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River Falls Legion takes third in Mankato tournament

River Falls pitcher Jaxin Larson fires a pitch to the plate in the eighth inning of the Post 121 baseball team's 9-1 win over New Richmond in an American Legion game at First National Bank of River Falls Field Wednesday, June 21. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 3
River Falls second baseman Jake Lindsay takes a throw for a forceout for the first out of the top of the ninth inning in the Post 121 team's 9-1 win over New Richmond in an American Legion baseball game at First National Bank of River Falls Field Wednesday, June 21. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
River Falls right fielder Glen Pendleton makes a tumbling catch near the right field line in the top of the eighth inning of the Post 121 baseball team's 9-1 win over New Richmond in an American Legion game at First National Bank of River Falls Field Wednesday, June 21. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

The River Falls American Legion baseball team stood tall against some top quality competition in a game played at Mankato over the weekend.

River Falls went 2-1 in the tournament, with its only loss coming against a highly-ranked Mankato team.

That game was the first of the weekend for River Falls. River Falls lost to the host Mankato team 7-3 in 10 innings. River Falls got excellent pitching, with just two of Mankato's runs being earned.

"Mankato was a top 10 ranked team in Minnesota all spring and has 12 graduated seniors playing for them this summer," said River Falls coach Ryan Bishop.

Jake Lindsey pitched the first nine innings of the game for River Falls, allowing one earned run.

"Jake threw his heart out for nine innings and put us in position to win. We had our chances but couldn't get the timely hit," Bishop said.

Jake Bergmanis led River Falls, getting three of the team's seven hits in the game.

Mankato went on to win the tournament. The difference in this game may have been defense, with River Falls committing six errors.

"Mankato is a tough team. You have to play flawless to beat teams like that and for the most part we did. Unfortunately they capitalized on the couple miscues we had. But that's what good teams do and I think our guys learned something from this game," Bishop said.

On Saturday, River Falls faced New Prague. The strong pitching continued for River Falls, with Glen Pendleton throwing a four-hit shutout, leading River Falls to a 7-0 win in seven innings.

"Glen did a nice job working out of a couple jams and got stronger as the game went on," Bishop commented.

Adam Feyereisen led the River Falls offense with three hits and two walks in his leadoff role. Feyereisen went 6-11 for the weekend.

River Falls led 2-0 until the game was broken open with a four-run burst in the fifth inning.

The tournament was capped for River Falls on Sunday with a 14-3 win over Chanhassen in five innings in the third place game. River Falls only scored in two innings of this game. It started with five runs in the first inning. In the fifth inning, River Falls rang up nine runs. Mitchell Feyereisen scored three times in the victory. Bergmanis, Joey Davis and Nick Speckman each supplied two hits.

Joe Stoffel pitched the complete game against Chanhassen, allowing two earned runs on five hits.

Bishop said this tournament was highly beneficial for his team.

"It was a fun tournament with good competition and a great venue to play at. Weekends like these make a team better on the field but also from a team building and development perspective," he said.

The River Falls boys were also in action last Wednesday, delivering a homefield 9-1 win against New Richmond. River Falls dominated this game, amassing 15 hits. That was led by Pendleton and Mitchell Feyereisen, who both totaled three hits.

Jaxin Larson supplied masterful pitching in this game. He allowed five hits and one walk over nine innings while striking out six.

"Jaxin attacked the zone, our defense made plays, and our hitters swung it well. Good things happen when you put those three facets together," Bishop said.

River Falls was also supposed to play Altoona on Thursday, but the game was rained out.

The River Falls squad will host Red Wing this Wednesday and Holmen on Thursday before getting some time off to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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