The Crookston American Legion Post 20 baseball team was swept in a doubleheader by Red Lake Falls Tuesday night 21-7 in game one and 8-6 in extra innings in game two.  

Game 1 –
Red Lake Falls opened the scoring early with a lead-off walk and stolen base by Ben Cardinal who would come home to score on an RBI single by Derek Peterson to make it 1-0.  Two batters later Peterson would score on an error and Red Lake Falls had a 2-0 lead after half an inning.  Crookston would answer in the bottom half of the inning.  With one out Joey Doda walked and stole second.  He would come home to score on an RBI single by Walker Winjum cutting the Red Lake Falls lead in half at 2-1.  Crookston would load the bases before the tying run was cut down at the plate trying to score on a passed ball for the final out of the inning.
Red Lake Falls would extend their lead in the second.  Zach Benson led off with a single and advanced to third when the right fielder let the ball get by him before scoring on an RBI single by Brady Leuthnen making it 3-1.  Leuthnen scored on an RBI groundout by Cardinal to make it 4-1 before another error allowed Eric Gieseke to reach.  He would then move to third on an errant pickoff attempt setting up and score on an RBI single from Peterson.  Following an error, Peterson would score on an RBI single by Bailey Hince to take a 6-1 lead.  Crookston answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second when Jake Miller reached on an error and scored on an RBI single by Ashton Larson.  Larson would later score on an error making it 6-3 Red Lake Falls after two.  “We hit the ball pretty well,” said Crookston coach Kent Shafer.  “But we have to play better defense.  All those errors put us behind.” 

Red Lake Falls tacked onto their lead with two runs in the third and five in the fourth.  In the third with a man on second and one out, a Cardinal ground ball went through the shortstop bringing home a run for a 7-3 lead. Cardinal would later score on a passed ball to make it 8-3.  In the fourth inning, Hince singled and scored on an RBI triple by Benson.  Benson scored on a single by Leuthnen.  Following a walk, Cardinal would single home a run to make it 11-3.  A misplayed ball in right field led to two more runs and it was 13-3 Red Lake Falls.  Crookston answered with three runs in the home half of the inning.  Larson reached on an error and scored on a double by Alex LaFrance.  LaFrance would then score on an RBI single before Doda was thrown out stealing.  Following a walk, Brady Butt would double home a run to cut Red Lake Falls lead to 13-6 after four.  

Red Lake Falls continued to score in the fifth when Adrian Verbout led off with a triple and scored on a double by Austin Jensen.  Jensen would score on an error and it was 15-6 Red Lake Falls.  Crookston answered back with a run in the fifth when Gavin Salem led off with a double to right and scored on a hit by LaFrance to make it 15-7 after five full innings. 

Red Lake Falls put together a big sixth inning to finish the rout. After the first two batters reached Peterson would double home a pair to make it 17-7.  Hince walked and stole second and the throw down skipped away allowing Peterson to score.  Following a walk and a fielders choice, Leuthnen would triple home two runs before scoring on a wild pitch to make it 21-7.  “We hit the ball well enough to win,” said Shafer. “We just couldn’t overcome the making so many defensive mistakes.  We are better than that.” 

1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Red Lake Falls 2 4 2 5 2 6 21 15 4
Crookston 1 2 0 3 1 0 7 10 9


Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
Brady Butt – Crox (LP) 3.2 9 10 4 2 2
Jade Selzer – Crox 1.1 5 6 2 2 0
Brooks Butt – Crox 1.0 1 5 3 2 2
Ben Cardinal – RLF (WP) 5.0 8 7 3 3 2
Derek Peterson – RLF 1.0 2 0 0 0 1

For Red Lake Falls
Derek Peterson 3-4, 2B, 4 RBI
Zach Benson 2-4, 3B, RBI, 3 R

For Crookston
Brooks Butt 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Walker Winjum 2-4, RBI

Game 2 –
Red Lake Falls came out of the gate with a pair of runs in the first inning as Cardinal walked and moved to third when Peterson reached on an error in right. Both would come home to score on a two-out RBI double by Adrian Verbout and Red Lake Falls led 2-0.  Crookston would claim the lead in the bottom of the first inning when Doda led off with a walk and scored on a single by Jade Selzer.  Selzer would advance to second on a wild pitch and to third on a single by LaFrance who moved up to second on the throw.  A wild pitch would bring home the second run of the inning to tie the game 2-2.  A walk put runners on the corners with nobody out for Brady Butt who hit into a double play that allowed LaFrance to score making it 3-2 after one.  “We talked between games about being ready to play baseball,” said coach Rob Silvers.  “We weren’t ready in game one and we wanted to come out with more fire in game two.  We were still struggling defensively but guys did a great job of putting game one behind them and coming out in game two engaged and we were able to make it a good game.”

