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American Legion Baseball: Post 65 goes down at sub-state

Rosemount second baseman Alex Tauer tries to complete a double play during last Wednesday’s win over St. Paul Park.

Ben Smith continued his string of strong starts for the Rosemount Legion team in last Wednesday’s sub-state tournament play-in game.

Once in the tournament, the rest of the team’s rotation couldn’t follow suit. Top-seeded Inver Grove Heights took an 11-3 lead with nine runs in the third inning and went on to knock Post 65 to the consolation bracket with a 20-10 victory last Thursday. A day later, Woodbury plated seven runs in the fifth to pull away for a 16-7 win at Alimagnet Park in Burnsville.

The lopsided losses ended Rosemount’s season. Post 65 finished the summer with a record of 8-14. The less-than-competitive finish was disappointing to coach Nick Elioff, whose team beat tournament No. 2 seed New Prague (twice), Lakeville South and eventual tournament champion Burnsville during the season.

“I felt like it was fairly even and we could beat a lot of those teams,” he said. “When we played well we did beat a lot of those teams. We played a lot better than our record showed and we had a lot of 1-2 run losses that didn’t go our way, but the boys never gave up.”

The team showed some fight against Inver Grove Heights, scoring four runs in the top of the seventh to avoid the 10-run rule.

“It would have been easy to fold. The game would have been over, but we rallied and put some runs on them,” Elioff said. “The effort was there. We were better than an 8-14 team.”

Post 65 rolled in its final win of the season. Smith threw his third straight complete game and struck out 11 in an 11-1 rout of St. Paul Park in the 8 vs. 9 play-in game.

Bryce Reinhart paced the team at the plate in the tournament with a pair of doubles and a two-run triple.