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Legion Baseball: Tri-Town flies past DGF

Led by Jack Peterson, who has his private pilot's license, the Black Sox advance at the state tournament with a 7-4 win over Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. Tri-Town plays in the state semifinals Saturday night.

Baseball roundup
Tri-Town pitcher Jack Peterson fires off a throw during the DII State American Legion Baseball quarterfinals against DGF on Friday, July 29, 2022 at Redbird Field in Luverne.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
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LUVERNE — With Tri-Town getting thrown a curveball before its first game of the Division II American Legion Baseball State Tournament, the Black Sox leaned on the curveball of Jack Peterson.

Led by an 11-strikeout, complete-game effort by the right-hander, Tri-Town won its opening-round game Friday against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 7-4 at Redbird Field.

“Winning this game was priority No. 1,” Peterson said. “I have the utmost confidence in myself. There’s people out there that are much more athletically gifted than me, I know I don’t look like much, but I want it more than anyone else.”

Peterson added, “Playing in a game like this, that’s what I play for. I love it so much. And I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else (other than with this team).”

Tri-Town's Connor Barker takes a swing at a pitch during the DII State American Legion Baseball quarterfinals against DGF on Friday, July 29, 2022 at Redbird Field in Luverne.
Tri-Town's Connor Barker takes a swing at a pitch during the DII State American Legion Baseball quarterfinals against DGF on Friday, July 29, 2022 at Redbird Field in Luverne.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Prior to the state opener, Black Sox head coach Chris Fellows was debating on starting either Peterson or Josh Kingery. The decision was taken out of his hands after Kingery couldn’t make Friday’s game due to an infection. The team is hoping to have Kingery back in the lineup Saturday and Sunday. Tri-Town plays the winner of Wadena/Luverne at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the championship semifinals.

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Fellows picked Peterson up from the Luverne airport. Peterson got his pilot’s license in February and flies out of Litchfield Municipal Airport. So, he took the aerial route to Luverne.

Tri-Town head coach Chris Fellows, left, chats with No. 9 hitter Jaxon Drange during a break in the action during the DII State American Legion Baseball quarterfinals against DGF on Friday, July 29, 2022 at Redbird Field in Luverne.
Tri-Town head coach Chris Fellows, left, chats with No. 9 hitter Jaxon Drange during a break in the action during the DII State American Legion Baseball quarterfinals against DGF on Friday, July 29, 2022 at Redbird Field in Luverne.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

“It’s definitely a lot of work. It’s hundreds of hours to get that license,” Peterson said. “It’s 40 hours just in the air and so much groundwork you have to do. Flying is easy, but knowing all the stuff you need to fly is not easy.”

Said Fellows, “He actually had to miss a couple high-school practices because he was getting his pilot’s license. He had to take a couple tests. Thankfully he made it but it makes me nervous he’s in the air instead of on the ground.”

Tri-Town catcher Logan Straumann picks up the ball for a throw to first base during the DII State American Legion Baseball quarterfinals against DGF on Friday, July 29, 2022 at Redbird Field in Luverne.
Tri-Town catcher Logan Straumann picks up the ball for a throw to first base during the DII State American Legion Baseball quarterfinals against DGF on Friday, July 29, 2022 at Redbird Field in Luverne.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

In the morning, Peterson was told of the pending start. Save for the three-run second inning from DGF, which Peterson admitted was one of his worst innings of the season, the righty was effective. He did not allow a hit over the last four innings.

“I’m happy with the way he performed,” Fellows said of Peterson. “He needed to perform the way he performed today and shut the door so we didn’t have any other pitching issues moving forward.”

The top of Tri-Town’s batting order delivered throughout the game.

Leadoff batter Logan Straumann got hits in his first three at-bats, finishing 3-for-5 with a double and two runs.

073022.S.WCT.TriTown Legion base Jaxon Behm.jpg
Tri-Town's Jaxon Behm fist-bumps teammates during pre-game intros before the DII State American Legion Baseball quarterfinals against DGF on Friday, July 29, 2022 at Redbird Field in Luverne.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Connor Barker, the No. 3 hitter, delivered RBI after RBI. He drove in three runs through the first two innings.

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“Everyone was coming into the dugout fired up (and) seeing the ball well,” said Barker, who was 3-for-4 with two doubles, four RBIs and a run scored. “We put the bat on the ball and won the game.”

After DGF starter Kayden Camacho was pulled in the sixth after passing 105 pitches, Barker took the first toss from reliever Kaden Altobelli to right field for a single. That scored Jonas Morrison for the game-winning run. Two batters later, Terrell Renne gave Tri-Town some insurance with a two-run, two-out single.

“Going to college at Concordia-Moorhead, I know the baseball (at DGF) was really good,” Fellows said. “I knew they were going to be a tough team so we wanted to be ready to go. Now, getting through that game, it’s a big sigh of relief.”

Fellows added, “But we have a big test next. We know Luverne from the high-school playoffs and we faced Wadena last year. It’s going to be a tough battle tomorrow, too.”

In other first-round games Friday, Morris beat Chatfield 8-2 and Sibley East of Gaylord defeated Jackson 5-4.

DII state quarterfinals

Tri-Town 7, DGF 4

Tri-Town   130   003   0-7   9   1
DGF          031   000   0-4   5   1
Hitting - Tri-Town: Logan Straumann 3-5 2b r-2, Connor Barker 3-4 2b-2 r rbi-4, Terrell Renne 1-4 rbi-2, Jonas Morrison 1-2 r bb sac, Jaxon Drange 1-4 rbi, Jack Peterson 0-1 r-2 bb-2 hbp, Keegan Kessler-Gross 0-2 r bb hbp … DGF: Grant Anderson 1-3 r, McKale Pierson 2-3 3b r rbi, Carsen Berreth 1-3 r rbi Austin Anderson 1-2 sb, Jordan Summers 0-1 r sb hbp-2
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Tri-Town: Peterson (W) 7-5-4-3-1-11 … DGF: Kayden Camacho (L) 5.2-6-6-6-4-7, Kaden Altobelli 1.1-3-1-1-1-2

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