LF Legion season ends in disappointment

(Pictured are Russ Fellbaum, Mike Schwientek, Mike Darmonte, and Noah Czech come off the field after being defeated by Cold Spring on August 2. (080501-loss) Staff photo by Adam Czech)

On Monday, Little Falls was able to sneak by Park Rapids despite not having their ‘A’ game.

Little Falls jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one inning on an RBI double by Pat Krebs. Little Falls starting pitcher Matt Gohl held Park Rapids scoreless until the fifth when Park Rapids got to him for a single run. Little Falls answered in their half of the fifth with a run of their own which increased their lead to 3-1.

Park Rapids scored quickly with nobody out in their final at-bat in the seventh to make it 3-2. The next two Park Rapids batters also reached base. Coaches Brad Czech and Simon Waltman then made the decision to bring in Josh Burgardt in relief of Gohl.

With runners’ on first and second and nobody out, Little Falls anticipated a bunt and called for a pick-off play at second. Third baseman Chris Bell charged towards the plate yelling ‘bunt! bunt!’ while shortstop Noah Czech raced to cover third.

With the runners attention focused on the activity at third base, second baseman Matt Martin was able to sneak into second to take the pick-off throw from Burgardt and catch the base-runner off guard. After a brief run-down, Czech applied the tag and the runner was out.

During the run-down between second and third base, the Park Rapids runner who occupied first made an attempt to move to second. He was also tagged out after a brief run-down.

When the action on the base paths was finished, Burgardt managed to fan the next Park Rapids batter to end the game and preserve the victory for Little Falls.

Starter Gohl was credited with the win. He struck out 10 in six innings of work while walking four and scattering five hits. Burgardt earned the save.

Offensive leaders for Little Falls were Mike Sobiech who went 3/3 and Pat Krebs who had two hits and an RBI.

Post 46 then made the half hour trek to Brainerd on Thursday for the opening day of the District Tournament. Unfortunately, the opening day would also be the last day for Post 46.

Little Falls opened the tourney with an 11 a.m. game versus Waite Park. Despite only managing to get three hits, Waite Park won the contest, 8-6.

With the score knotted up at one in the fourth, Little Falls pitcher Josh Burgardt knocked in two with a single to give Post 46 a two run advantage. However, the lead would be short lived as Waite Park used a combination of walks, hit batters, and errors to score five in the fifth to take a 6-3 lead.

Waite Park added two more in the top of the sixth before Little Falls left fielder Pat Krebs drove in three with a double in the bottom of the sixth to cut Waite Park’s lead to 8-6.

Matt Gohl was able to rip a one out single in the last inning for Little Falls but was stranded on first to end the game.

In the contest, Little Falls pitchers walked nine and hit two while giving up only three hits. The Post 46 defense also committed three costly errors.

Burgardt took the loss on the mound for Little Falls. Post 46 was led on offense by Gohl who had three hits, Burgardt with two, Noah Czech, Matt Martin, and Matt Wenz with one hit, and Pat Krebs with three RBI.

Next up for Little Falls was a 5 p.m. elimination game versus Cold Spring. Post 46 dropped the game, 2-1, thus ending their season.

After getting one run in the bottom of the first on an RBI ground out from Issac Smieja, Little Falls starting pitcher Chris Bell held Cold Spring scoreless until they tied the game in the fourth. It appeared as if the momentum was about to shift back to Little Falls after left fielder Pat Krebs gunned down a Cold Spring runner trying to score to end the fourth inning.

However, Little Falls was unable to get any offense going. With the score still tied at one in the top of the seventh, Cold Spring strung together a couple of hits and an error to make it a 2-1 ballgame. That’s how the game ended when Little Falls second baseman Matt Martin was picked off of first for the final out in the bottom of the seventh.

Bell fought hard and went the distance on the mound for Little Falls. He also was 1/3 at the plate. Other Little Falls players with hits were Krebs, Mike Sobiech, and Mike Schwientek.

After the game, coach Brad Czech had this to say: “These were two tough losses. The other teams took advantage of the opportunities we gave them. We also didn’t have enough big hits with guys on base.”

Coach Simon Waltman added: “We played hard and did our best.”

Post 46 finished the season with an overall record of 12-6.

Little Falls 3, Park Rapids 2.
Little Falls 200 010 0 – 3–5–2
Park Rapids 000 010 1 – 2–5–3

Waite Park 8, Little Falls 6.
Waite Park 000 152 0 – 8– 3– 0
Little Falls 000 303 0 – 6–10–3

Cold Spring 2, Little Falls 1.
Cold Spring 000 100 1 – 2–3–1
Little Falls 100 000 0 – 1–5–3

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