After collecting three wins and one loss at the New Ulm tournament, the Le Sueur-Henderson Legion baseball team returned to Bruce Frank Field July 8 to defeat Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 9-3, 10-0 in a doubleheader.
“Our hitting was everything,” said Giants’ third baseman and pitcher Philip Champagne. “We can pitch, so if we can hit, that’s all we need.”
The Giants proved they could collect even more hits than they needed. Between the two games, they racked up 23 hits.
However, LS-H’s coming victory over WEM was not immediately apparent. The Buccaneers’ lead batter Bladyn Bartlet was the first to put a run on the board at the top of the first inning. At the bottom of the first, the Buccaneers put down the Giants 1-2-3.
Nevertheless, the Giants turned the game around in the third, collecting four runs. Charlie Weick, Jayce Luna, and Logan Kahlow opened with walks to first. With bases loaded, Mitch Casperson collected two RBIs, batting in Weick and Luna with a single. Kahlow and Casperson were knocked in by Zack Berndt, while Burke Nesbit came close to collecting a fifth run, but was tagged out between third and home.
The fourth went just as well for the Giants. They put out WEM 1-2-3 at the top, with shortstop Mitch Casperson throwing out two batters on first and pitcher Burke Nesbit striking out the third. The Giants then proceeded to collect another four runs at the bottom. Tyler Pengilly opened with a single, followed by Weick with a walk. Jayce Luna batted in Pengilly with a single of his own and was advanced home alongside Weick by a double from Philip Champagne. Nesbit batted in Champagne, collecting the eighth run for the Giants.
The Buccaneers were able to produce two more runs in the fifth and sixth, but it wasn’t enough. Tristen O Brien built on LS-H’s already dominant lead with a ninth run in the fifth, securing the Giants’ first win.
Burke Nesbit pitched the games first four innings and threw two strikeouts and zero walks. Zack Berndt took over in the final two innings and struck out one batter.
The Giants topped their previous performance in the second game, putting together a 10-run shutout win. They led with an aggressive opening in the first, putting a total of six runs on the board. Casperson was first on base, hitting a single, followed by Nesbit and Berndt. O Brien knocked in Casperson and Nesbit, producing the first two runs. Champagne then took first Tyler Pengilly batted in Berndt and O Brien to acquire another two runs. History repeated once again when Kahlow hit a double to advance Champagne and Pengilly home.
Six runs ahead, LS-H refused to give the Buccaneers any chance of catching up. Over six innings, WEM only managed two hits. Champagne pitched the first five innings and struck out seven batters and threw just one walk. In addition, first baseman Tristen O Brien caught throws from shortstop Mitch Casperson, second baseman Tom Gupton and third baseman David Gupton to knockout another five batters.
LS-H built on their lead in the final half of the game. In the fourth, Zack Berndt took first after being hit by pitch and advanced home due to a wild pitch. Nathan Gregorson and Charlie Weick collected another two runs in the fifth. Gregorson advanced home when Nesbit took a walk and Weick was knocked in by a sacrifice fly hit by Berndt. Finally, Champagne collected the tenth run in the sixth thanks to a sacrifice fly from Aiden Gulbranson.
Gulbranson pitched the final inning and put down the Buccaneers 1-2-3. He threw zero strikeouts and zero walks. The lead batter of the doubleheader was Charlie Weick, who collected three runs and one hit between the two games.
This victory brought LS-H's record up to 14-5.