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Sweet sixteen: Post 5 Senior Legion team outscores Slayton 16-4

Worthington Legionnaires spot Slayton four runs, win by 12

Worthington AmericanLegion head coach Tim Gaul signals Blake Ahrenstorff to go for home as he rounds third base during a Monday evening game with Slayton's Post 64.
Worthington AmericanLegion head coach Tim Gaul signals Blake Ahrenstorff to go for home as he rounds third base during a Monday evening game with Slayton's Post 64.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
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WORTHINGTON -- The top of the first inning went haywire for the Worthington Senior Legion baseball team Monday night, but the storm was brief.

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After visiting Slayton scored four runs to start the game, Post 5 scored the next 16. The result was a five-inning 16-4 victory by the hosts at The Swamp ball field on the west side of town. Triston Sauerbrei, who head coach Tim Gaul called his “Greg Maddux,” performed once again in the style of the Hall of Fame Atlanta Braves pitcher, in almost total control of both his fastball and his breaking ball, and after giving up a run-scoring single to Jaden Deacon when he came on to relieve starter Blake Ahrenstorff in the first inning, he shut his opponents down.

He struck out eight batters in his 4.2 innings of work.

“She started off pretty ugly,” said Gaul about that first inning.

But it ended well on a beautiful night for baseball. Gaul was more than happy to have the game after Post 5 played poorly Saturday in the final game of a round-robin tournament in Worthington. The team, said Gaul, needed to have a game fast after its 7-1 loss to Jackson.

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“You play a poor ball game against a motivated team, you gotta get back out there again,” Gaul said. “Doubt, in baseball, will kill you. So we had to get another one quick.”

American Legion Worthington, Post 5 Coy Turner slides past Slayton's Post 64 catcher Carter Benda to score a run during a Monday evening game in Worthington.
Worthington American Legion runner Coy Turner slides past Slayton catcher Carter Benda to score a run Monday in Worthington.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

All doubt -- or at least a good share of it -- might have been erased in Monday’s contest. Worthington scored 12 runs in the second inning on nine hits and continued to play with confidence.

“You saw how it started. It was a train wreck. We gave ‘em seven outs in that first inning,” said the Post 5 skipper.

One of Slayton’s four first-inning runs was scored on an error, and another scored on a wild pitch. Before Deacon’s RBI hit, Abe Paulzine stroked an RBI double off Ahrenstorff.

American Legion Worthington, Post 5 Center fielder (on right) Kent Lais steps back as left fielder Mason Schutz makes a catch in a game against visiting Slayton's Post 64 Monday evening game in Worthington.
Worthington Post 5 center-fielder (right) Kent Lais steps back as left-fielder Mason Schutz makes a catch against Slayton.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

Worthington got two runs in the bottom of the first, including one on an RBI single by Tommy Lais.

In the second inning where three Slayton pitchers saw action, Tommy’s brother Kent Lais drove the first run home with an RBI single. Moments later, Coy Turner put a perfectly-placed bouncer between first and second base for a two-run single. A Sauerbrei single on a 3-2 pitch led to another run. An RBI single by Tommy Lais and an infield RBI single by Brock Bruns caused two more runs. Then another two scored on wild pitches. Jake Brandner delivered an RBI double and later scored on an error. Turner drove home runs 11 and 12 on a two-run double.

In the third, Ahrenstorff stroked an RBI triple, and another run scored on a wild pitch -- the fourth wild pitch of the game by Slayton pitchers that plated runs.

Worthington had 13 hits in four innings of work.

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“I thought we had a lot better plate appearances in the second inning. And actually, not bad in the first inning. … Our approach at the plate tonight was pretty good,” said Coach Gaul.

When Post 5 struggles, it’s not often because of the team’s hitting.

“We have hit the ball all season,” said the coach. “We’ve had 10 or more hits multiple times. I like them being aggressive. I would much rather have them hit the first fastball. What I don’t want to see is them taking a third strike.”

He didn’t have to see that on Monday.

Worthington will play Adrian in Adrian on Thursday beginning at 7 p.m.

Slayton 400 00 -- 4 4 4

Worthington 2(12)2 0x -- 16-13-1

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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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