St. Paul, MN - After starting the tournament with 16 teams in the 2017 American Legion Division I State Tournament in St. Paul, the field has whittled its way down to three teams remaining in the double elimination tournament. Only two teams remained unbeaten entering the final game of the evening on Sunday at CHS Field in St. Paul and it featured Ham Lake and Tri-City Red, both were 4-0 on the tournament.
Ham Lake ground out a 4-3 win over Tri-City Red to earn and automatic berth the American Legion Central Plains Regional Tournament in Dickinson, ND. Standing in the way of Tri-City Red and a berth to join Ham Lake is Eden Prairie. Both Eden Prairie and Ham Lake will square off at 10am on Monday morning in an elimination game with the winner advancing.
Both teams have been hammering the baseball at the tournament as they rank second (Ham Lake .367) and third (Tri-City Red .346) in the tournament field. They both looked the part in the early going as Ham Lake struck in the first inning for a run and Tri-City responded with two of their own in the bottom half of the frame to take 2-1 lead. It would be their only of the game.
4 Tri-City errors assisted Ham Lake in plating four runs of which 2 were unearned to Tri-City starter Justin Langer. He pitched 4 innings while John Solfest delivered 5 of his own in relief while allowing 5 hits and just one run.
Sam Riola and Logan McDonald were 2-5 with an RBI for Ham Lake. Alex Winslow was 1-4 yet scored 3 runs in the winning effort.
After allowing two runs and on three hits of which two were doubles, starting pitcher Seth Miller locked it down for the remainder of his outing that stretched to 8 2/3 innings. He allowed seven hits and yielded the rubber to Joey Messler who enduced a comebacker to retire Tri-City Red who had runners on second and third with two outs to earn the save and preserve the win.
Tri-City lead off batter Jeff LeMay was 2-3 on the evening to lead his team offensively.