Legion baseball: Post 15 snaps five-game skid with win over Perham
The Detroit Lakes Legion baseball team rode a big first inning to a 7-3 win over Perham at Washington Ballpark on Tuesday night.
DETROIT LAKES – A week-long break was just what the doctor ordered to snap the Detroit Lakes Legion baseball team's five-game losing streak.
On Tuesday night, Post 15's big first inning was enough to cruise to a 7-3 win over Perha at Washington Park.
"We knew this was a quality team," Post 15 head coach Phil Kirchner said. "Perham is a great, well-coached baseball team. We had a streak of losing against them and being down in the dumps. It's good to get those bats going. It all starts with our bats. You jump out to a four-run lead--that means the bats were great today, and we were being more aggressive against a pretty good pitcher."
Bradly Swiers reached on an error in the bottom of the first before Jordan Tucker brought him home with an RBI double. Jacob Thomas doubled the lead in the next at-bat with an RBI single.
Post 15 took advantage of two Perham errors. Thomas and Kyler Johnson scored on an error in right field following Logan Adams' single. Four runs were all Adams needed for a cushion on the mound.
"He lived on the outside half of the zone," Perham head coach Jim Mulcahy said of Adams. "Unfortunately, we didn't make the adjustments. We kept trying to pull the outside pitch instead of going to right field with it. He kept us off-balance, and we hit a lot of pop-flys to center field because we were trying to pull an outside pitch. That can't be done."
Adams threw six strong innings, allowing one earned run on seven hits with two strikeouts.
"It's all about momentum," Kirchner said. "We kept the momentum going our way (after the first inning) the whole game. We battled, and we knew these guys were going to score some runs and play good defense. It was a good game for us to bounce back from that five-game losing streak."
Detroit Lakes tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Mason Omberg made it 5-0 with an RBi single before Adams brought home another run with a hit. Reiber gave Post 15 its largest lead of the game with a two-out knock.
"Offensively, they got us right out the gate early," Mulcahy said. "They did a great job with two strikes and had a great hitting approach. They found barrels when they got in hitting counts. They put solid swings for solid line drives. They weren't trying to hit home runs. They were just trying to hit line drives for singles and doubles. If they got in a pitcher's count, they made sure to put the ball in play hard."
Perham got a run back in the top of the sixth on a fielder's choice. Swiers relieved Adams in the seventh inning but found himself in trouble.
Logan Pulju drove in two runs with a single to center field before a walk put the tying run on deck twice. Swiers got Austin Schmelz to ground out at third base to end the game.
"It was a fun night of baseball," Kirchner said. "It started with our Junior Legion team picking up a win over Alexandria. That carried over to us. This is the kind of baseball we need to be playing. It's fun to come out here and pick up a couple of wins."
Perham struggled to bring runs home all night, leaving 10 runners on base.
"We need to have better energy and have some fun," Mulcahy said. "Maybe it's been a grind. Maybe they're a little tired. There was no energy tonight. It's not that there's no effort because they gave effort. They call these the dog days of summer. We have to figure out how to mix in the fun and the energy and get that back for playoffs."
Kirchner hopes Tuesday night can be a turning point as Legion teams gear up for a competitive postseason.
"We had a lot of baseball lately," Kirchner said. "We went to Omaha, and I'm not going to make any excuses for us. We were tired, and we just weren't focused. We reset after some time off. We did some hitting yesterday and the day before. We're ready for a big stretch. We have two games in Fergus Falls before an exhibition game in Kindred. Then it's the Water Carnival next weekend."
For Perham, Legion is a chance to play tough competition. Despite a slow start to the summer, Mulcahy is confident his team will be competitive come playoff time.
"It makes us better in the long run," Mulcahy said of playing more formidable teams in Legion baseball. "During the high school season, we can swing bigger. We have to learn how to make adjustments when we do see better pitchers. I think we'll be fine in the long run. When it's all said and done, we'll be OK down the stretch and make a run in the playoffs."