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Legion baseball season ends with loss in championship

The Morris American Legion baseball team came up short in a quest for a state tournament bid, suffering its second loss to BOLD to end the season. With the loss, Post 29 finishes the 2010 season with a 17-9 record.

Morris Legion Post 29 stayed alive in the District 7 - II tournament with a 6-4 win over Sacred Heart in Montevideo Friday night. Nate Gades picked up the win on Friday night, holding Sacred Heart to three earned runs on five hits, two walks, and six strike outs. 

Sacred Heart scored a run in the top of the first with the help of two Morris errors, but Post 29 came back with three unearned runs of their won in the bottom half of inning number one. Tyler Hansen led off with a double and he advanced to third on a ground out. After a strikeout, Eric Riley reached on an error to score Hansen. Consecutive two-out singles by Brady Valnes, Gades, and Cole Riley plated two more runs.

Post 29 got on the board again in the second. Hansen led off with a single, but was erased on the base paths when Sauter lined into a double play. Ryan Beyer however followed with a home run to left to make the score 4-1.

Sacred Heart picked up two runs in the top of the fourth to pull to within 4-3, but Morris answered back immediately with two of their own to regain a three-run cushion. Mitch Kill and Travis Rinkenberger led off the inning with singles and Hansen reached on an error to load the bases. Kill scored when Sauter reached on a fielder's choice, and Beyer drove in Rinkenberger with a sacrifice fly.

Sacred Heart put on a late, two-out rally in the top of the seventh, scoring one run and they had another runner on third when Gades got the final out of the night.

Hansen was the only Morris batter with two hits.

Morris lost to BOLD 6-5 in the District 7 - II championship game on Saturday in Montevideo.

Post 29 got on the board first against BOLD when Dusty Sauter was hit by a pitch with one out, stole second, and scored on a two-out single by Eric Riley. 

Morris starter Tyler Hansen retired BOLD without a run in the bottom of the inning, but BOLD took a 2-1 lead in the second when they scored twice helped out by two Morris errors. BOLD upped their lead to 4-1 in the fourth when they put together three singles around a walk.

Post 29 answered back in the top of the fifth, scoring three times and knocking out BOLD's starting pitcher Shawn Dollershell. Hansen led off with a single and after the next two Morris hitters were retired, Eric Riley and Brady Valnes hit singles to score Hansen. Nate Gades worked out a walk to load the bases and Cole Riley came through with a clutch two-run single to tie the score at 4-4. 

BOLD took a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the inning with a big two-run double by Andrew Brooks. 

It looked like Post 29 would at least tie the game and possibly take the lead in the top of the sixth inning when Hansen led off with a walk and Sauter singled. Ryan Beyer reached on a fielder's choice ground out, advancing Hansen to third. Eric Riley then hit a long fly ball to left field that the BOLD left fielder Alex Gay caught as he leapt and reached high up on the wall, possibly taking a three-run home run away from Riley. Hansen scored on the sacrifice fly to draw Morris to within 6-5.

Hansen set BOLD down in the bottom of the sixth and Post 29 came up in the top of the seventh needing a run to tie the score and to continue their season. Cole Riley worked out a one-out walk and was replaced on the bases by pinch runner Evan Schultz. After another out, Ethan Bruer reached on an infield single, moving Schultz to scoring position at second. Hansen then hit a soft line drive that didn't quite get over the glove of BOLD's first baseman and the game ended.

Hansen, Eric Riley, and Cole Riley each had two hits in the game.

Hansen picked up the loss on the mound, giving up four earned runs on six hits, three walks, and one strike out.

Hansen, Sauter, and E. Riley were chosen for the District 7 - II all tournament team.