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Marshall 15U Orange holds its own in Day 1 of Junior Legion Tournament

MILROY — Playing up a level in a Junior Legion tournament on Friday, the Marshall VFW Orange 15U baseball team held its own on the first day of play. Marshall was knocked down from the winner’s bracket with an 11-6 opening-round loss to Moorhead Gold but bounced back in the afternoon with a 12-1 win in five innings over Dassel-Cokato.

Game 2

Marshall 12, DC 1 (5)

Dassel-Cokato struck first with a first-inning run, courtesy of a balk. Yet, they didn’t stay on top for long. Ethan Boeck singled and Tyler Kraft followed up with an RBI double to score Boeck for the tying run.

Cannon Craigmile walked to put two runners on and Trae Bailey hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Kraft. A Jackson Sirvoy double and a Noah Frazee triple then pushed across another pair of runs for a 4-1 Marshall lead.

Craigmile was electric on the mound for Marshall, striking out 10 batters while walking just two over the full five innings. He limited Dassel-Cokato to one hit and one run in the game.

“It seems like when Cannon Craigmile throws a lot of strikes, a lot of good things happen. That’s exactly what he did,” Marshall manager A.J. Toulouse said. “His arm was looking really live today, I’ve got to give credit to him and then our defense as well. They made some good plays and that’s exactly what we needed and what we didn’t do this morning.”

In the second inning, an Eli Weedman single and a Boeck triple kept the Marshall momentum going. Kraft walked to put two runners on and, after Craigmile hit an RBI single, Kraft scored on a passed ball to extend Marshall’s lead to seven runs.

Boeck and Craigmile led the team with two hits each in the game, including a triple for Boeck and three RBIs for Craigmile. Boeck finished the day with nine total bases over two games.

“[Boeck’s] bat came alive today, along with all our bats. We hit a lot better today and that’s what we’ve been working on so it’s good to see that it translated,” Toulouse said. 

Frazee started the third inning out with a walk, advanced to third on a steal and a balk and scored on an Easton Greenwood single. An Andrew Lee single put runners on the corners and Ethan Weedman reached on an error to drive in another run.

Dassel-Cokato retired each of the next two Marshall batters but Craigmile hit a two-run single before the end of the inning, giving Marshall a 10-run lead to put the run rule in play.

“Once we get rolling, we really start cruising. That’s what we need, it’s a momentum thing,” Toulouse said. “If we start by putting one or two up even, it’s a huge thing for these guys. They really feed off each other’s energy so when we’re up and we’re going, I think we’re unstoppable.”

Craigmile struck out the side in the fourth and, after Sirvoy walked and scored on an error to give Marshall one last insurance run, Craigmile struck out three of the four batters he faced in the top of the fifth to close out the victory.

GAME 1

Moorhead 11, Marshall 6

After a scoreless first two innings, a pair of five-run innings gave the Moorhead Golds all the offense they needed to take down the Marshall VFW Orange 15U baseball team in the opening round of Marshall’s junior legion tournament at Yankee Field.

Moorhead broke the stalemate in the top of the third with consecutive walks and an RBI double. They kept the rally going with a two-run single and, after loading the bases with a single and a walk, a Marshall error and a passed ball gave the Golds another pair of runs.

The Tigers didn’t take the Moorhead attack lying down. A pair of singles from Noah Frazee and Cannon Craigmile, broken up by a Tyler Kraft walk, loaded the bases with no outs. 

Trae Bailey hit a sacrifice fly to put Marshall on the board and after a Jackson Sirvoy single loaded the bases back up, Ethan Boeck hit a bases-clearing triple to cut the deficit to one run, 5-4. Marshall loaded the bases again with a hit batter and a walk but a strikeout and a ground out ended the frame with Moorhead still on top.

From there, Moorhead pulled away. A pair of singles and a Marshall error loaded the bases for the Golds with one out in the top of the fourth. From there, a ground out, a two-run single and an RBI double made it a five-run game. After a Marshall error loaded the bases once more, Moorhead drew another walk to force in a run for a 10-4 advantage.

Tyler Kraft got the start on the mound for Marshall, pitching the first 3 2/3 innings. While he allowed 10 runs on eight hits and five walks in the outing, only three of the runs were earned.

In relief, Andrew Lee held Moorhead to one earned run on three hits and a pair of walks over 3 1/3 frames.

Boeck’s two hits tied Craigmile for a team-high. He accounted for both of Marshall’s extra-base hits in the game with a triple and a double and drove in a game-high three runs. 

Kraft drew three walks for Marshall on the day while Lee drew another two.

Moorhead pushed across one last insurance run with an RBI single in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the frame, Cole Raley walked, Cody Rauch singled and Frazee was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Kraft drew his third and final walk of the day to drive in one run and Craigmile hit a sacrifice fly to push across another, but a pop out left the Marshall rally five runs shy of forcing extras.

Up next

After the Friday split, Marshall Orange will remain at Yankee Field to take on Brandon Valley at 11:30 a.m. Pending the result of the game, they will play either Alexandria Red or Orono for their second game of the day, with the winners playing at 3:30 p.m. and the losers playing at 1:30 p.m.

“It’s huge that we could just use Cannon [in Friday’s second game],” Toulouse said. “That was huge for us, so it will translate to tomorrow with us getting to save another reliever, which is really important with the number of games that we could end up playing.”

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