Legion baseball: East Rige splits last six games, ends regular season 16-16
The East Ridge Legion Post 501 baseball team went 3-3 in its past six games, and headed into playoffs 16-16 overall, earning the 16th seed in the 20-team Third District tournament.
Last week, East Ridge -- which finished in fifth place in the Third District League F with an 8-8 record -- lost to rival Woodbury Blue 6-5 in the second game of their two-game series on Tuesday, July 12. East Ridge beat Woodbury Blue back on July 5 in the first head-to-head match between the two Post 501-sponsored squads.
After falling to Woodbury Blue, East Ridge beat Inver Grove Heights 11-1 in the second game of the day on Tuesday, July 12, the beat Oakdale on Wednesday, July 13, before losing to St. Paul Park 4-3 on Thursday, July 14.
East Ridge wrapped up the regular season, splitting a pair of games at the Don Friday Invitational in Stevens Point, Wis., -- beating Sheboygan, Wis., 4-3 and falling to Stevens Point 9-3.
On the year, with a minimum of 20 games played, 2011 East Ridge grad Grady Rolando led East Ridge in batting, hitting .470 for the season with a team-best 39 hits, 13 doubles, four triples and 22 RBI. Fellow 2011 grad John Hietpas was second in batting with a .366 average on 34 hits and 19 RBI. Soon-to-be-seniors Andy Sammon and Lance Durand led the team in runs scored with 22 a piece, hitting .337 and .333, respectively, with 13 RBI each as well. 2012 grad Tom Wermers led the team with two home runs.
On the mound, 2011 grad Mitch Luebbe and 2012 grad Mark Landgrebe led the way. Luebbe was 4-3 with a 1.94 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 39.67 innings pitched. Landgrebe was 3-2 with a 1.99 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 38.67 innings. Also, 2012 grad Dalton Herron was 4-2 with a 2.97 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 30.67 innings.
East Ridge fielded a young team this summer with only five 2011 grads and 13 soon-to-be seniors on its 19-and-under Legion team roster.
East Ridge took on 17th seed South St. Paul in the single-elimination round of the playoffs on Monday, July 18, after the Bulletin went to print. A win over South St. Paul would qualify Post 501 for the double-elimination tournament beginning Wednesday, July 20.