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American Legion Baseball: Post 5 routs Pipestone in opener

WORTHINGTON — First-year Worthington American Legion Post 5 baseball coach Jeff Nelson said he was just letting his team swing away at the plate Monday in its season opener against Pipestone.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” he said.

Worthington scored 12 runs in the bottom of the first and ran away with a 14-0 victory to open up the season.

“It’s a learning experience for me too,” Nelson said. “I’m still getting to know the players and finding out what their strong suits are. As a team we do have strong bats.”

That was evident from the start. After Ryan Lee threw a scoreless first inning, Post 5 hung a 12-spot in the bottom of the first to essentially put the game away at 12-0. The home team made a full two trips through the order before the first inning was even in the books.

Worthington left two runners on in a scoreless second, but added a pair of runs in the third to bring the game to its final.

Lee allowed no runs on only three hits in five innings of work on the hill. He struck out two as he picked up right where he left off during his All-Conference spring with the Trojans’ varsity.

“Ryan pitched excellent today,” Nelson said. “When they did make contact, the defense played great behind him. They really backed him up well.”

A.J. Hayenga was 2-for-3 with a double for Post 5. Lee added a pair of hits while Tristan Sorenson was 1-for-2 with an extra-base hit and Jordan Bertrand legged out a double.

Dominic Freese took the loss for Pipestone.

Perhaps the most encouraging thing about the win for Worthington, however, is that it kept things pretty basic for the season opener and still put 14 runs on the board.

“We didn’t do a lot of stealing or bunting or anything like that,” Nelson said. “I wanted to see what the guys were able to do if they just swung away. They kept looking down at me for signs and I just kept telling them to swing away.”

Worthington (1-0 overall) will be back in action at 7 p.m. tonight at Redbird Field in Luverne to take on its arch rival. Pipestone (0-1 overall) will try to get things turned around at 7 p.m. tonight when it hosts Edgerton.

“I was pretty happy with what we did tonight,” Nelson said. “We still have to put some things together. We’ll probably switch things up a little bit in the batting order.”


Pipestone 000 00 — 0 3 2

Worthington 1202 0x — 14 9 2

Zach Hacker

Zach is the Daily Globe sports reporter. He has previously been a sports editor at both the Waseca County News in Waseca, Minn., and The Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas. He is originally from New Richland, Minn., and now lives in Worthington with his dog; a beagle-corgi mix named Homer. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, pontooning on St. Olaf Lake and watching professional and collegiate sports.

(507) 376-7335