But Willmar Post 167 is happy to accept third place.
Willmar beat Foley 12-2 Sunday at Joe Faber Field. The victory gave Post 167 third place in the 94th Division I American Legion Baseball Tournament.
Post 167 ends the season with a record of 16-5 after playing six tournament matches since Thursday. Willmar advanced to the championship bracket after finishing with a 2-1 record in pool play, good enough to earn a second seed from the pool.
It then beat Tri-City Red 8-2 Saturday morning in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals Saturday night, where it lost to Osseo 10-5.
Willmar’s Sam Etterman will take it, all things considered.
“Definitely,” Etterman said.
Like the rest of the Post 167 teammates, he saw that the high school season ended with a state loss in the first round against St. Thomas Academy, 16-9. And that was that.
“Just to get a little further in the state tournament is very nice,” Etterman said after beating Willmar past Tri-City Red, a team made up of players from Mounds View High School. “We are definitely happy to have two more games in the state.”
Osseo, who had five new graduates in 2020 on the roster, ended Willmar’s championship run.
“I’m excited, but I’m also disappointed in myself,” Willmar head coach Doug Ruter said after the Tri-City victory.
Willmar was quoted as violating the pitch pitch rule. Ruter removed Etterman after six excellent innings and brought in Hunter Magnuson. Manguson threw a lane and noted an exit when tournament officials were called to the field by Tri-City Red.
It turns out that Magnuson had thrown 46 lanes on Thursday. In baseball in high school, the rule is a full day off after throwing 50 courts or less. In legionball, however, the rule is 45.
“I did not know,” said Ruter, who took full responsibility for misunderstanding the counting rule.
Ruter was thrown out of the game, as was Magnuson. Etterman then returned to complete the win, recording two of his nine strikeouts.
The elder of Willmar was asked if he had ever come in to relieve himself.
“Never,” he said with a smile. “That was the first thing.”
With the win over Foley, Willmar reveals one of the best baseball seasons for middle school players in its history, earning a Central Lakes Conference championship and a state 3AA tournament spot and taking third place in the state legion tournament.
It also marks the end of four players’ advanced / legion career: catcher / pitcher / third baseman Dylan Arndorfer, first baseman / pitcher Andrew Baumgart, Magnuson, a third baseman / pitcher, and outfielder / pitcher Jett Salonek.
“It’s going to be very tough to replace them, all of them,” Ruter said. “They’ve done a lot.”
Andrew Baumgart homered, going 2-for-2 with two runs, a double, three runs and three RBIs, as Willmar took third place at the state by beating Foley on six innings at Joe Faber Field.
Brandt Sunder went 2-on-3 with a triple, a run and an RBI for Post 167, which got a strong pitching performance from Hunter Magnuson. Magnuson went all six rounds, knocked out three, went one and allowed three hits and two earned runs.
Foley 200,000 – 2 3 2
Willmar 310 044-12 9 0
Hits – Foley: Ryan Chmielewski 1-3 r, Josiah Petersen 1-3 r, Colby Johnson 0-0 hbp-2, Jack Wolfe 0-2 rbi bb, Daniel Dahmen 0-3 rbi, Alex Jennissen 0-1 hbp, Joseph Thorsten 1-2 … Willmar: Jett Salonek 1-4 r 2b, Hunter Magnuson 1-2 r-3 bb hbp, Ian Koosman 0-3 r bb, Andrew Baumgart 2-2 r-3 rbi-3 bb-2 2b hr, Sam Etterman 1-3 r -2 rbi-2 bb sb, Dylan Arndorfer 1-2 r rbi-3 bb sf, Alex Schramm 1-4 rbi-2 2b, Cayden Hansen 0-2 bb, Brandt Sunder 2-3 r rbi 3b
Pitching (ip-hr-er-bb-so) -Foley: Jerome Emmerich (L) 3⅔-3-4-3-2-2, Petersen 1 1 / 3-3-4-4-3-0, Dahmen ⅔-3-4-4-2-0… Willmar: Magnuson (W) 6-3-2-2-1-3
Shortstop John Klein, a graduate of Osseo High School in 2020, had two base-clearing doubles, running in six races, to help Osseo to the championship bracket with the win over Willmar at Dick Putz Field.
Osseo beat Hopkins 16-6 in five innings to win the state championship on Sunday. Both teams advance to Division I Central Plains Regional on Friday in Sioux Falls, SD
Alex Schramm went 2-on-4 for Willmar.
Willmar 210200 0-5 6 1
Osseo 401311 x-10 11 3
Hits – Willmar: Jett Salonek 0-3 r bb sac, Hunter Magnuson 1-4 r bb, Ian Koosman 0-3 r rbi sf, Andrew Baumgart 1-4 r rbi, Sam Etterman 0-1 rbi bb-2 sf, Dylan Arndorfer 1-3 hbp, Alex Schramm 2-4, Cayden Hansen 0-2 r bb hbp, Brandt Sunder 1-3 bb … Osseo: Davis Wick 0-3 r-bb, Matthew Holien 2-4 r, Matthew Kitzman 1-3 r-2 bb, Spencer Pederson 2-3 r-2 bb, Wyatt Doubler 2-3 r-3 rbi bb, John Klein 2 -4 rbi-6 2b-2, Brady Quan 1-4, Noah Thompson 1-2 hours r rbi-2 hbp
Pitching (ip-hr-er-bb-so) -Willmar: Arndorfer (L) 4-9-8-8-4-3, Salonek 2-2-2-1-0-0… Osseo: Sam Wolkerstarter (W) 4-5-5-1-3-1, Pederson (Sv) 3-1-0-0-3-3
Andrew Baumgart went 3-on-4 with two races and an RBI to help send Willmar to the semifinals with the win at Joe Faber Field.
Baumgart, who is on his way to North Dakota State on a baseball scholarship, was part of Post 167’s five-run third inning that put him off.
Cayden Hansen went 2-on-2 with two trips, one run and one RBI for Willmar. Sam Etterman got the pitching victory and threw 6⅔ innings. He allowed six hits and two earned runs, knocked out nine and went one.