Sleepy Eye Legion gets knocked out of playoffs

MANKATO — Sleepy Eye Post 7 ended its 2018 Legion Substate baseball tournament with a 11-1 loss against Mankato Americans in a five-inning game Thursday night.

Mankato put five runners across in the bottom half of the fifth inning with the final runner reaching home on a wild pitch. Sleepy Eye had one error in the fifth inning with only two Mankato hits.

Sleepy Eye opened an early 1-0 lead with lead off batter Zach Haala reaching home from an RBI flyout by Nick Labat. Haala reached on a base hit and swiped second while John Luu Mathiowetz was at the plate. Mathiowetz bunted to move Haala to third before Labat drove the ball deep enough to bring in the runner.

Sleepy Eye put up five hits against Mankato and left multiple runners on base in the early innings of the game.

In Sleepy Eye’s first game on Thursday they defeated Faribault 12-5 and eliminated Faribault from the Substate Tournament.

Sleepy Eye’s seven-run third inning took the lead away from Faribault as Post 7 led 7-3.

Carter Brinkman cleared the bases with a three-run triple after he fell behind in the count.

“I am seeing the ball really well and taking the ones that I want by fighting off the bad pitches that I don’t like to capitalize on them,” Brinkman said.

Brinkman went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and two triples in Game 1. He went 8 for 12 in the Substate tournament with four extra-base hits.

Sleepy Eye was able to continue the scoring run when the hitting began to take off in clutch situations.

“A pretty decent game with better hitting and more clutch hitting, Jacob Berg gave us a good outing and our defense seemed to play well,” coach John Mielke said. “In something like this you are always proud that you don’t quit, we want to stick around for a bit on the long road to the championship with one at a time.”

Faribault put six defensive errors on the board and Sleepy Eye was able to take advantage of the miscue with four of the errors being committed with two outs.

Game 1

Caleb Berg led by going 3 for 3 with an RBI and a walk and Haala went 1 for 4 with a walk and reached on an error. Haala also scored three runs in the first game.

Jacob Berg picked up the win from the mound, pitching all seven innings with eight strikeouts and one walk.

Game 2

Brinkman led Sleep Eye going 2 for 3 with a double, Labat and Avery Stevens both went 1 for 3 with an extra base hit and Haala was 1 for 3 with the only run scored.

Dominic Helget took the loss from the mound, going 3 1/3 inning with three strikeouts. Dallas Bauer pitched in relief, going 1 1/3 innings and Haala faced two batters to end the game.