The American Legion Post 9 baseball team and their rival, the Big Stone Badgers, met across the border for a doubleheader in Ortonville. It was Post 9’s last game of their regular season. Milbank won game one15-5 and game two 7-4 to even the season series at two apiece. Joe Schulte led off with a walk. Justus Osborn followed and was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Merik Junker reached first on a fielder’s choice, but Schulte was out in the process. Tanner Hallquist scored the first run of the game when he knocked in Osborn with a single to left.
On an error by the shortstop during Dillen Scheely’s at-bat, Junker wheeled around the bases to score and put Milbank up 2-0. Mason Meister was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Reese Rabe drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home Hallquist and give Milbank an early 3-0 lead.
Josh Pederson reached first on a dropped third strike in the second. Junker doubled to centerfield to score Pederson. Post 9 was ahead 4-3 after two innings. Post 9’s offense exploded in the third. Dillen Scheely led off. He was hit by the pitch. Meister reached on an error. Schulte sliced a single to right to score both Meister and Scheely and push Post 9’s lead to 6-3.
Pederson doubled to right, and Osborn drew a walk to load the bases for Junker. Junker reached on an error by the left fielder, and all three baserunners took the chance to cross the plate. The score surged to 9-3. Junker trotted home on a wild pitch that got by Big Stone’s catcher to cap off a big inning for Milbank and boost the score to 10-3. But Milbank wasn’t done scoring. In the top of the fourth, Rabe reached on an error and Jayce Jonason scored him with a single to right to make it 11-4. Pederson drew a walk to join Jonason on base, but Jonason left for home shortly when Osborn singled to left. Post 9 was ahead 12-4.
In the fifth, Junker blasted a three-run home run to seal the deal for Post 9. Milbank’s 15-4 lead ended the game early due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Junker recorded two hits and four RBIs. Schulte and Osborn added two hits apiece to Milbank’s total of 9. Osborn also earned the win on the rubber. He pitched all five innings and struck out seven batters.
Post 9 kept the hot bats rolling in game two. Right out of the gate, they scored three. It started with a lead-off single from Joe Schulte. Justus Osborn drew a walk to put two runners on base. Junker blasted his second home run of the night. Milbank made it look easy as they took a 3-0 lead.
The top of the order got right back to scoring in the third. Nollen Sheely drew a walk to lead off the frame. Osborn lined a double to left to put runners on second and third. Junker singled to center to score Sheely. Post 9 was ahead 4-1. Owen Tesch doubled to right field to score Osborn and Junker and give Post 9 a 6-1 lead.
In the last frame of the five-inning game, Post 9 added an insurance run to their 6-2 lead when Justus Osborn doubled during the top of the fifth, stole third, and advanced home when the ball got away from the Badger’s catcher. Milbank collected the 7-4 victory.
Junker led the way on offense with two hits, including a home run. He also had a good outing on the mound. He pitched all five innings and allowed only one earned run. His strikeouts also hit double digits (11) for the first time this season.