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Legion: Detroit Lakes upsets top-seeded Moorhead 2-1

Detroit Lakes team members congratulate Connor Johnson after a huge upset of No. 1 Moorhead in the opening round of the American Legion baseball tournament in Perham. Robert Williams/FOCUS

PERHAM — Connor Johnson pitched a six-hitter as No. 8-seed Detroit Lakes upset the No. 1 Moorhead Blues 2-1 at Krueger Field in the Minnesota Sub State 14 American Legion tournament.

“I felt good after the first inning; I felt really good,” said Johnson.

The DL defense aided Johnson’s effort turning three double plays and cutting down a squeeze bunt scoring attempt by Moorhead at the plate.

Johnson turned DL’s third double play himself catching a popped-up sacrifice bunt in the the top of the ninth. Johnson’s throw to first was in time to catch Drew Anderson at the bag and smack down any late rally by the Blues in a huge win for the young Post 15 squad.

“After a rough year like we had, it’s huge,” Johnson said.

Sam Beck led off the top of the third inning with a solo shot to left field for a 1-0 Detroit Lakes lead.

The two teams exchanged a run each in the seventh.

DL took a 2-0 lead on a two-out single by Matt Bergren to score Matt Haire in the top half off Moorhead starter Preston Kraiter.

Moorhead answered with a leadoff double by Jared Benson. Benson scored on a fielder’s choice to shortstop off the bat of Brett Erickson to cut the score to 2-1.

Tyler Oberg kept Detroit Lakes off the scoreboard in two innings of relief.

DL threatened Kraiter often leaving the bases loaded in the first two innings and a total of a dozen left on base for the game.

“We did leave a lot of guys on,” said Johnson. “That’s kind of rough because I have no run support.”

Kraiter walked four and fanned eight, allowing two earned runs on nine hits in seven innings.

Johnson scattered six hits over nine innings striking out four and walking two.

No. 8 Detroit Lakes will face No. 4 Alexandria Friday at 4 p.m.

“They’re top pitcher is out; we have a good opportunity to hit the ball well against them, like we did against Moorhead,” Johnson said.

No. 1 Moorhead faces No. 5 Thief River Falls in an elimination game to start Friday’s play at 10 a.m.

DL  001 000 100 — 2 11 3

MB 000 000 100 — 1  6  3

DL: Johnson (WP) and Beck. HR: Beck.

MB: Kraiter (LP), Oberg and Skjefte.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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