Season ends with third place victory
Grafton falls to Waupun Warriors in semi-finals
Post 41 earned a respectable third place in the Mid-States “AA” Regional American Legion Tournament by winning two games before falling to the Waupun Warriors in a close 4-3 five inning game last Sunday in Pratt, Kan.
The Spoilers took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth but gave up two runs in the bottom of the fifth to succumb to the Warriors of Waupun, Wis. and end their post season run.
Adam Mach took to the mound for the Spoilers and picked up the loss. Mach pitched 5 innings, threw 79 pitches and gave up four runs on six hits. He walked four, hit a batter and had no strikeouts. Zak Hernandez came on in relief in the bottom of the fifth and faced one batter, gave up one hit and threw five pitches.
Waupun scored first in the bottom of the first inning on two consecutive hits after Coling Deboer walked and then came around to score on hits by Jordan Daane and Brice Buchholtz. Another hit by Avery Armga loaded the bases but the Warriors failed to add any more to their early 1-0 lead.
The Warriors added another run in the bottom of the second after Mach walked the lead-off hitter Brandon Vangalen, who then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jarrett Larson and then scored on a two-out hit by Deboer to make the score 2-0 in favor of the Warriors.
The Spoilers tied the game in the top of the third when Charlie Thompson led off the inning with a base hit before Hernandez popped out to the catcher Deboer for the first out. Brett Longtin also popped out to the first baseman and then with two outs Austin Markel hit a single to move Thompson to third. Garek Droog then hit a line shot up the first baseline to score both Thompson and Markel before getting thrown out at second trying to stretch his single into a double to end the inning with the score tied 2-2.
The Spoilers retired the Warriors 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fourth and then with two outs in the top of the final inning Longtin drew a walk from reliever Eric Tavs, who stole second and then scored on Markel’s base hit to put the Spoilers up 3-2. Markel then stole second but was stranded after Droog popped out to the second baseman Larson for the third out.
Mach retired Deboer in the bottom of the fifth inning before the Warriors Jordan Daane sparked his team with a solo home run to tie the game at 3-3. Spoilers coach Chad Kliniske came out to speak to his 16 year-old pitcher and opted to let him continue. Mach retired the next batter Buchholtz on a fly ball to Lunde in center. With two outs Armga singled and Schmitt walked before Casey Ausloos was hit by a Mach curveball. With the Spoilers one out away from going extra innings, Kliniske called on Hernandez to shut down Waupun but the Warrior shortstop Vangalen slapped a single with bases loaded to score Armga for the walk-off win.
Had the Spoilers won, they would have been in the championship game against their first round opponent La Crescent, Minn. due to a protest filed against the team from Flandeau, So. Dak. for using six illegal players.
The Spoilers end their season with a record of 31-10.
Coach Kliniske summed up the 2013 season by saying he was very happy and satisfied with the way the Spoilers’ 31-10 season went “To go as far as we did relying on 16-year-old pitchers is quite amazing,” he said.
“The kids took all the distractions in stride,” Kliniske said. “They handled the adversity much better than I did,” he said in reference to the conditions of the field, the hotel and the tournament organizational issues.
“The extended season was a great way for the older kids to end their Legion careers and great experience for the younger ones to build on,” Kliniske said.