Coach J.D. Pesch likes fundamentals.
You know — hit the ball, catch the ball, throw the ball. He took the reigns of the Minneota Junior Legion to do just that — to get the younger Vikings ready to play varsity ball. These are the kids who would sit on the bench for the Varsity Legion — but instead, they get to play ... and learn.
They learned pretty well, as they earned an 8-3 win at Canby in the league opener. After being stunned by Evan Stoks in the first three innings, (seven strikeouts, no walks and one hit) —the Junior Legionaires opened up with a hitting attack against Canby’s second pitcher, Parker Viessman and came away with a game one victory.
Leading the way was Jacob Hennen. He doubled twice, once in the fourth. He scored on a single by Landon Rolbiecki.
Then he doubled again in the four-run sixth inning that saw Austin Sorensen double in two runs and Tate Walerius and Josh Laleman each single in a run. Walerius had a pair of hits. But the real story for Minneota was strong pitching.
Starter Grady Moorse and reliever Landon Rolbiecki fanned 12 Canby hitters — Rolbiecki eight of them in the sixth and seventh innings.
They issued just four walks between them and gave up just five hits. Moorse picked up the win.
In the second inning, Jaymes Moon had an incredible at bat. Stoks threw him 10 strikes and Moon fouled off eight of them, until he finally struck out looking. Minneota pulled off a double play in the third, from Teddy Pesch at shortstop to Hennen at second to Sorensen at first. As a catcher, Rolbiecki threw out two runners trying to steal second base.
MINNEOTA (AB-R-H-RBI) Sam Buysse, cf 2-1-0-0; Cole VanOverbeke, ph 1-0-0-0; Jacob Hennen, 2 b 3-2-2-0; Teddy Pesch, ss 2-1-0-0; Landon Rolbiecki, c-p 4-1-1-2; Austin Sorensen, 1b 4-1-1-2; Tate Walerius, dh 3-1-2-1; Grady Moorse, p 0-0-0-0; Jaymes Moon, lf-c 3-1-1-0; Josh Laleman, 3b 3-0-1-1; Trey Gronke, 3b 0-0-0-0; Cole Sanow, rf-lf-cf 2-0-0-1. Totals 27-8-8-7.
CANBY (AB-R-H-RBI) Greenman, ss-p 2-1-0-0; Harding, c 3-2-1-0; Evan Stoks, p 3-0-1-0; Parker Viessman, 1b-p 1-0-0-0; Hanson, lf 3-0-0-1; Nemitz, rf 3-0-1-2; Sawyer, cf 3-0-1-0; Anhalt, cf 2-0-1-0; Drown, 3b 1-0-0-0; Olsen, 2b 2-0-0-0. Totals 23-3-5-3. Score by Innings Minneota 000 114 2 — 8 8 1 Canby 001 002 0 — 3 5 1 E-Minneota: Pesch; Canby: Stoks.
LOB-Minneota 4; Canby 4. SB-Minneota: Rolbiecki; Canby: Greenman 2; Harding.
SAC-Minneota: Sanow. Canby: Viessman, Nemitz. DP-Minneota 6-4-3 (6). 2B-Minneota: Hennen 2; Sorensen, Moon; Canby: Nemitz. Pitching IP R ER H BB K
Minneota Grady Moorse (W) 4 1 1 4 2 4 Landon Rolbiecki 3 2 0 1 2 8 Canby Evan Stoks 3 0 0 1 0 7 Parker Viessman (L) 3 6 6 6 1 4 Greenman 1 2 0 1 1 3 WP-Greenman.