-run sixth inning.

The St. Croix League All-Star Game was scheduled to be played on Monday night in Osceola. The players chosen to represent New Richmond in the All-Star Game are Corey Berger, Dan Leavens and Michael Jansen.

The Legion team will be playing this Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Braham, Minn. The Legion team then starts an Independence Day week-long break. The team is scheduled to take the field again next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in a double-header against Somerset.

A fund-raiser is in the works to support the Legion baseball program. A barbeque chicken and corn feed is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 9 at the American Legion. Information on ticket sales will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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