Amateur baseball roundup: Litchfield Blues enjoy a walk-off win
Bennett Lecher triples in the bottom of the 10th in Litchfield’s 3-2 win over Dassel-Cokato
LITCHFIELD — Bennett Lecher’s main athletic endeavor these days is playing wide receiver for the University of Wisconsin-Stout football team.
The 2021 Litchfield High School graduate is preparing for his junior season with the Blue Devils, who are an NCAA Division III program in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
But, summer’s a different matter.
Then, Lecher plays amateur baseball for the Litchfield Blues, who are off to a 3-0 start after beating the Dassel-Cokato Saints 3-2 in 10 innings on Sunday at Optimist Park.
“It’s probably my favorite sport if I’m going to be honest with you,” Lecher said of baseball. “It’s just fun to be at the park with my friends. It’s not super intense, but it can be at times.”
Sunday would be one of those days.
Lecher smacked a 1-1 pitch with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning over the center fielder’s head. Lecher’s triple enabled Eric Hulterstrum, who doubled, to scamper home with the walk-off run.
“That was fun,” said Lecher, who went 2-for-5 with a double, a triple, a run and an RBI while hitting fifth in the order and playing left field.
It was a well-played game on both sides, Litchfield manager John Anderson agreed.
Litchfield starting pitcher Joey Hyde tossed eight shutout innings. The former University of Minnesota-Morris right-hander struck out three and walked three, scattering five hits. He benefited from three double plays and stellar defense all-around.
“I think we have one of the best defensive outfields in amateur ball,” said Anderson, who was including center fielder Cody Kablunde and right fielder Jordan Lecher, Bennett’s older brother, in the statement. “And I think we’ve turned more double plays already this year than we did all of last season.”
Dassel-Cokato was up to the task, playing well defensively and getting a strong performance from Jordan Flick on the mound. The veteran right-hander went seven solid innings, allowing seven hits and two earned runs. He struck out three and walked no one.
The Saints rallied from a 2-0 deficit with two runs in the top of the ninth. Nikolai Niemela and Graham Jacobson had back-to-back RBI singles to score pinch runners Gus Flick and Josiah Bullivant.
The Blues, sporting their new powder blue uniforms, had taken a 2-0 lead with runs in the fourth and sixth. In the fourth, Jake Jones reached on an infield hit and went to second on Hulterstrum’s single. After Carson Deal was hit by a pitch, Jones scored on a wild pitch.
In the sixth, Hulstrum doubled with one out and scored on Lecher’s RBI double.
There it stood until the 10th in the entertaining game.
“That’s why we play baseball,” Anderson said. “Win or lose, that was two very good ball teams playing a fun game.”
The Blues return to North Star League action at 7 p.m. Friday when they host the Cokato Kernels. The Saints are host to Glencoe at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Litchfield 3, D-C 2
D-C 000 000 000-2 8 1
Litchfield 000 101 001-3 9 1
Hitting - D-C: Noah Halonen 2-4 bb sb, Jim Althoff 2-4 hbp, Michael Leffler 1-1, Collin Krick 0-0 hbp, Gus Flick r, Jacob Niemela 1-3 hbp, Josiah Bullivant r, Nikolai Niemela 1-4 rbi, Graham Jacobson 1-4 rbi … Litchfield: Cody Klabunde 1-3 hbp, Andrew Loch 1-5, Jake Jones 2-4 r bb, Eric Hulterstrum 3-5 r-2 2b-2, Bennett Lecher 2-5 r 2b 3b rbi, Carson Deal 0-3 hbp, Bauer Wahl 0-0 bb, Jordan Lecher 1-4, Ryan Quast 0-3 sac
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - D-C: Jordan Flick 7-7-2-2-0-3, J. Niemela (L) 2.1-2-1-1-2-2 … Litchfield: Joey Hyde 8-5-0-0-3-3, Jack Ramthun (W) 2-3-2-2-0-1
Atwater 12, NLS Twins 2
David Kingery, Jeff Peterson and Jack Peterson all had two hits for the Atwater Chuckers in their win over the New London-Spicer Twins at the Green Lake Diamonds in Spicer.
KingerY was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs, a walk, a stolen base and three RBIs for Atwater. Jeff Peterson was 2-for-3 with a double, a run, two RBIs and a stolen base. Jack Peterson went 2-for-3 with a double, a run and three RBIs.
Josh Kingery got the pitching win, going the first six innings of the seven-inning game. He struck out 11 and walked no one. He allowed three hits and two runs, none earned.
