The American Legion Post 9 baseball team hosted their first home game of the 2022 season at Pribyl Park in Milbank on Tuesday, May 31. The locals needed only five innings to take down Webster in a lopsided 17-0 victory.
Kaden Krause and Cole Swenson were the first to go up to bat for Milbank. They each drew a walk. Kellen Hoeke came up next and sent a one-out double to centerfield to fire up the scoreboard and give Milbank a 2-0 lead.
Justus Osborn reached base on an error by Webster’s shortstop to put runners on first and second. Bryce Lamp then loaded the bases when he reached first on another error. With two outs on the board, a wild pitch gave Hoeke and Osborn the opportunity they needed. Both stole home to nudge the score to 4-0.
In the bottom of the second, Milbank picked up where they had left off. Krause led with a single to right field, and Swenson and Merik Junker drew walks to load the bases again for Post 9. Hoeke lobbed his second hit of the night — a single to left field — to bring home Krause and Swenson and pushed the score to 6-0. Post 9 was just warming up. Osborn came up next and cleared the bases with a triple to left field. It was still early, but Post 9 had already forged an 8-0 lead.
Mikey Karges kept things cooking. He singled to right field and scored Osborn to add one more run to their score after two innings of play.
In the bottom of the third, Merik Junker’s solo homerun with two outs continued Post 9’s hot streak and put them in double figures at 10-0. Hoeke followed Junker’s homerun with a single to left. Osborn doubled to left to bring Hoeke home and move the score to 11-0 at the end of the third. Sparked by Aiden Rabe’s single to the centerfielder, Karges doubled on a fly ball to center and came around to score in the bottom of the fourth. Milbank led 12-0.
Krause drew a walk and Swenson singled to left to load the bases one more time. Junker’s double to left gave Milbank a commanding lead at 14-0, when Rabe and Krause scored, but Swenson was held up at third.
Hoeke then grounded out to to the third baseman, but scored Swenson in the process, and Post 9 held a commanding lead at 15-0. Osborn’s single to left brought home Junker and tacked on one more run to the locals’ total.
Dillen Sheely got his first hit as a Legion baseball player when he belted a sharp single to left to put runners on first and third. Osborn came around to score the game’s final run after Lamp’s single, and Post 9 shut it down after five with the final score at 17-0.
Hoeke picked the up the win on the mound in a lights out performance. He hurled three innings and allowed no hits and no runs. He struck out four batters.
Hoeke also led the offense for Post 9 with three hits and five RBIs. Osborn followed with three hits and four RBIs. Junker and Karges added two hits each. Krause, Swenson, Sheely, Lamp, and Rabe each added one to Milbank’s total of 15.
Want to see the team in action? Legion Post 9 hosts the Arnold Larsen Tournament this weekend, June 3- 5, at Pribyl Park in Milbank. Games start Friday night at 8 p.m. and continue through Sunday.