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Somerset Legion finishes 11-10

The Somerset American Legion baseball team finished its 2008 season with an 11-10 record after playing a pair of double-headers last week.

Last Tuesday Somerset's boys split a double-header with New Richmond, the St. Croix League championship team. The following night, Somerset was swept in a double-header at Osceola.

Somerset and New Richmond waged close battles both times they met during the Legion season. New Richmond swept Somerset in a pair of one-run games the first time they met. Somerset was able to gain ground on New Richmond's boys, winning the first game last Tuesday by a 5-2 score.

Sean Conrad threw the opener, winning on a seven-hitter. Josh Baillargeon drilled a two-run double in the first inning that put Somerset ahead. After New Richmond tied the game in the top of the fourth, Somerset came back with three runs in the bottom of the inning.

New Richmond was able to win the second game last Tuesday, but Somerset pitcher Nick Dvorak was the story of the game. Dvorak threw a no-hitter, but New Richmond still managed to win 1-0.

Dvorak allowed two walks in the game, but they both came in the same inning. Those walks, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly resulted in New Richmond scoring the only run of the game.

New Richmond pitcher Corey Berger was just as strong. The only allowed hit, a single by Caleb Belter.

Both the Somerset and New Richmond Legion teams were on the young side. These groups of players should be together for the next two varsity seasons.

"I think we'll have a lot of battles with these guys in the future," Somerset coach Ron Willett said.

The following afternoon the Somerset boys went to Osceola, but couldn't muster the same intensity they'd shown against New Richmond. Somerset didn't score in either game, losing 1-0 and 2-0.

While the hitters weren't producing at Osceola, the pitching depth on the Somerset team showed through again. Josh Baillargeon and Caleb Belter both pitched complete games at Osceola. Baillargeon worked 5 2/3 innings in the first game before Osceola scored the only run of the game. Belter worked the second game and only gave up one earned run and two hits.

This was the second year of Legion ball in Somerset and the first year that Somerset was able to compete in a conference. The team showed steady progress under the guidance of Willett and pitching coach Mike Tetzlaff.

Willett said the support of Legion Post 111 was critical for the team's success.

"The Legion really came through for us. Without them, we don't play," Willett said. He said the RiverBank of Somerset, First National Bank of Somerset and Miller Brothers Auto were also key supporters of the team.

The 2008 Somerset Legion roster included: Rocky Larson, Sean Conrad, Caleb Belter, Dakota Belter, Josh Baillargeon, Jered Deal, Scott Jorgensen, Dylan Willet, Nick Dvorak, Jordan Johnson, Luke Buerkley, Ben Germain, Ben Kieckhoefer, Jared Dettmann and Dylan Rivard.

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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