Tri-City Reds hand 39ers second loss of season

Tri-City Red 10 - North St. Paul 1

In a showdown Sunday, July 20 between two District IV baseball powerhouses at Kuenkel Field, the Tri-City Post 513 Red surprised the crowd with how easily they handled the North St. Paul 39ers.

The game was a makeup from a previously scheduled contest back on June 17 at Mounds View High School.

Going into the noon game, Tri-City was leading the American Legion District IV League with a record of 11-0. The only loss for the 39ers (10-1) was a 3-6 setback at the hands of the Red on June 25.

The “home” team Red wasted no time establishing their dominance with two runs in the bottom of the first. They went on to gain the District IV championship with runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings to win going away by 10-1.

“We canceled a couple of games this week so we could rest up,” stated Tri-City manager  Stephen Grasley.

“We went to the finals of the Jim Hanus Tournament, and the kids were pretty worn down. We needed the rest. It helped us.

“We hit the ball well today and got a good hitting performance through out entire lineup.

“It is a good win and provides us with the league championship,” Grasley said with a smile.

North St. Paul manager Ron Adams summed up the game succinctly, “They hit the ball, and we didn’t.”

Adams went on to add, “It wasn’t a very good game for us considering what was at stake. The Red got some timely hits with two outs. The balls they hit seemed to fall in just out of reach or find holes that were out of reach.”

Tri-City’s Ben Mezzenga led off the game with a walk. Ryan Plasencia sacrificed him to second. Joe Fredrickson sent a RBI shot into center field and went to second on the peg home. A pair of wild pitches allowed him to score.

In the third inning North St. Paul changed pitchers but the result was the same. Plasencia walked and two outs later Charlie Callahan banged a single and went to second on the peg home. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored the 4-0 tally on a hit off the bat of Nate Douvier.

In the top of the fifth the 39ers finally got on the scoreboard. With one out Bram Minser was nicked by a pitch. Corky Hildebrandt followed with a shot through the left-side hole.

Tommy Mulvaney walked to load the sacks in front of a sacrifice fly off the bat of Joe Messerole.

In their half of the fifth the Red doubled their tally. Alec Abercrombie knocked a one-out grounder up the middle. Fredrickson sliced a shot to right field. Douvier walked to fill the sacks in front of a two-RBI single off the bat of Chance Carnahan. Wyatt Meyer followed with a two-RBI double into left center and it was 8-0.

In the last of the sixth the Red put the finishing touches on their hot win on the humid afternoon.

Mezzenga led off and doubled into center field. A strikeout later a shot to Minser at shortstop was turned into an out at third as Abercrombie reached on a fielder’s choice.

Fredrickson - he was 3-for-4 - singled into right. Callahan - 2-for-3 - lined a shot into right, and Abercrombie came home. Dovier worked a walk to load the sacks and behind him, Carnahan also walked to score Fredrickson with the 10-1 final score.

Both teams entered American Legion Sub-Section play. Tri-City Red will play in Sub-Section 8, while the 39ers will play in Sub-Section 7. The state tournament will take place Aug. 1-4 in Eagan.

--Wally Wakefield


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