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New Richmond American Legion team starts out 6-0

Having a young varsity team has proved to be a benefit for the New Richmond American Legion baseball program.

Nearly the entire varsity team moved on to play with the Legion team and it showed with New Richmond getting out to a 6-0 start in the summer season.

The best challenge for the New Richmond boys thus far came last Thursday. Luck, which reached the WIAA Division 4 sectional finals, provided an excellent test. New Richmond was held to six hits, but managed to score a 1-0 win.

Josh Leavens pitched the seven inning shutout to beat Luck. He gave up two hits while striking out 12 batters.

The only run of the game was scored in the fourth inning. Josh Leavens singled and Kyle Miller reached on an error. They moved up on a wild pitch. Leavens then tried to score on a grounder to shortstop, but was thrown out at the plate. Riley Kannel then delivered a two-out single to get Miller home with the pivotal run.

Last Tuesday New Richmond took down Amery 7-2, behind Nick Swystun's five-hit pitching. New Richmond took charge of this game quickly. The first five NR batters of the first inning all reached base, on four singles and a walk. They would all end up scoring.

On June 15 the New Richmond boys notched a big win, overcoming Hudson by a 6-4 score.

Leavens pitched the complete game, striking out nine. Hudson's runs all came in the fifth inning. The local boys had already scored all six of their runs before that point.

New Richmond scored two runs in the second inning off singles from Jordan Maxon, Kannel and Leavens. Three more runs came in during the third inning, with Aaron Kohlrusch's triple as the key hit in the rally. New Richmond got its final run in the fourth inning when Jarod Kidder singled home Dan Leavens.

Kidder led New Richmond with three hits in the game. Max, Kannel and Dylan Leslie each had two hits.

On June 12, New Richmond played at Cumberland, earning a 10-0 win in six innings. Michael Jansen made his first pitching start of the Legion season, throwing a three-hit shutout. He didn't walk a batter, while striking out 11.

Maxon and Kannel each drove home three runs to lead the attack. Dan Leavens, Maxon, Leslie and Grant Nelson each had two hits.

A 10-3 win was recorded by the New Richmond team at Osceola on June 11. Swystun got the win, throwing a seven-hitter.

Dan Leavens led the offense with two singles and a double. He drove home two runs. Kohlrusch doubled twice.

The Legion season began on June 10, when Prescott visited New Richmond. This was a rematch of the two top teams in the Middle Border Conference during the spring season. This time it was New Richmond that was able to claim the win, by a 6-5 score.

Jake Zajkowski started on the mound for New Richmond, leaving after four innings with Prescott leading 4-2. Josh Leavens worked the final three innings to get the win.

New Richmond's offense came to life late in the game. It scored two runs in the fourth and fifth innings, then single runs in the sixth and seventh inning.

Sam Skatrud led off the seventh inning with a walk. Kannel and Josh Leavens walked to load the bases, then Dan Leavens walked to force Skatrud home with the winning run.

The Legion season is compact and busy and it gets busier quickly. New Richmond and Somerset will play two games this Thursday. The games are scheduled to be played in Somerset, but that site might be switched.

New Richmond will host a tournament on Saturday and Sunday. Hudson, Ellsworth, Altoona and Stillwater are scheduled to play in the tournament and another team might be added. Games will start on Saturday morning, around 10 a.m.

The New Richmond boys will get back on the road next Tuesday, for a pair of games at St. Croix Falls.