Legion baseball state tourney boundGreat pitching, strong defense and a barrage of hits all added up to a regional championship for the Hudson American Legion 17U baseball team over the weekend. Hudson will open state tournament play against Eau Claire at 2 p.m. Friday, July 22.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
Great pitching, strong defense and a barrage of hits all added up to a regional championship for the Hudson American Legion 17U baseball team over the weekend.
Hudson outscored its opponents 40-5 in three wins and earned another victory by forfeit to earn a berth in the American Legion 17U State Tournament this weekend in Wisconsin Rapids. Hudson will open state tournament play against Eau Claire at 2 p.m. Friday, July 22.
Last week Todd Mork tossed a complete-game, three-hitter in a 9-1 victory over River Falls, and after a forfeit by New Richmond, Brett Steinwagner twirled a no-hitter nine in a 19-0 win over Elk Mound.
Elk Mound came through the loser’s side of the bracket and defeated River Falls, 6-3, to earn a rematch with Hudson in Sunday’s regional title game, but Hudson picked up right where it left off and scored 12 runs in the first inning on their way to a 12-4 win.
Coach Brian Steinwagner said Hudson did a great job all weekend at having quality at-bats.
”We didn’t have very many bad swings at pitches out of the strike zone,” he said. ”The boys have worked hard all season at following this hitting approach. You can see by the runs we are scoring it is working.”
Hudson’s hitting was on full display in Friday’s opener, as Austin Evenson went 5-for-5 and Brett Steinwagner had three hits and three RBI. Alex Newell added a pair of hits while Josh Evenson and Mike Hommes each tripled.
That was more than enough support for Mork, who struck out 13 and walked two while allowing just three hits on his way to the complete game victory on the mound.
The hit parade continued Saturday against Elk Mound, as ever Hudson batter had at least one hit and scored a run in a 19-0, five-inning victory. Austin Evenson, Josh Evenson and Jake Shaw each reached base four times in the win.
Meanwhile, Steinwagner didn’t allow a ball out of the infield while striking out nine and walking two to record his no-hitter.
”Brett did a great job of getting ahead in the count, and then was able to keep the Elk Mound hitters completely off balance,” Coach Steinwagner said.
Sunday, in a rematch against Elk Mound in the regional title game, every Hudson batter had at least two hits while Josh Evenson, Austin Evenson and Chuck Peterson split time on the mound.
Austin Evenson was 5-for-6 with a home run, triple and five runs scored while Hommes was 2-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch and scored four times. Josh Evenson had two hits, two walks and scored three runs while Steinwagner was 4-for-5 with a hit-by-pitch and Newell was 3-for-4 with a walk.
Brian Steinwagner said the team is confident heading into this weekend’s state tournament.
”With our outstanding depth at pitching and the way we are swinging the bats, we feel that we can compete with anybody in the state,” he said. ”The boys are looking forward to a chance to bring a state championship to Hudson.”