The American Legion Post 9 baseball team rumbled with three rivals this week during Regions. In the tournament hosted by Ortonville, Milbank beat Sisseton in the first round 5-4, lost to Castlewood 13-8, and fell to Webster 9-7. In game one, Milbank squared off with Sisseton Post 50. Post 9 got their offense going in the top of the third. Reese Rabe drew a leadoff walk. Mason Meister doubled to left to move Rabe to third. Rabe went on to score on a passed ball, and Milbank was on the board at 2-1. Joe Schulte scored Meister with a sacrifice fly to right to tie up the game at 2-2. Osborn restarted the offense with a single to center. In the next at-bat, Junker tripled to right to score Osborn and give Milbank the lead at 3-2.
Schulte led off the fifth. He reached base on an error. Osborn copied Schulte to put runners on first and second. Dillen Scheely smacked a single to score Schulte from second and put Milbank in the driver’s seat at 4-2. Post 9 padded their lead in the top of the seventh. Junker was hit by a pitch, and Scheely doubled to left to send Junker home. Milbank pulled ahead 5-2.
Sisseton attempted a rally late in the game, but Milbank kept them in check. Post 9 escaped with a 5-4 victory. Dillen Scheely led the offense with two hits and two RBIs. Mason Meister also recorded two hits. Post 9 took on Castlewood in the second round. In the bottom of the first, Josh Pederson elicited a leadoff walk. Schulte reached base on an error. Justus Osborn bunted to load the bases. Tanner Hallquist singled to center to score Pederson. Milbank grabbed an early 1-0 lead. Sammy Femling scored Schulte on an error by Castlewood’s second baseman. After one, Post 9 led 2-0.
In the bottom of the second, Meister drew a lead off walk and went on to steal second. Schulte singled to center to score Meister from second. Post 9 ruled at 3-0.
Castlewood scored four in the top of the third, but Milbank had the answer. Hallquist led off with a single to center. Scheely followed it up with another single. Femling reached on a fielder’s choice and scored Hallquist. The score was knotted 4-4.
Post 9 continued to produce and scored four innings in a row. Schulte reached on an error followed by Osborn who walked. Junker loaded the bases with a single to left. Hallquist drew a walk to send Schulte home. Milbank took the lead at 5-4. Castlewood reclaimed the lead, but Post 9 rallied. In the bottom of the sixth, Osborn spanked a single to left. Junker singled to put two runners on for Hallquist, and Hallquist doubled to center to bring the score to 10-7. Hallquist advanced to third on a passed ball and scored when Castlewood’s pitcher committed a balk. Milbank had reached striking distance at 10-8, but their comeback came up short. They were defeated 13-8, but Hallquist did damage to Castlewood’s stats. He put up three hits and four RBIs. Schulte, Osborn, and Junker added two hits apiece.
In a win-or-go-home game, Post 9 took on Webster. Webster got out to an early 5-0 lead, but Milbank battled back. Pederson led off by reaching on an error. Osborn drew a walk to join him on base. Pederson and Osborn moved to second and third on a wild pitch. Junker scored Pederson with a sacrifice fly to left to get Milbank in the game at 5-1. Hallquist doubled to left to score Osborn and pull Post 9 closer at 5-2 after three innings.
Post 9 manufactured two more runs in the top of the fifth. Osborn hit a one-out single to left. Junker doubled to left in the next at-bat to score Osborn and cut the deficit to 5-3. Scheely singled to score Junker and nudge Milbank closer at 5-4. Pederson started a two-out rally in the sixth by drawing a walk. He proceeded to steal second. Schulte scored him with a single to right to tie the game at 5-5. Osborn walked to join Schulte on base and Junker gave Post 9 a 6-5 lead when he singled to left to score Schulte. Milbank gave up five runs in the bottom of the sixth, however, and found themselves in a do-or-die dilemma. Tanner Hallquist responded with a double in the top of the seventh. Sammy Femling singled to center to give Hallquist a ride home, but it wasn’t enough. Post 9 fell 9-7 to end their season at 13-12.