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Somerset Legion a work in progress

Somerset pitcher Michael Piletich is shown attempting a pickoff throw in a recent Somerset American Legion baseball game.

While there have been promising signs, the Somerset American Legion baseball team is very much a work in progress this summer.

Somerset fields one of the least experienced teams in the Junior Legion league in western Wisconsin. Last week Somerset faced two of the more veteran teams in the league, with predictable results. Somerset dropped a double-header at Barron last Tuesday and a game against Spring Valley last Thursday.

Somerset's lack of experience has shown most in its defense. In the 10-1 and 11-1 losses at Barron last Tuesday, the team's inexperience in the field proved to be the difference.

"We gave up very few earned runs," said Somerset coach Bobby Hurt.

Jake Rosentreter, Cam Wittnebel, Tyler Lueck and Jacob Link saw time on the mound in the two games. Hurt said they all pitched respectably, but the defensive issues made it tougher and tougher to wriggle out of bad situations.

Barron is leading the Northern Division of the league and Somerset's batters weren't able to do much damage against Barron's pitching.

Somerset spent much of its practice on Wednesday working on its defensive problems. It helped in the early innings on Thursday, but Spring Valley blew the game open in the late innings to win 14-4. Spring Valley led 2-1 after four innings.

Hurt said the boys were fatigued by the time they had to play on Thursday. Most of them had been participating in the Somerset football scrimmage days all week and they were coming right from football to baseball.

"They were trying to give their best efforts," Hurt said.

Hurt was encouraged by the spirit the team showed. Somerset trailed 14-1 heading into the final half-inning. Somerset hit the ball hard in that inning, scoring three times to make the final score 14-4.

This Friday through Sunday Somerset will be playing in the New Richmond American Legion tournament. The league All-Star Game is scheduled to be played next Tuesday.

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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