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Legion baseball: Post 5 bounces back after trailing early

BY AARON HAGEN The Globe WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington American Legion baseball team found itself in an early hole against Heron Lake. But Post 5 chipped away a little at a time to rally for a 15-5 victory in Tuesday's game. "We kind of realized...

AM Wtgn. vs HL-O Baseball 2 web.jpg
Heron Lake American Legion baseball player Ethan Becker (10) scores a run Tuesday as Worthington catcher Tommy Bauman eyes the ball trailing the runner. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

BY AARON HAGEN

The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington American Legion baseball team found itself in an early hole against Heron Lake.

But Post 5 chipped away a little at a time to rally for a 15-5 victory in Tuesday’s game.  

“We kind of realized what we were doing and kind of got our focus back,” said Eric Heidebrink, who finished with three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored. “We started hitting the ball and playing defense a little bit better. We got our heads on straight. It was not a good spot to start in, but we know we had the guys to get on base and drive runs in and get people on. It wasn’t very fun at the start.”

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Heron Lake led 4-0 after the first half inning and 5-1 heading into the bottom of the second.

But Post 5 answered by scoring one in the first, one in the second and two in each of the third and fourth innings. Worthington then exploded for nine runs in the fifth.

“Everything is so relaxed,” Heidebrink said. “We are all just having fun. There’s nothing really on the line, yet. It’s fun.”

David Volk had a two-run double to score Eli Becker and Ethan Becker in the four-run  first inning. HL added another in the second as Ethan Becker singled and scored on Jacob Burdick’s single.

Austin Svalland -- who had two RBIs and scored three times in the game -- scored in the first, and Mason Ellenbecker scored in the second. However, each time, the Heron Lake defense turned a double play to prevent a bigger inning.

“I thought we played pretty well in the field,” Heron Lake coach Lucas Knutson said. “Those were pretty sweet double plays we made. The one the third baseman started was really good. Tomas Cherry had a good game at third base. Our middle infield, Ethan Becker and Eli Becker, played well.”

Post 5 scored twice in each the third and fourth innings as Heidebrink had an RBI in each inning.

“I was just seeing the ball good and getting the ball through the zone with a level cut,” Heidebrink said. “Just trying to get the ball in play.”

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Worthington’s offense caught a spark in the fifth as it scored nine runs on four hits. Svalland had a two-run double and Tucker Sorenson had a three-run triple to end the game.

“It was a good team effort,” Heidebrink said. “You can’t focus on one person. When you 10-run rule, everyone is kind of a part of it, not really just one person.”

Ben Rogers earned the victory in relief. He allowed one run on four hits and struck out two in four innings. At the plate, he drew three walks. Brayden Donkersloot was 2-for-3 in the game. Tommy Bauman drove in two runs.

After a third-place finish at the competitive Sioux City tournament, Worthington improves to 7-1 this year.

“The confidence level after the Sioux City tournament is unbelievable right now,” Worthington coach Tim Gaul said. “At this point, I don’t think they are afraid to play anybody.”

Heron Lake 410 00 -- 5 6 3Worthington 112 29 -- 15 9 2

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