New Richmond Legion wins home baseball tournament
The New Richmond American Legion baseball team played some of the best ball of its two-year existence to capture the title in New Richmond's home tournament last weekend.
New Richmond beat top quality teams from Stillwater and Altoona to capture the title in the weekend tournament.
Because of rain Saturday morning, New Richmond didn't play its first game until Saturday evening. That's when they faced Stillwater, which had a lineup featuring many of the players who took Stillwater to the Minnesota state high school tournament this spring.
New Richmond's boys were sharp in playing under the lights at Citizens Field, scoring an 11-1 win over Stillwater on Saturday night.
Michael Jansen pitched the seven innings for New Richmond, holding Stillwater to five hits and one walk. Jansen was also the hitting leader. He doubled twice and singled, scoring two runs and driving home two more.
Stillwater led 1-0 until New Richmond broke through for four runs in the fourth inning against one of Stillwater's top pitchers. New Richmond broke the game wide open with seven runs in the fifth inning.
In the second round of the tournament New Richmond faced the Western Wisconsin All-Stars. When Eau Claire dropped out of the tournament, the All-Stars were created. They were a team of top freshmen from New Richmond, River Falls, Amery and Baldwin.
New Richmond beat the All-Stars 8-4 on Sunday morning.
That win moved New Richmond into Sunday afternoon's championship game against Altoona.
Nick Swystun pitched the championship game, completely shutting down Altoona. He threw the seven-inning shutout, striking out eight in his five-hitter.
New Richmond built a comfortable lead early in the championship game. Riley Kannel started the first inning with a double and he scored on Dan Leavens' single. Leavens scored on a single by Grant Nelson.
Three more runs were added in the second inning. Aaron Kohlrusch singled, then scored on Jordan Maxon's triple. Maxon scored on Kyle Miller's single and Miller came home on Leavens' sacrifice fly.
New Richmond would add single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to finish out their 7-0 victory.
Millers coach Mark Kohlrusch said the high level of talent in the tournament brought out the best in the New Richmond players.
"The better the competition, the better we play," Kohlrusch said.
New Richmond's boys scored a big league win last Thursday, when they won at Somerset 7-3.
Both teams had some defensive issues, but New Richmond came up with the big defensive plays when they were needed most. The biggest came in the first inning when Somerset had the bases loaded with no outs. Leavens cleanly fielded a hard shot to third base. He threw home to Nelson for the forceout. Nelson then chucked the ball to first base in time to complete the double play.
Kannel led the New Richmond attack with three hits against Somerset and Dylan Leslie had two hits.
Jake Zajkowski threw the complete game to get the pitching win at Somerset.
New Richmond's boys suffered their first loss of the season last Monday against Chippewa Falls, 8-6.
Jansen took the pitching loss, giving up four runs in the first four innings.