Gavin Radabaugh, Hunter Magnuson and Derek Dolezal all had hits for the Twins.
Atwater 001 313 4-12 11 1
NLS 001 100 0-2 3 1
Hitting - Atwater: Josh Kingery 1-3 r-2 rbi-2 bb-2, David Kingery 2-4 r-2 rbi-3 bb 2b-2 sb, Jordan Olson 1-4 r bb, Kobe Holtz 1-2 r-2 rbi bb-3, Jeff Peterson 2-3 r rbi-2 bb 2b sb, Jack Peterson 2-4 r rbi-3 2b, Logan Straumann 0-2 r bb, Connor Barker 1-4 rbi, Zach Bagley 1-1 r 2b, Terell Renne 0-0 r … NLS: Gavin Radabaugh 1-2, Hunter Magnuson 1-2 r 2b, Dylan Staska 0-0 bb, Brayden Skindelien 0-0 bb, Derek Dolezal 1-3 r
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Atwater: J. Kingery (W) 6-3-2-0-0-11, Holtz 1-0-0-0-2-2 … NLS: Magnuson 4-2-5-5-6-5, Dylan Arndorfer 2-4-3-3-3-3, Jett Salonek 1-5-4-3-0-2
Regal 15, Paynesville 4
Blake Karsch went 2-for-5 with a double and a home run to help lead the Regal Eagles past the visiting Paynesville Bulldogs.
Jordan Beier went 2-for-4 with two runs, Nathan Meyer was 2-for-3 with three runs and Derek Dengerud went 2-for-2 with a sacrifice, two runs and two RBIs for Regal.
Drew Tangen went 2-for-2 with a double and three runs for the Pirates.
Paynesville 102 010 0-4 7 4
Regal 303 108 x-15 12 0
Hitting - Paynesville: Grayson Fuchs 0-3 r, Drew Tangen 2-2 r-3 2b, Grant Fuchs 1-3 rbi-2 2b, Garrett Leusink 1-2 rbi 2b, Tanner Stanley 1-4 … Regal: Luke Knudsen 1-1 r-2 sb, Jordan Beier 2-4 r-2, Josh Beier 1-4 r-3 rbi, Nathan Meyer 2-3 r-3, Blake Karsch 2-5 r-2 rbi-5 2b hr, Derek Dengerud 2-2 r-2 rbi-2 sac, Adrian Belden 1-4 rbi-2, Jordan Wosmek 1-2 rbi-2 sac sb, Brandon Carlson 0-3 r sb
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Paynesville: stats not available … Regal: Wosmek (W) 5-6-4-4-5-2, Brandon Wedel 1-1-0-0-0-0, Chi Schneider 1-0-0-0-0-3
Lake Henry 6, Roscoe 2
Grant Ludwig slugged a home run and was the winning pitcher as the Lake Henry Lakers downed the Roscoe Rangers in Roscoe.
Ludwig went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. On the mound, he went six innings, striking out five and walking one. He allowed four hits and two runs, one earned.
Jason Kampsen went 4-for-5 with a double, a stolen base and an RBI for Lake Henry.
Russell Leyendecker was 3-for-4 with a run and a stolen base for Roscoe.
Lake Henry 200 010 102-6 12 2
Roscoe 000 011 000-2 5 1
Hitting - Lake Henry: Carter Wessel 1-4, Shane Kampsen 2-5 r-2, Grant Ludwig 2-3 r-2 rbi-2 hr, Jason Kampsen 4-5 rbi 2b sb, Nick Dingman 0-4 r, Isaac Lieser 0-5 rbi, Tori Olmscheid 1-2 rbi, Sam Hopfer 1-4 rbi, Weston Brinkman 1-3 sb, Colin Spooner 0-0 r … Roscoe: Bryce Vanderbeek 0-1 hbp, Max Athmann 0-4 sb, Jordan Schleper 0-4 r sb, Brandon Schleper 1-4 rbi 2b, Russell Leyendecker 3-4 r sb, Austin Pauls 1-3 rbi sb
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Lake Henry: Ludwig (W) 6-4-2-1-1-5, Olmscheid 3-1-0-0-1-3 … Roscoe: Leyendecker (L) 6-9-3-3-3-2, Athmann 3-3-3-3-3-5-1
Meire Grove 4, Elrosa 2
The Meire Grove Grovers improved to 1-1 in the Stearns County League North Division with the victory at Meire Grove.
Elrosa falls to 1-1.
Elrosa plays against Spring Hall at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Elrosa.