Legion baseball: East Ridge falls 4-3 to upstart Woodbury Area
The Woodbury Area American Legion baseball team fended off a late rally from East Ridge Thursday to hang on for a 4-3 victory at East Ridge High School.
Built mainly of players from New Life Academy and playing Legion baseball for the first time this summer, Woodbury Area built a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, but East Ridge scored two runs and had runners on second and third with two outs before Woodbury got a fly ball to end the game.
East Ridge got three consecutive hits with one out in the seventh with catcher Luke Ringhofer driving in a run. Parker Moquist drove in a run to make it 4-3 and East Ridge had the tying run on second.
But the rally came too late and East Ridge had made too many mistakes earlier in the game to make up the difference. East Ridge committed three errors in the game, including two in the third inning, which allowed Woodbury to take a 2-1 lead. The other error came in the sixth inning and also led to another run for Woodbury.
"For us, we have some talent, but if you aren't doing all the little things right and you're giving the other team extra outs and taking outs away from yourself it's easy for them to come out and beat you no matter who you're playing," East Ridge head coach Tyler Welch said. "We gotta play clean baseball, otherwise as soon as you give up extra outs you're in trouble."
East Ridge also ran itself off the bases to further compound problems. East Ridge got caught stealing three times in the game, including twice at third base.
In the fifth inning East Ridge had the first two hitters reach base, but got picked off both times.
Moquist finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base for East Ridge. Nick Johnson had two hits and scored a run and Ringhofer went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
East Ridge starter Josh Stuemper gave up four runs on 10 hits, struck out five and walked one in seven innings.
Woodbury's Matt Palkovich went 6 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out five. Jerrad Petrik had two RBI and three hits for Woodbury while Thomas Gunderson and Simon Killeen each had two hits.
The loss marked the second consecutive loss for East Ridge, which lost 6-3 Monday to West St. Paul. East Ridge held a 3-1 lead in the seventh.
East Ridge went on to play at a tournament in Eagan Friday and lost 3-0 to Lincoln, Neb. and 9-5 to Chester Bird.
Next, East Ridge plays Inver Grove Heights Wednesday in Inver Grove Heights.