Red Lake Falls reclaimed the lead in the second as the first three runners reached on errors to load the bases. Peterson walked to score a run making it 3-3, followed by a Verbout sacrifice fly to make it 4-3.  Another run would score on an RBI groundout by Brayden Swendra and Red Lake Falls led 5-3.  Crookston would answer in the bottom of the second using a hit batter and two walks to load the bases before LaFrance delivered a two-RBI double to tie the game at 5-5 after two.  “The errors are a killer,” said Silvers. “We’re going to have to work on that.  In total between the two games, we made 15 errors and 12-13 of those were fielding the ball. We’ve got to go back to basics getting the glove down, using two hands and not rushing.” 

In the fourth inning, Gieseke was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and a walk put runners on first and second with nobody out.  After a pitching change, Miller was able to get the next two hitters to pop out before Brayden Swendra delivered an RBI single to right scoring Gieseke.  Swendra attempted to advance to second on the throw to the plate put was thrown out to end the top of the fourth with Red Lake Falls leading 6-5.  Crookston answered in the bottom of the frame as Doda picked up a one-out single, stole second and scored on a base hit by Jade Selzer to tie the game 6-6.  

Crookston would threaten with a chance to win in the bottom of the sixth inning when Gunner Gunderson advanced to third on a fly ball to right for the second out the inning but Crookston was unable to get a hit as Blake Fee grounded out to end the inning and send the game into extras.  In the top of the sixth Cardinal reached on an error to lead off the inning advancing to second the throw.  Back-to-back groundouts moved Cardinal to third for Verbout who was intentionally walked to set up the force out.  Verbout stole second on the first pitch and Jensen was walked to load the bases for a force out anywhere.  But Brayden Swendra would make that decision hurt as he lifted a 2-2 pitch into deep left center for a two-run RBI double giving Red Lake Falls an 8-6 lead before Benson grounded out to end the inning leaving runners at second and third.  “This was a really good game,” said Silvers.  “We told them after the first one that we beat ourselves and Red Lake Falls wasn’t 14 runs better than us playing decent baseball.  We didn’t have a great second game, but we proved to ourselves we can play with them by taking it to extra innings without our best performance.  I think the guys hopefully believe if the can cut down on the mistakes we can beat this team.” 

Crookston would threaten in the bottom of the inning as they loaded the bases with two outs thanks to a walk and two hit batsmen.  Brady Butt tagged a ball hard to centerfield was tracked down by the Red Lake Falls centerfielder for the final out to end the threat and complete the sweep.  “It was a good job battling by our guys in game two,” said Silvers.  “We hit the ball pretty good today but couldn’t come up with the key hit at the end leaving the potential winning run in scoring position in the fourth and fifth and then leaving the bases loaded in the sixth.  We’d like to get that clutch hit, but we also didn’t need to be in the position of needing a clutch hit if we’d played better early.” 

Crookston falls to 2-2 and will return to the field Tuesday, June 18 with a 5:00 p.m. doubleheader with Fargo Post 400.  

1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Red Lake Falls 2 3 0 1 0 2 8 3 0
Crookston 3 2 0 1 0 0 6 7 6


Pitching IP H R ER BB SO
Carter Bruggeman – Crox  3.0 1 6 1 5 2
Jake Miller – Crox (LP) 3.0 2 2 0 0 2
Zach Benson – RLF (WP) 6.0 7 6 6 6 2

For Red Lake Falls
Brayden Swendra 2-3, 2B, 4 RBI
Adrian Verbout 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, R

For Crookston
Alex LaFrance 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Joey Doda 2-4, 2B, 2 R