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Legion rolls into playoffs

Austin Lenzen gets out of the way of an inside pitch in Hudson's 11-1 victory over Prescott last Wednesday. Lenzen doubled and scored a run in the win. Photo by Bob Burrows

The Hudson American Legion baseball team will ride a three-game winning streak into the postseason after picking up two more victories last week.

Hudson manhandled Prescott, 11-1, in six innings last Wednesday and held on for a 9-7 victory Thursday at Ellsworth to finish the regular season with a record of 11-1. They open the Legion playoffs Wednesday, July 22 (tonight) at 7 p.m. at Chippewa Falls.

"It's always nice to head into postseason play with a big victory under your belt," Hudson coach Dan Pavlue said after Thursday's win over Ellsworth.

All of Hudson's scoring came in the first three innings as they jumped out to a 9-2 lead. Ellsworth chipped away with a pair of runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth, but Beau Hommes didn't allow a hit over the final 1 1/3 innings to earn the save.

"We came out ready to play tonight and it showed as our offense got on top often and early," Pavlue said. "I thought we could have done a better job of closing down Ellsworth in the later innings, but overall I'm proud of the players for not getting rattled when they started to rally, and instead just concentrating on getting each out one at a time."

Hudson took a 2-0 first inning lead when Andy Edholm tripled in Jake Hayes and scored on a base hit by Kory Koller.

Ellsworth tied it in the bottom of the first but Hudson took the lead for good in the second when Hommes walked, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a double by Eric Weiss. Weiss later scored on a single by Cory Larson to make it a 4-2 game.

Hudson tacked on five more runs in the third, highlighted by a two-run single by Derek Krumrei and a two-run homer by Jeff Schmitz.

Larson earned the win on the mound, throwing the first four innings and allowing one earned run on four hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. Weiss went 1 2/3 innings and allowed four earned runs on four hits with one strikeout and one walk before Hommes came on to strike out one and walk one with no hits allowed t earn the save.

Last Wednesday against Prescott, Schmitz held Prescott without a hit while Krumrei doubled, tripled and drove in three runs in an 11-1, six-inning victory.

Prescott's only run came unearned in the top of the sixth to make the score 6-1. Hudson then scored five times in the bottom of the sixth to end the game by virtue of the ten-run mercy rule.

"Today was the best all-around game we have played so far this summer," Pavlue said. "We put the ball in play very well and limited our strikeouts, and had shutdown pitching and superb defense."

Schmitz struck out four and walked two on his way to the no-hitter. In addition to Krumrei's three-RBI night, Hommes added a two-run double, scored twice and stole a base while Hanson was 2-for-3 with a stolen base.

"It's good to see everything starting to come together like this right before postseason play begins," Pavlue said.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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