Rosemount VFW: Consolation champions
Rosemount VFW coach Tom Elioff is hoping the Edina Tournament will serve as a turning point for his team's season.
Rosemount won two out of three games at the tournament over the weekend to capture the consolation championship, and has now won four out of six games since starting the season with a record of 1-8.
"Winning these four out of six has been a pretty significant turnaround," Elioff said. "We're playing better baseball, having better at bats, and I think we're ready to finish out the season strong."
Rosemount started the tournament in less-than-promising fashion Friday night with a 10-0 loss to a Bloomington team that went on to defeat Eagan 17-7 and advance to the championship game of the eight-team tourney.
"We didn't get much going whatsoever. We didn't hit and they drove the ball all over the park," Elioff said. "Our pitcher threw strikes and they hit them."
The VFW got going offensively with a little help from the Edina tournament organizers on Saturday. Rain-outs on Friday night forced some of Saturday's games to be moved to different fields and Rosemount's consolation bracket game against Edina was played on a field with a 280-foot fence, according to Elioff. The result was a season-high three home runs in a 12-4 win over the hosts.
Mitch Foster belted his first two round trippers of the summer in his first two at bats, Ty Abbott added a home run of his own and Hayden Lanoue and Bryce Reinhardt each ripped a pair of hits.
Starter Isaac Adams took advantage of the run support and held Edina to four runs in 6 2/3 innings. John Birkholz came in to record the final out.
In Sunday's fifth-place game, Rosemount overcame a 5-1 deficit after the first inning to rally for a 9-5 victory over Inver Grove Heights.
The VFW's starter got just one out and gave up all five runs, but the bullpen saved the day by combining for 6 2/3 shutout innings. Abbott went 1 2/3, and then Lanoue shut down Inver Grove Heights for four innings before Birkholz came in to work a scoreless seventh.
"They came in and threw strikes and did exactly what we needed," Elioff said. "They put up zeroes on the board and we came in and kept chipping away."
The offense scored one run in the first, one in the third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth before Nick Wilhelmi's bases-loaded, go-ahead single made it 7-5 in the sixth.
Rosemount is back in action with home games next Tuesday (Shakopee) and Thursday (Mankato).