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Legion baseball: New Richmond junior team hosts tournament this weekend

Jake Zajkowski was the starting pitcher for the New Richmond Senior Legion team in its game against Chippewa Falls last week.1 / 2
Mitch McConaughey (8) scores a run for the Somerset Junior Legion team during last week's game against New Richmond.2 / 2

The New Richmond American Legion Summer Classic kicks off on Friday night with a game between New Richmond and Hudson. Five games are scheduled to be played on Saturday, with another three games on the docket for Sunday.

New Richmond will host Hudson at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the opening game of the tournament. Action in the tournament resumes at 9 a.m. on Saturday, with games scheduled to run throughout the day.

The tournament resumes at 9 a.m. on Sunday, when the consolation game will be played. The third place game is scheduled for 11:30 a.m., with the championship game expected to be played at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The Junior Legion team

NR Senior Legion

The New Richmond Senior Legion team split its first two games of the season, which were played last Monday and Tuesday.

The Senior Legion team opened the season with an impressive 3-0 win over Menomonie last Monday. Josh Leavens pitched the shutout. After pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, Leavens went on one of the best streaks of his career. He retired 13 straight Menomonie batters between the second and sixth innings. He finished with a four-hitter, striking out 10. Menomonie was able to hit only two balls out of the infield and both were flares that fell for singles.

New Richmond scored two runs in the second inning, with both runners scoring on a wild pitch. Max Skatrud was the first runner to score. When the catcher's throw back to the pitcher was wild, Nate Jones also came around to score.

An insurance run was added in the fourth inning. Connor Hollern led off the inning with a walk and scored on Dom Peterson's single.

On Tuesday the Senior Legion lost to Chippewa Falls 5-1 in a game shortened by rain to five innings. Jake Zajkowski took the loss in the game for New Richmond.

This weekend the New Richmond Senior Legion team will play in a wooden bat tournament in Spooner. They play two games on Friday, facing Spooner at 4 p.m. and Janesville at 6 p.m. They will play again on Sunday.

NR Junior Legion

The Junior Legion team has been busy and that will continue with the tournament this weekend.

On Monday the Junior team scored an 11-1 win over Baldwin. Zach Parfitt threw the five-inning complete game, allowing two hits while striking out four.

Eight New Richmond players had hits in the game. New Richmond didn't get a baserunner in the first two innings, then rolled in the next three innings. Post 80 scored twice in the third inning, four times in the fourth inning and five times in the fifth inning. Ryan Walker drove home the winning run that gave Post 80 the win by the 10-run rule in the fifth.

Last Thursday Post 80 won a wild game at Somerset, rallying late in the game to win 14-13.

New Richmond's batters took full advantage of the wildness of Somerset's pitchers, drawing 16 walks in the game. New Richmond notched five hits.

New Richmond took the lead with seven runs in the fifth inning. While most of New Richmond's runs scored on walks and wild pitches, a two-run double by Kaden Medes was a big part of the inning.

Dustin Reed earned the pitching win against Somerset. He entered the game in relief in the second inning and stabilized the game, giving New Richmond the chance to come back.

On June 13 the Junior Legion team split a double-header at Spring Valley. New Richmond put on its best offensive showing thus far in the opening game, winning 15-9. Spring Valley won the second game 4-3.

Reed led the offense with three hits and four RBI in the opening win. Charlie Utzman also drove home four runs. Hayden Nelson, Keilan Mehls and Justin Johnson each scored three runs.

Nelson pitched the complete game to get the win in the opener.

Johnson handled the pitching in the second game and threw well, allowing three hits. Spring Valley scored twice in the final inning to pull out the win.

New Richmond was limited to two hits in the second game. The hits were singles from Utzman and Josh Kaiser.

Somerset Senior

The Somerset Senior Legion team opened its season on Sunday, losing a pair of games to a potent East Ridge Legion team from Woodbury, Minn. East Ridge won the first game 6-1 and took the finale 14-2.

Sean Conrad pitched the complete game in the opener. Somerset's only run was produced in the sixth inning off singles from Dakota Belter and Cody Joiner.

Somerset hit the ball better in the second game, but so did East Ridge. Somerset's first run came on a solo homer by Evan Gaddis in the fifth inning, which cut the East Ridge lead to 3-1. Somerset added another run in the seventh inning. Ryan Himes led off with a double and scored on Conrad's single.

Belter was the starting pitcher, working into the sixth inning. Gaddis took over from there.

Somerset has a busy weekend scheduled. They host Hudson at 6 p.m. on Friday. Somerset will then play two games on Saturday in Spooner's wooden bat tournament and they will play at least one game on Sunday in the tournament.

Somerset Junior

Somerset's Junior Legion team suffered losses to New Richmond and St. Croix Falls last week.

New Richmond scored a 14-13 win over Somerset last Thursday. Somerset led 7-3 after four innings, but New Richmond rallied back against some inexperienced Somerset pitching. Gaddis, Derrick Berry and Josh Mantillica each went 3-4 at the plate as Somerset rolled up 16 hits in the game. Unfortunately, Somerset's pitchers gave up that many walks to New Richmond in the game.

Jordan Langness, Mitch McConaughey and Zach Waalen each drove home two runs in the loss.

Last Tuesday Somerset lost to St. Croix Falls 9-0, with the game stopped due to lightning in the fifth inning.

"A couple key errors by our top players early in the game dampened our chances," said Somerset coach Dion Langness.

Waalen pitched for Somerset. Somerset's batters were held to two hits in the game.

Somerset will be back in action on Thursday in a home game against Spring Valley. Somerset plays in the New Richmond Junior Tournament this weekend. Somerset plays twice on Saturday, facing Hudson at 11:30 a.m. and New Richmond at 4:30 p.m. They will play another game on Sunday.

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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