The Morris Legion squad wrapped up June with a display of offensive prowess. The Morris bats pounded out 12 hits in an 18-4 triumph over Hector.
The scoreboard gap didn't open up until the fifth. So decisive was the Morris rally in the fifth, the "rule" was applied (ten-run rule). The score was just 6-4 entering the fifth. Hector led 3-1 at the end of three innings. Post 29 put five runs on the board in the fourth. Then came the decisive 12-run fifth.
Hector got that early 3-1 lead on the strength of a Brandon Shaw three-run homer in the third. Zach Copa had three hits for Hector.
The game wasn't a defensive showcase as Morris had three errors and Hector had four.
Toby Sayles made noise with his bat for Morris. Sayles doubled as part of putting up a three-for-three boxscore line. He scored three runs and drove in two. Phillip Anderson had a double as part of a three-for-four showing. Phillip scored three runs and drove in one. Denner Dougherty had a hit in his only at-bat, and drove in a run. Chase Metzger also went one-for-one, his hit a double. Chase drove in three runs and scored one.
Jared Anderson went one-for-three and crossed home plate three times. Brady Jergenson had a hit along with two runs scored and two RBIs. Mitchell Dufault rapped a hit in his only at-bat and drove in two runs. Sean Amundson went one-for-three and scored two runs.
The Hector hitters included a couple of guys whose names might make you think they were from Morris: Bryce Schmidgall and Peyton Rohloff. Both these guys had a hit. Michael Melander had a hit in his only at-bat.
On to pitching: It was Sean Amundson getting the win with his stint of two innings in which he fanned three batters, walked one and allowed three hits. He gave up no runs.
Toby Sayles worked on the hill for three innings. He struggled some, giving up four hits and three runs (earned) while walking three batters and striking out four. Brandon Shaw was the losing pitcher. Melander and Rohloff also saw pitching work. The Hector staff got roughed up obviously.
Morris 6, New London-Spicer 1
A win over New London-Spicer is always a feather in the cap, no matter the sport. The sport in focus right now is American Legion baseball. Morris took on NL-Spicer on a typically hot midsummer Saturday at our Chizek Field. Sean Amundson pitched the whole way as Morris triumphed 6-1.
We manufactured a pair of runs in the first inning. A walk and three hit batsmen did the job for getting the two runs pushed across. We had no hits in the inning. Chase Metzger came through with a sacrifice fly to score Amundson. A wild pitch opened the door for Jared Rohloff to race across home plate.
The bats of Metzger and Denner Dougherty produced RBI singles in the fifth. So the score stands 4-0. Toby Sayles and Brady Jergenson came through with RBI hits in the sixth.
Amundson nearly twirled a shutout. His bid came up shy in the seventh with two outs: He gave up a double by Evan Haugen that scored John Perkins. Amundson scattered eight hits. He set down six batters on strikes, and walked one. Amundson impressed at the plate too, going two-for-three with two runs scored. Toby Sayles rapped two hits, scored twice and drove in a run. Metzger racked up two RBIs.
The losing pitcher was Landon Tanner. Landon was erratic as he hit four batters and walked three. He struck out five and allowed four runs. Josh Soine was also handed the ball for pitching duties.
Morris' win was our sixth of the summer.
I took a look under the glass of the Star Tribune vending machine at DeToy's this morning, as I always do. Today I spotted a headline suggesting that youth baseball was having trouble staying viable with numbers.
I can remember when a trend began of African-Americans losing interest in baseball. There were so many terrific African-American baseball players in the 1960s, the likes of Wilie Mays, Bob Gibson, Willie McCovey et. al. Today it seems like baseball is challenged across the board attracting interest.
Upon seeing the headline, my thoughts drifted back to when I was present as a media person for a Hancock Little League tournament championship game, many years ago of course. I became amazed at how underwhelming this display of baseball was. The fielders just stood out there, hardly ever getting a chance to exercise their muscles. The right fielder could just as well have sat cross-legged and done some crocheting. Heck, all the outfielders could have done that. The pitchers constantly threw balls outside the strike zone. There were many passed balls.
I thought to myself: "The only reason the parents accept this, is that it replicates major league baseball which they watch on TV all the time." The replication was superficial, of course, as in the big leagues the basic execution was 100 percent sharper. "My God," I thought to myself, "why can't these poor boys play soccer instead?" Maybe that day is coming.
As kids lose interest in baseball (according to the Star Tribune), soccer will become the natural alternative. When I was a kid we considered soccer boring. However, the rest of the world does not consider soccer boring. We need to get with the program.
We all know about football's problems. The rest of the world does not fall into the American addiction to football. The rest of the world probably recoils at the obviously unreasonable violence.
If both baseball and football are on the verge of a substantial dropoff in interest, our whole culture is going to have to adjust. In fact, maybe we need to start questioning why we emphasize sports so much, an activity where certain kids are born with "talent" that whisks them into the spotlight, making them into heroes and warping their whole outlook. We need to make it more acceptable for kids to simply shrug and say "no" to sports. They will surely preserve their bodies and brains. I am blessed: I never displayed any talent for sports.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org