Legion baseball: Renegades reel off 4 straightHeading into the past week, Rosemount’s Legion baseball coaches were hoping they would have a strong performance to build off of heading into the later stages of the summer season.
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
Heading into the past week, Rosemount’s Legion baseball coaches were hoping they would have a strong performance to build off of heading into the later stages of the summer season.
A weekend tournament in Apple Valley provided just what the Renegades coaching staff was looking for.
Rosemount lost a pair of games against Eagan and Lakeville North last week and entered the weekend tournament with a depleted roster due to the holiday.
The Renegades then rolled off four straight wins to make it to the championship game of the tournament, before dropping the final, 7-5 against Anoka.
“We’re hoping we can use this as a springboard into the later part of the season here,” Rosemount coach Trevor Hemphill said. “We went in looking to build some confidence and I think we did that even though we lost the last game. We were disappointed to lose. We thought we were the better team, but its baseball. You can get beat by anybody. We really still left thinking it would be a good springboard to the rest of the season.”
The Renegades lost 8-7 at Eagan and 13-9 at Lakeville North last week, losing both games in the final at-bat. However, Rosemount recovered to beat Burnsville, 5-0, a team from Winnipeg, 3-0, and Osseo/Maple Grove, 22-6, to make it into the semifinals.
In the semifinal round, the Renegades beat Winnipeg for the second time in a 7-0 decision before falling 7-5 against Anoka in the championship.
The Rosemount pitching staff helped set the tone for the weekend success.
Joe Waite, Chris Couillard, and Andrew Nelson each pitched shutouts during the tournament.
Waite had six strikeouts, while allowing four hits in the opening win against Burnsville.
Somehow Couillard upped the ante in the next game against Winnipeg. Couillard was perfect through five innings before issuing a walk and a single in the sixth. He settled for a two-hit shutout, striking out seven.
Lucas Haase walked four times and scored four runs. Chris Adam had two hits and an RBI.
“Lucas Haase hit very well this weekend and is really starting to make good contact,” Hemphill said. “Chris Adams is hitting the ball like crazy. Brady Loew is starting to swing the bat a little bit. Jon Bishop is still hitting the ball very well. We’ve got a lot of guys that are really starting to get going.”
The Renegades’ offense took over in the third game, scoring a season-high 22 runs.
Andrew Schwartz had four hits, scored four runs and had two RBI. Paul Eppen drove in four runs and scored three. Jordan Tumilson had three hits and three RBI, while Matt Foley added three RBI.
Andrew Nelson then pitched a three-hit shutout in the semifinal game, recording eight strikeouts.
With the solid play early, Rosemount wasn’t going to allow the loss to Anoka change the outlook. Even playing without a full roster, the Renegade coaches were preaching the effects of a solid weekend.
“We moved a lot of kids around with the limited roster,” Hemphill said. “Even with the seniors we moved them around a little bit to get other guys a chance to play and I think they did well.
“We had what you’d probably consider our every day starting lineup in the championship game for the first time finally. We had a good lineup. The pitching just had us fooled a little bit.”
The starting pitching was strong against Eagan and Lakeville North last week, but Rosemount got into trouble late.
Holding late leads — after coming from behind — the Renegades lost both leads in the bottom of the final inning. Against Lakeville North, Rosemount held a 9-5 advantage into the bottom of the seventh, before Lakeville North hit two grand slams to win the game.
“Giving up two grand slams is tough,” Hemphill said. “But we could see the positive in the game. We were down 5-3 and we didn’t sit back and say, ‘Alright, we lost this game.’ We started to see the energy come back. The end was a little deflating.”
Couillard had a two-run homer in the sixth, part of Rosemount’s comeback. Andrew Nelson had two hits and two RBI. Bishop had a two-run single in the first to open the scoring.