Pipestone, Luverne gear up for legion playoffsWORTHINGTON — As the two teams to advance out of Sub-district A, Pipestone and Luverne are getting prepared for this weekend’s 2nd District Division 2 American Legion baseball tournament held in Springfield. Pipestone (14-3-1) won Subdistrict A and plays the host team Springfield today at 3:30 p.m., while Luverne (11-5, Sub-District A runner-up) takes on Blue Earth at 1 p.m.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — As the two teams to advance out of Sub-district A, Pipestone and Luverne are getting prepared for this weekend’s 2nd District Division 2 American Legion baseball tournament held in Springfield.
Pipestone (14-3-1) won Subdistrict A and plays the host team Springfield today at 3:30 p.m., while Luverne (11-5, Sub-District A runner-up) takes on Blue Earth at 1 p.m.
Both teams will play again Saturday, as the double-elimination tournament continues in Springfield.
With an abundance of post-season success during the last four high school seasons, Pipestone enters the weekend as one of the favorites to advance to the state tournament.
Pipestone’s high school team has played at the state tournament each of the last four springs, and many of the current legion players have played key roles on those Arrow squads.
“These guys know how to win,” Pipestone head coach Steve Moffitt said Thursday night. “We have a lot of talented players who love to play baseball and have won a lot of games throughout their careers.”
The last time this team lost was two weeks ago at a tournament in Mitchell, S.D., and Moffitt said the players are confident they can win each game they play.
Doug Mead is expected to start on the mound against Springfield, and Pipestone has several other pitchers ready to throw.
“Our pitching has been a pleasant surprise this year,” Moffitt said. “Our guys have been throwing strikes and allowing our defense to make plays.”
Greg Quist, Sam Schneider, Colin Taubert, Nathan Alfson, Bryce Beyers and Darrell Stout are among the other players Moffitt mentioned when talking about the team’s leaders — both offensively and defensively.
“This year has been a lot of fun, and we hope to keep it going,” Moffitt said. “We feel we’re as good as any team we play, as these guys pick each other up and know how to win.”
Like Pipestone, Luverne has also experienced a lot of post-season athletic success in recent years.
Many of Luverne’s players play football and were members of the Cardinals’ team that made back-to-back appearances in the Prep Bowl in 2006 and 2007.
“Our guys are all pretty athletic and definitely love to compete,” Luverne head coach Jared Pick said Thursday night. “That athleticism allows them to play just about any position on the field, giving us a lot of versatility within our team.”
Luverne played Blue Earth at the LDW Tournament in Jackson June 21-22, winning by a score of 12-2. Zach Olson, who has a 3-0 record, will likely pitch against Blue Earth this time.
Olson, Brent Dinger and Adam Ossefoort have been the team’s top three pitchers this year. They have also been among the best hitters for Luverne.
“We’ve had a nice year so far,” Pick said. “If our guys come ready to play the way they’re capable of this weekend, we could keep our season going.”