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VFW baseball playing up a level

Head coach Scott Eul was happy just to see his Rosemount VFW baseball team be competitive over the weekend, considering they were the only VFW squad playing in the eight-team Edina Senior Babe Ruth League Tournament.

Rosemount opened with an 8-6 win over Coon Rapids Friday afternoon before falling to host Edina 9-4 Saturday night and Burnsville 12-2 Sunday afternoon.

"It was a Senior Babe Ruth Tournament and we didn't seem overmatched, which was good to see," Eul said. "A couple of big innings here and there have cost us and we're not getting big hits when we need them. In general, we're starting to play better. We're getting the hang of things."

Rosemount got some big hits early on in Friday night's tournament opener. Bryan Herman and Anthony Winters singled and scored in a two-run first inning and Sam Bauer and Tommy Linder knocked in runs in a three-run second as Rosemount pulled ahead 5-0.

Starter Alex Hassebroek gave back three runs in the bottom of the third, but settled in after that and held Coon Rapids to two runs over the final four innings to pick up the win.

"The offense gave him an early lead and he was able to settle in from there, throw strikes and let them put the ball in play," Eul said. "The defense behind him was very good and gave him confidence and he had good command of the plate. He finished strong for us."

Coon Rapids closed to within 5-4 in the fourth, but Rosemount responded with three runs in its half of the inning. Linder and Herman started the inning with singles and Winters and Danny Farris provided RBI hits during the frame.

Rosemount led 3-0 through two innings in Saturday's second-round game, but Edina pushed across five runs in the fourth and four more in the sixth en route to a 9-4 win that advanced it to the championship game.

"We were just a little too comfortable with that three-run lead. That's happened a couple times this year," Eul said. "We settled in on defense and got a little lazy and we committed a couple errors that led to some costly runs."

Matt Thaden went the distance on the mound, allowing all nine runs (four earned) in six innings.

Farris got Rosemount started with an RBI double in the first and Linder added a two-run single in the second.

Two more bad innings were the difference in Sunday's tournament finale.

Burnsville scored four in the first and seven more in the second in an eventual 12-2 win.

Rosemount left 12 runners on base in the five-inning contest. Linder ripped an RBI double and Brendan McElroy had an RBI single.