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

Baseball roundup
Dassel-Cokato's Graham Jacobson cannot reach second base before Litchfield shortstop Andrew Loch completes a double play on Sunday, May 14, 2023, at Optimist Park.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

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.

Litchfield vs. Dassel-Cokato, 051423.002.jpg
Litchfield catcher Carson Deal makes a tag at home plate on Dassel-Cokato's Noah Halonen on Sunday, May 14, 2023, at Optimist Park.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

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.

More Baseball:
Recent baseball coverage from the West Central Tribune.
Baseball report for Thursday, June 1, 2023, in west central Minnesota. Jaguars pull off 2 walk-off wins in Section 6A, beating KMS 6-5, and USA 8-7
Express hold Willmar hitless for five innings in grabbing an 11-0 lead at Bill Taunton Stadium
The former Twins first baseman had a legendary playing career, including winning the 2004 World Series with the Boston Red Sox.
Willmar battles rain, late Eau Claire rally to prevail 8-6
Four pitchers hold Blues to 5 hits as Rockets rally from an early deficit
A wet spring and the late seeding of grass in 2022 at the Willmar Civic Center softball/baseball fourplex has delayed the opening to prevent a muddy mess.
Second-seeded KMS beats No. 7 Trojans 19-2 in the Section 6A-South playoffs in Sunburg
Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg advances on in the Section 6A playoffs with 19-2 victory over Trojans.
Baseball report for Monday, May 29, 2023, in west central Minnesota. Rosen wins Land O' Ducks League contest over Plowboys, 6-3
Baseball report for Saturday, May 27, 2023, in west central Minnesota. Thunder Hawks beat NLS, ACGC to remain in 3AA winners' bracket

“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.

Litchfield vs. Dassel-Cokato, 051423.001.jpg
Litchfield second baseman Ryan Quast throws the ball to first base against Dassel-Cokato on Sunday, May 14, 2023, at Optimist Park.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

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 vs. Dassel-Cokato, 051423.004.jpg
Litchfield designated hitter Jake Jones smiles after reaching first base against Dassel-Cokato on Sunday, May 14, 2023, at Optimist Park.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

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.

Litchfield vs. Dassel-Cokato, 051423.005.jpg
Litchfield starting pitcher Joey Hyde fires a pitch toward home plate against Dassel-Cokato on Sunday, May 14, 2023, at Optimist Park.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

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.

North Star

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


County Line

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

Stearns County

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.

Tom Elliott has been the sports editor at the West Central Tribune since September 2019.
Contact him at or leave a message at 320-235-1150.
What To Read Next
Get Local