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American Legion: In the win column

Alex Hassebroek throws a pitch during a home game last Wednesday against Apple Valley.

The Rosemount Legion baseball team picked up its first win of the season and saw progress in the other three games it lost at last weekend's Moose Country Tournament in West St. Paul.

"We played well all tournament. These are some of the best games we've played all season against some of the best teams in the state," Rosemount coach Scott Eul said. "One game we lost on one play where an unfortunate set of circumstances let in a few runs and against St. Paul Park we hit really well, we just had four pitchers who had never thrown varsity or Legion before. They threw really well, the other team just found some holes."

Rosemount opened with a 10-2 loss to Benilde St. Margaret's Friday before getting in the win column with a 9-0 shutout of Mound-Westonka on Saturday. All-tournament selection Matt Thaden came up big in that game, throwing a complete-game shutout, pounding three hits and driving in five runs. He had a three-run double to open the scoring in the second and added a two-run single in the fourth.

Thaden made just three outs and collected nine hits in the four-game tournament.

"He had a tournament to remember," Eul said. "He's seeing the ball real well and feeling really good at the plate. He came up big when we needed him."

Jordan Turner added his first career Legion home run and Alex Hassebroek capped the scoring with a two-run single in the top of the seventh.

Rosemount continued play Saturday with a 4-1 loss to host West St. Paul. The bats came back to life in a 16-11 loss to St. Paul Park in Sunday's tournament finale.

Thaden had five more RBI in that game, including a three-run triple and a two-run single. Jordan Turner added three hits and three runs scored and Danny Farris scored three times.

Four first-time pitchers combined to give up the 16 runs, but Eul said he was happy with their performances.

"The kids that took the mound all three strikes. We hadn't had to use a lot of pitchers yet this season and they all looked good," he said. "That's something we can work from."

Rosemount took a 1-7 record into a doubleheader against Burnsville Wednesday night at Alimagnet Park. The team is back home tonight at 6 o'clock against Lakeville North.

"Every game we've seen improvement. Even coming to practice and during warm-ups the kids' attitudes are changing. They're getting after it a bit more and its showing on the field offensively and defensively," Eul said. "We've had quite a few games where we've had 10 or more hits, so we're swinging the bats well, and we're finding our groove in the field. We've made great strides so far."