By Brad Augedahl
Caledonia Post 191 Legion traveled to Spicer, Minn., on July 28 to compete in the Legion State Tourney. The tourney is set up with nine teams, three pools of three teams each. Each team plays two pool games and each pool winner and one wild card team would advance to the four team single elimination championship bracket. Caledonia would open pool play vs. Proctor.
Evan Denstad would lead off the second inning with a single to center and an Eric Augedahl double would score Denstad, and Caledonia held a 1-0 lead. Derek Vonderohe would start the home half of the fourth inning with a single, advance to second on a grounder by Denstad, and score on a Kyle Cavanaugh single for a 2-0 advantage. Starting pitcher Austin Werner was controlling the game for the defense and he was perfect through five complete innings and took a no hitter into the bottom of the seventh inning as Caledonia continued to lead 2-0. Werner got the first batter to fly out to centerfield, but the next batter for Proctor would hit a double to center to break up the no hitter. Werner would retire the next two batters to preserve the shutout victory for Caledonia. Werner allowed just the one hit, struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter to pick up the win.
Vs. Stephen Argyle
Post 191 would play Stephen Argyle in their second pool game. Stephen Argyle would score a pair of runs in the second inning and three more runs in the sixth inning for a 5-0 lead. Caledonia would attempt to come back in their half of the sixth inning. Derek Vonderohe would reach on an error, Evan Denstad would single and Austin Werner would follow with a hit to score Vonderohe. Kyle Cavanaugh hit an RBI groundout to score Denstad and the score stood at 5-2. That’s as close as Post 191 would get as they fell 5-2 and finished pool play at 1-1. Now they had to wait to see how the Proctor vs Stephen Argyle game would end to see if they would make the championship bracket. Proctor would go on to defeat Stephen Argyle 4-3, allowing Caledonia to win the pool. The first tiebreaker was head to head record. All teams were 1-1, so the next tiebreaker was runs allowed. Caledonia allowed 5, Proctor allowed 5 and Stephen Argyle allowed 6. So that eliminated Stephen Argyle, and Caledonia had the head to head advantage over Proctor, allowing them to advance to championship play.
#3 seed vs. Pierz
Caledonia was awarded the three seed, and squared off against the two seed Pierz. Pierz would start fast and held a 5-0 advantage after three innings. Post 191 would finally get on the scoreboard in the fourth inning. Austin Werner and Evan Denstad would both walk. Kyle Cavanagh would follow with a double to score Werner and put Denstad on third. Eric Augedahl would hit an RBI grounder to score Denstad, and Cavanagh would eventually score on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 5-3. Pierz would add a run in the bottom of the fourth for a 6-3 lead, and that’s where the score stood as Caledonia came to bat in the top of the seventh. Casey Storlie would lead off with a single. Payton Schott and Tate Meiners would also single to load the bases. Derek Vonderohe would deliver another single to score Storlie and Schott to make the score 6-5. After a Denstad grounder advanced the runners to second and third, Cavanaugh would hit a grounder to third that the third baseman threw wild to first allowing two runs to score and Caledonia lead 7-6. Pierz would battle back and score a run in the bottom of the seventh to put the game into extra innings, and after a scoreless eighth inning for Post 191, Pierz would hit a walk off single with one out to defeat Caledonia 8-7. Storlie and Schott each chipped in a pair of hits, and Vonderohe and Cavanaugh each had a pair of RBIs in the contest. Storlie pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing 3 earned runs and striking out 7.
Third place game
Post 191 would play Springfield in the third place game the following day. Springfield took control of the game early and won by a final of 6-1. Caledonia’s only run came on an RBI double by Austin Werner.
Caledonia Post 191 would finish with a fourth place finish at the state tourney. The team would like to thank everyone at the American Legion Post 191 for all their support this season. It is greatly appreciated.