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Gays Mills/Soldiers Grove Legion baseball team wraps up regular season
CROP grizzlies team
A PARTIAL PICTURE of the Gays Mills/Soldiers Grove American Legion Post 308/220 baseball team.

SOLDIERS GROVE - It was a very busy week for the Gays Mills/Soldiers Grove American Legion baseball team as they wrapped up their regular season and will now gear up for the Regional Tournament to be held in Coon Valley starting on July 19.  Post 308/220 will take on Viroqua in first round action with game time at 5:30 p.m.

In a quick recap of their season, the Grizzlies started the season with an impressive 7-2 start. However, with a combination of poor pitching, very little hitting and fielding errors, they dropped their next seven games for an overall record of 7-9 going into their Annual Tournament. In their Tournament, they went 3-0 to start, beating Nekoosa 5-1, Pecatonica 5-3 and Fennimore 14-6.  In the Championship game vs. Stoddard, six errors were too much to overcome and the Grizzlies lost 8-0, ending up in second place.  Here is a recap on the tournament games.

Game one vs. Nekoosa – Friday Night

Starting pitcher Logan Cauffman struck out 12 and walked three as he kept the Nekoosa team in check on his way to the win. The Grizzlies got things going in the first inning as Tommy Johnson hammered a two-run homer giving Post 308/220 and early 2-0 lead. 

Nekoosa cut that lead to 2-1 in the fifth on an RBI single by Kade Lancour,but the Grizzlies answered with three of their own runs in the bottom half with an RBI single by Seth Parker, RBI double by Logan Bradley and an RBI single by Ryne Wiegel. Tyler Martin came in and pitched a first, second, third and seventh inning for the Grizzlies.

Logan Bradley led the Grizzlies in hitting going 2 x 3, 2B and an RBI.  Tommy Johnson hit a homerun .

Game two vs. Pecatonica – Saturday Morning

Logan Bradley was in control of this game allowing no hits through six innings, but had control problems heading into the seventh inning. Bradley walked two batters and an infield error loaded the bases with no outs. Ryne Kroning relieved Bradley and walked in a run. A sacrifice fly scored another making it 5-3, but a routine pop-up to Bradley at first ended the game. Bradley and Kroning combined for a no-hitter for the game. 

The Grizzlies got RBI singles from Ryne, Wiegel, Tyler Martin, Seth Oliver and sacrifice flies from Logan Cauffman and Ryne Kroning. 

Game three vs. Fennimore – Saturday Evening

The Grizzlies scored twice in the first inning, six  runs in the third, four runs in the fourth and added two runs in the fifth inning.  Tommy Johnson, Logan Bradley and Seth Parker each had two hits with Johnson, once again, hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. Logan Cauffman only had one hit but it was a dandy, a Grand Slam in the third inning making it 8-4, Grizzlies.  Tyler Martin lead the Grizzlies in hitting going 3 x 4, 2B and 2 RBI.   Followed by Logan Bradley 2 x 3, 2 RBI and Tommy Johnson 2 x 3, HR and 2 RBI’s.

Winning pitcher was Ryne Kroning, striking out three and walking seven.  Seth Oliver picked up the save and not allowing any baserunners. 

Game 4 vs. Stoddard – Sunday Afternoon

This game was earmarked Stoddard from the start as the Grizzlies squandered many opportunities to score some runs and then gave those back as they had six fielding errors in the first six innings.  Stoddard pitcher Brandon George held the Grizzlies in check as he allowed only two hits and did not walk a single batter, earning the win.  Tyler Martin pitched extremely well allowing 4 hits, not walking a batter.  Fletcher Helgeson lead Stoddard with three RBI’s.

Overall Results – Other Scores

Stoddard                3-1

GM/SG 308/220                  3-1

Fennimore           2-2

Pecatonica           2-2

Nekoosa               0-4

Friday, July 7

Stoddard 14 Fennimore 5

Post 308/220 – 5 Nekoosa 1

Saturday, July 8

Post 308/220–5 Pecatonica 2

Pecatonica 14 Stoddard 1

Fennimore 10 Nekoosa 9

Stoddard 10 Nekoosa 2

Post 308/220, 14, Fennimore 6

Sunday, July 9

Pecatonica 19 Nekoosa 1

Fennimore 11 Pecatonica 3

Stoddard 8 Post 308/220 – 0

Grizzlies at Westby, Monday July 10

         With their tournament, out of the way and with the new pitching rules in place with pitch count, the Grizzlies were short on pitching, so Coach Bergum thought but pitchers Dominic Hanson, Owen Cauffman and Seth Oliver delivered in the crunch in their 5-2 win in Coon Valley in nine innings. 

Dominic Hanson started the game but struggled as he walked two, gave up a single that scored a run.  With one out, Eric Peterson hit a line-drive up the middle of the field but Seth Oliver made an amazing catch on it and then threw to first to double up the runner for an inning ending double play.  The Grizzlies tied it up in the top of the second as Logan Cauffman singled and moved to third on a single by Owen Cauffman.  Logan then scored on a fielders choice by Jeremy Russell.  Post 308/220 took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third as Hanson reached first on an error and scored on a fielders choice by Johnny Volden.   But Westby came back in their half as Gunnar Hanson Scored on a sacrifice fly. 

In innings 4-8, both teams had runners in scoring position but could not come up with a key hit to score the go-ahead run.  Westby loaded the bases in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings with less than two outs but the Grizzly pitching held them in check.  Owen Cauffman relieved Hanson in the sixth inning to put out the fire and Seth Oliver relieved Cauffman in the eigth to end the rally.

For the Grizzlies in the top of the nineth, a leadoff walk to Jeremy Russell and Tommy Johnson put runners on first and second.  A failed bunt attempt by Tyler Martin on the next at bat but Russell stole third base on the pitch.  Johnson then stole second putting runners on second and third with no outs.  A one out single by Ryne Kroning allowed Russell to score making it 3-2.  Seth Oliver was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out.  A failed suicide squeeze play did not hurt the Grizzlies as Johnson avoided the tag and got back to third base.  Volden then hit a shot back to the pitcher, which should have been an inning double play but Westby only got an out at the plate.   Logan Bradley then hit the first offering to left-center field for a two out, 2 RBI single to make it 5-2 Grizzlies.

Oliver then went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.  Oliver was the winning pitcher striking out 1 and walking 0.  Logan Bradley went 2 x 5, 2 RBI for Post 308/220.  With the win, the Grizzlies improved to 11-10 overall.  They were supposed to play at La Crescent on Thursday, July 13 but due to Minnesota already starting their Regional tournament, that game has been cancelled. 

The Grizzlies will open Regional action on Wednesday, July 19 in Coon Valley vs. Viroqua.  Game time is 5:30.