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LEGION: Worthington splits with Jackson

WORTHINGTON -- After teammates Steven Kremer and Cody Melendrez each hit a home run in the early part of Tuesday's Legion baseball games, Worthington's Justin Larson tried to get in the act.

Tufvesson dives
Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Jackson's Evan Tufvesson dives for a fly ball to right field during Tuesday night's Legion game in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- After teammates Steven Kremer and Cody Melendrez each hit a home run in the early part of Tuesday's Legion baseball games, Worthington's Justin Larson tried to get in the act.

But in a bad break, Larson's long-ball attempt came up just short.

"I thought it was gone," Larson said following Post 5's split with Jackson. "I saw it hit the top of the pole and came back. I thought it was going to bounce over."

The speedy outfielder's long fly hit the very top of the left-field fence. Instead of bouncing over for a home run, the ball returned to the field of play as Larson stood on second with a double.

"I don't (hit home runs)," Larson said. "I just hit base hits and line drives. I got under it a little bit.

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"I kind of tomahawked it a little bit. It was up in the zone and I just turned on it."

While the homers carried Worthington to a 6-3 win in Game 1 of the doubleheader, Jackson claimed a 7-5 victory in the nightcap.

Playing two six-inning games, Worthington owned 11 of the 12 frames.

However, the one was big.

Jackson scored seven runs on seven hits in the fifth and Worthington never recovered.

"We've never been a very good doubleheader team," Kremer said. "I don't know if it's the mentality that we got all these runs in the first game that they're going to carry over. Then in the first inning, we got four runs, so we think we can do it all over again. But there are six innings of ball. Even if you play five innings, that one inning can hurt you and that's what happened. They got seven runs in the one inning and that's what got us."

In the first game, Kremer connected on a solo opposite-field home run in the first, giving Worthington a 1-0 lead.

"I've never been able to pull the ball as well as I hit it opposite field," Kremer said. "The last five games, I don't think I've pulled the ball. Everyone shifts me to pull it and I never do. I don't know if it's just getting outside pitches or what it is. I never had the ability to pull it like I have opposite field."

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Brett Larson answered with a solo shot of his own in the second, tying the game at 1-all.

However, Post 5 broke the game open in the bottom of the frame.

Adam Munkel led off with a single and Stuart Rogers walked. Ethan Duffy drove in Munkel with a single, and after a strikeout, two were on for Melendrez.

The lead-off hitter connected on a three-run home run, giving Worthington a 5-1 lead.

"I don't know what they're doing throughout the day during the summer," Kremer said. "Maybe they're hitting the weights, who knows. Cody, that's his first one in a long time and Larson almost had one and that's good to see. Hitting is contagious."

With Mitch Jensen on the hill, five runs were more than enough.

Jensen allowed three runs while scattering seven hits in six innings. He allowed two runs in the third after Josh Wacker hit an RBI groundout to plate Colyn Hohenstein (who singled). Trevon Bargfrede singled home Cooper Moore (double) as Jackson scored its third run of the game.

Jensen allowed two hits in the final three innings and struck out five in the game.

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"Mitchell did a very good job pitching, we just have to keep hitting the ball and scoring runs," Worthington coach Todd Rogers said. "I think our pitching is there."

With a late lead, Post 5 added one more insurance run.

Melendrez doubled in the fifth and Larson drove him home with his deep double off the fence.

"The first game we were very aggressive," Todd Rogers said. "We hit the ball well. We hit a lot of long balls. Larson got robbed there, Kremer hit it hard and Cody hit a good shot."

That momentum carried into the nightcap.

Larson drew a one-out walk, and Kremer followed with a free pass of his own in the first inning. Derek Busswitz drove home Larson with a single, Kremer scored on an error and Busswitz scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Munkel as Worthington had a 4-0 lead early in Game 2.

However, Stuart Rogers and Kremer had the only other hits in the game.

"We played very well," Todd Rogers said. "I thought the pitchers did a good job. They had a few hits there. We have to keep scoring though. We scored four runs in the first inning, but we had to keep battling."

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Jensen was hit by a pitch in the fifth and later scored on Duffy's sac fly, but those were the only runs Post 5 could muster.

"They threw strikes, we hit them but we made outs," Larson said. "Not much you can do about that."

Meanwhile, Munkel threw well through the first four innings. He didn't allow a hit while striking out five.

However, in the fifth, Jackson opened the game up. Starting with five consecutive hits, Dustin Pronk and Tanner Menke each had an RBI single, while Boog Steiner delivered a two-run single. Jackson scored seven runs in the frame, taking a 7-4 lead.

"We came out strong in the first game and that kind of let on in the second game," Larson said. "We were up four runs in the second inning. They had a couple of Texas-leaguer hits and that kind of killed us. It got them going."

Worthington added a run late, but couldn't overcome the big inning in a two-run loss.

Post 5 (4-2) will host Okabena tonight before Windom comes to town for a doubleheader on Thursday.

"We have to come away with a win after this loss," Larson said. "We have to turn around and do something good about it."

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Game 1 R H E

Jackson 012 000 -- 3 7 0

Worthington 140 01X -- 6 6 1

Game 2 R H E

Jackson 000 070 -- 7 8 1

Worthington 400 010 -- 5 5 2

Okabena 5, Edgerton 1

HERON LAKE -- Kirk McBreen and Ben Scheevel combined for a two-hitter as Okabena defeated Edgerton.

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McBreen allowed one unearned run on one hit while walking two and striking out four in four innings.

Scheevel allowed one hit while walking none and striking out four in three innings

Garet Rogers was 2-for-3 and scored twice, while Alex Olsem, Mike Stenzel and McBreen each had a hit and drove in a run.

Tom Albrecht had a single for HL (2-2), which will travel to Worthington tonight.

R H E

Edgerton 100 000 0 -- 1 2 3

Okabena 002 111 X -- 5 6 2

Melendrez hits home run
Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Worthington's Cody Melendrez connects for a three-run home run during Tuesday night's legion action in Worthington.

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