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New Richmond, SCC American Legion baseball seasons end

New Richmond catcher Jacob Gondreau tags out a River Falls player trying to score during the American Legion playoff tournament played last Friday. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
St. Croix Central Senior Legion pitcher Trevor Miller delivers a game during Post 432's game against Osceola last Tuesday.2 / 2

The seasons for the American Legion Senior teams came to an end over the weekend with losses in the final round of regional playoff action.

The New Richmond Senior Legion team lost twice to River Falls in a regional playoff where they were the only two teams involved. The St. Croix Central Senior team eliminated two teams before losing to Altoona in the final round of its regional tournament.

New Richmond and River Falls were the only two teams in the regional tournament played at River Falls on Friday. New Richmond lost a pair of close games in the double-elimination bracket, by scores of 5-3 and 2-0. In the opener, New Richmond led 3-2 after scoring three times in the fifth inning. River Falls came back with three runs in the sixth inning to win the game.

Noah Kirchoff and Hayden Bradbury came up with key hits in Post 80's three-run rally in the fifth inning. Ryan Kling pitched 5.1 innings for New Richmond.

The second game was a classic pitching duel. River Falls scored two unearned runs in the fifth inning for the only scoring of the game. New Richmond's Reece Lucas threw a four-hitter, but New Richmond was limited to two hits.

"Reece threw the ball the best he's thrown all summer," said New Richmond coach Travis Helland. "River Falls is a good team. Give them credit. We played good ball at the end of the season."

The New Richmond Senior team ends the summer with a 15-13 record.

The St. Croix Central Legion team came back through the losers bracket to play in the finals of the double-elimination that was hosted at Central and Baldwin over the weekend. In the final game, Central lost to Altoona, sending Altoona to state.

Central started the tournament at home Saturday with an 11-1 loss to Spooner. That moved Central to Baldwin in the losers bracket. Central got a jump start from a three-run homer by Derek Myer in the first inning, eventually building a 9-1 lead. Baldwin battled back, but Central held on for an 11-8 win that eliminated Baldwin.

On Sunday morning, Central got a rematch with Spooner. This was what you look for in the tournaments, a well-played gut-check type of game. Spooner scored first, but Central scored last, getting two runs in the sixth inning to win 3-2.

Trevor Miller got the pitching start, with Myer pitching out of a jam to get a save in the seventh. Myer also started the offense with a solo homer in the sixth inning. Luke Holme knocked in the go-ahead run for Central.

By the Altoona game, Central had run out of pitchers with varsity experience. Coach Tom Sauve said the Panthers played well, but couldn't come up with the timely hits in the 11-3 loss.

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 more than 30 years.

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