St. Paul, MN - Tri-City Red swept a pair of games Monday at CHS Field in St. Paul, to claim the 2017 Minnesota American Legion Baseball State Championship with a 6-3 win over Ham Lake.
Fresh off their dramatic walk off win over Eden Prairie, Tri-City Red kept the momentum going as they scored 3 runs in the first inning, fueled by three Ham Lake errors that yielded three unearned runs.
Tri-City Red left handed pitcher Scott Kalthoff pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing six hits, two runs of which one was earned, and picked up the win on the mound. He gave way to Adam Davidson, another lefty with Ham Lake's Mike Gottshalk on first base in the seventh inning.
Gotthsalk proceeded to steal second base with two outs, but the web gem of the tournament was delivered by Tri-City Red second baseman Joey Lawson who shut down the inning and prevented the game from being tied. It was a game saving and perhaps a game changing play for his team. Ham Lake catcher Joey Messler laced a line drive to the right of Lawson at second base. Lawson timed his leap perfectly and speared the ball on his back end with his body extended by an impressive vertical. He picked the ball out of the air with precision. It ended the bottom half of the seventh and the game remained at 4-2 for Tri-City Red.
Ham Lake scored on a sacrifice fly by Jon Coello in the bottom half of the eighth inning that scored Spencer Smith to cut the lead to 4-3.
Like they have all tournament Tri-City Red punched back and plated 2 more runs in the top half of the ninth as they cruised to their 6th state title in team history and first since 2000.
Three players had multi-hit games for Tri-City Red including Justin Langer (3-5, 2rbi, 1r, 2b), Jeff LeMay (2-4, 2r), and Ross Indlecoffer (2-5, 1rbi, 2b).
Davidson finished the game working 2 2/3 innings in relief allowing 1 run on 2 hits and 3 strikeouts.
Ham Lake's Logan McDonald pitched 8 innings and allowed 4 runs with only one being earned. he gave up 8 hits for his effort. Connor Melton was 2-4 with a run.
Each team will travel to Dickinson, ND to participate in the Central Plains Regional and proved that they have the depth and ability to go deep in the double elimination platform.
Tournament Awards Announced
The awards were announced for three categories for the 2017 Minnesota American Legion Baseball tournament.
Fred Wannamaker Award (Outstanding Player) Tri-City Red's Ross Indlecoffer
Rob Wassenaar Award (Outtstanding Pitcher) Ham Lake's Seth Miller
Father Moran Sportsmanship Award Rochester Patriots