BLUE EARTH – Winnebago Post 82 / Blue Earth Post 89 cleanup pipe Logan O’Hara experienced “Heroic” deja vu during this weekend’s District 2, Sub-District ‘C’ American Legion baseball tournament’s last pair of games.
O’Hara lined up a walk-off, two-run single with two outs at the bottom of the sixth round to cover Winnebago / Blue Earths 11-1, run-rule triumph over United South Central (Wells) in Sunday’s sub-district championship clash .
Ironically, O’Hara smashed a pitch over Veterans Memorial Fields left field fence for a walk-off, two-run home run with two outs at the bottom of the sixth to pay tribute to WBE’s first 11-1 run-rule victory over USC during Saturday’s semifinal subdistrict.
WBE (13-1) and USC both advance to the District 2 tournament which runs Thursday to Saturday in Wabasso, with the interconnections and times to be determined today.
“I do not think we could have played a better sub-district tournament than we did,” said WBE coach Paul Nienaber, whose team opened the district qualifiers with a 6-0 win over Welcome / Sherburn on Friday. “Logan always seemed to hit every key point, and of course he came through with clutch hits to win our last two games.
“Now we have to make sure Logan does not get out of the ‘zone’ he is in now,” Nienaber jokes.
O’Hara flaunted opposing pitchers’ deliveries on an incredible .909 clip (10 of 11), including three HRs – one in each game, and five doubles en route to 11 RBIs during the three-match period. For good measure, he also hit a three-hit complete shutout at Welcome / Sherburn in Friday’s opening.
“How amazing was our pitching?” in Nienaber. “We received consecutive performances from Logan on Friday, Jimmy Allis on Saturday and Anthony Carr today (Sunday).”
Carr spread three hits and allowed one undefeated run, knocking out four and giving out three rounds in six innings to earn the entire game in Sunday’s final.
Carr held a 6-1 lead and withdrew the last six USC balls he faced in the top of the fifth and sixth before WBE broke out in five races in the home half of the sixth to exit the ballpark early.
Luke Mertens took a lead to set the table for WBE’s offensive avalanche in the sixth before Allis put up his second single in the championship game. Luke Schonborn was picked to load the bases before Nick Barke drove home Mertens and Allis with a two-run single to the left. Barke went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the final.
Adam Schavey then drilled his second hit in the final to put Schonborn on a 9-1 WBE margin. After a strike, O’Hara stepped up to the battery box and narrowed the game-winning two-race single to center for the 11-1 decision.
O’Hara also doubled off the fence to the left to run in the WBE’s first race in the first half before swinging a towering solo HR in the third for half of his top four RBIs.
Mertens doubled, Allis merged and Barke won a race before teammate Kean Hicks’ RBI outing highlighted WBE’s three-race second stroke. Ryan Madetzke singled on the heels of O’Hara’s HR in the third before courtesy runner Ty Peterson finally crossed the plate on Allis’ sacrificial fly.
In Saturday’s semifinal, Allis fired a one-hit complete-game gem on the strength of eight strikes in six innings on the mound.
Ironically similar to Carr’s pitching performance, Allis allowed one unearned run, and like his eventual successor on the ground, he retired with the last six USC hitters he met in the top five and sixth frames of the semifinals when WBE had a 6-1 margin into the home half of the sixth.
Allis assisted his own cause by belting a leadoff double to trigger WBE’s five-run offensive outburst to put the game in the winning column. Courtesy runner Abram Kokos rolled to second base on Schonborn’s single before both runners moved into scoring position on Carr’s perfect sacrificial bundle.
Schavey produced an RBI recessed here to the hole for too short a time to put Kokos, but WBE’s leading batter was called out on a stolen base attempt on second base for second out.
However, Hicks and O’Brien mustered to extend the attack by hammering RBI doubles to widen the WBE’s gap to 9-1.
O’Hara went on the plate and cranked a towering two-run HR over the left field fence to bring home O’Brien and himself to put in a 10-run victory margin.
Once again, O’Hara accounted for two of the WBE’s first three innings via a two-run double before slamming his second two-pointer off the fence to the left on his heels on a trip to O’Brien in the fifth. Both O’Brien and O’Hara scored on Madetzke’s two-run single on the left.
O’Hara also singled, taking second place on Madetzke’s sacrificial bundle and scoring on Mertens’ RBI single on the left to account for WBE’s solo run in fourth.
(Championship – Sunday)
USC 000 010 – 1 3 3
WBE 132 005 – 11 11 1
Winning race scored with two outs at the bottom of the sixth round.
Zale Bushlack (LP), Colten Quade (6) and Nick Bushlack. Anthony Carr (WP) and Ryan Madetzke.
LOB – United South Central, Wells 6; Winnebago / Blue Earth 2. 2B – Logan O’Hara (WBE), Luke Mertens (WBE). HR – Logan O’Hara (WBE). SF – Jimmy Allis (WBE).
(Semifinal – Saturday)
USC 000 010 – 1 1 1
WBE 300125 – 11 11 2
Winning race scored with two outs at the bottom of the seventh.
Ian Crawford (LP) and Konner Harpestad. Jimmy Allis (WP) and Ryan Madetzke.
LOB – USC 5; WBE 3.2B – Logan O’Hara (WBE) 2, Kean Hicks (WBE), Keegan O’Brien (WBE), Jimmy Allis (WBE). HR – Logan O’Hara (WBE). SAC – Ryan Madetzke (WBE), Anthony Carr (WBE).