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Legion baseball: Postseason tournaments ready to begin

Jackson American Legion baseball coach Blaise Jacobsen says he always thinks about pitching when he sizes up tournament situations. If it's pitching that most indicates success or failure, that's probably a good thing for Jacobsen. His Jackson Po...

Jackson American Legion baseball coach Blaise Jacobsen says he always thinks about pitching when he sizes up tournament situations.

If it’s pitching that most indicates success or failure, that’s probably a good thing for Jacobsen. His Jackson Post 130 team is seeded No. 2 in the upcoming Sub-District B tournament, and the team is propelled by pitching.

Arms helped the Jackson County Central Huskies toward a successful spring high school campaign, and arms helped the Legionnaires to a 10-2 summer record.

“Pitching’s still good. It’s the same group that we had in the spring,” Jacobsen said Thursday as his team geared up for a Saturday Sub-District B contest in Windom against an opponent to be decided later. “It’s a matter of us hitting the ball and putting it in play. We run well, too,”

While offense hasn’t been Jackson’s strong suit, it’s been good enough to get the team the second seed in this weekend’s tournament. Post 130 has already beaten traditional rival Windom (the fourth seed) twice this summer.

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Beginning Saturday, the entire Sub-District B tournament will be played in Windom. Tonight (Friday, July 8) at 7 o’clock, Windom will host No. 5 Redwood Falls in a play-in game, while in Wabasso (also at 7 p.m.), No. 3 Wabasso plays No. 6 Welcome-Sherburn.

Top-seeded Springfield played the Windom/Redwood Falls winner at 10 a.m. Saturday. Jackson awaits the winner of Wabasso/Welcome-Sherburn at 12:30 p.m. Two loser’s bracket games are set for Saturday afternoon. The tournament winds down to a champion at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Two teams from the Sub-District B tournament advance to the Second District Tournament July 15-17 and July 23-24 in Springfield. Because it hosts the district tourney, Springfield gets an automatic bid.

In Sub-District C, three teams will advance to the districts, and it’s a fair chance that Luverne, Adrian and Pipestone -- who are all enjoying fine summer campaigns -- will be the teams that go.

Play-in games are tonight in Luverne where Heron Lake-Okabena plays Edgerton at 5 p.m. and Pipestone plays Fulda at 7:30 p.m.

All of Saturday and Sunday’s games will be in Luverne, too. At 9 a.m. Saturday, top-seeded Luverne hosts the winner of the HL-O/Edgerton game. At 11:30 a.m., Adrian plays the Pipestone/Fulda winner. The winners of the 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. games face off at 2 p.m. Loser bracket games are scheduled for 4 and 7 p.m. on Saturday. Third-place and championship games are on Sunday.

Luverne is just 5-5 on the season, but it’s a solid 5-5. Coach Barry Shelton’s team finished the regular season with four consecutive victories. It has beaten a good Pipestone team 4-3 and, more recently, edged Adrian 1-0 in 11 innings on a bases-loaded single by Jesse Reed.

Reed earned the win after throwing one inning of scoreless relief. Nick Overgaard pitched the first 10 innings, striking out 12 Adrian hitters.

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“Our pitching is coming around and we’re playing good baseball,” Shelton said on Thursday.

While all this sub-district tourney play is going on in the area, Worthington Post 5 waits. The team, coached by Tim Gaul, is scheduled to conclude its regular season at home next Thursday in a doubleheader against Mankato, then await word of its first District 2 contest.

The District 2 tournament is set for July 20-23 in New Ulm. Depending on where Post 5 is seeded, it may have a play-in game on July 18.

Though Worthington contended against smaller programs like Fulda, Heron Lake-Okabena, Edgerton and Adrian in league competition, it will hop up to play bigger programs like New Ulm, New Prague, Jordan, and Mankato East and Mankato West in the districts.

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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