Inconsistent Worthington Legion team hoping to put it together

The Worthington American Legion baseball team is looking ahead to the sub-state tournament, but to get there it'll need to play better.

WORTHINGTON -- The good news for the Worthington American Legion baseball team is that it can compete against strong opponents. The bad news is that it hasn’t done that a lot this summer.

Inconsistency has saddled the locals with a 4-7 record with the final two regular season games coming up Tuesday at home against Mankato and Thursday at home against Sleepy Eye. After that, the sub-state tournament looms.

“We started off where I was pretty optimistic (about the season),” said head coach Tim Gaul. “We went down to Sioux City and we won a couple of games against reasonable opponents. We started out three and two and I thought we were moving in the right direction. We kind of tapered off since then.”

When things go wrong, it’s usually been like this:

“We tend to have a poor inning and then fail to respond. The team energy goes down and the focus tends to fall apart at that time,” Gaul said.


And on the other end of the scale, it’s usually been like this:

“When things go right, the kids come with a real positive attitude. Things go right on the field and they start to think we can play with this team and any team,” said the coach.

Consistency can be difficult due to rainouts and postponements, which has happened to the Worthington contingent more often this summer than they’d like to see. They’re also missing one of their best players, pitcher-utility man Will Brandner, who’s still recovering from an arm injury that shortened his high school season.

Worthington will participate in a meeting on Wednesday where sub-state seedings will be discussed. The sub-state tournament, scheduled to take place in New Ulm, follows next.

Currently, Worthington sports a .265 team batting average, which is not where Gaul prefers it to be.

“I don’t think you’re going to win a lot of games unless your batting average is hovering at or above .300,” he said.

Even so, some of the players are hitting the ball well. Michael Iverson sports a .375 average, Austin Svalland is at .363, Danny Pavelko .333, Tate Gaul .307 and Brayden Donkersloot .290. Tommy Bauman has made great strides since his high school campaign and owns a .323 average.

Donkersloot has pitched well throughout the summer, and Ben Rogers too. Adam Russell has been a workhorse.


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