ST. JAMES - Blue Earth American Legion Post 89 reeled off three weekend victories in St. James to earn a spot in this Friday's Division II, 2nd District baseball tournament in Truman.
Post 89 downed Truman Post 115 in its first Sub-District 'C' elimination game Saturday before besting Welcome Post 553/Sherburn 356 in its second elimination game to gain Sunday's final-three round.
Dallas Barslou went 3-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs, while teammate Brandyn Olsen went 2-for-3 with a double and four RBIs to help Blue Earth outslug United South Central, 14-11, on Sunday to earn a rematch with sub-district unbeaten St. James.
Right-hander Anthony Stordalen then hurled a two-hit shutout from the hill and delivered a two-run single from the batter's box to steer St. James to a 7-0 victory over Blue Earth in the Sub-District 'C' championship clash on Sunday.
St. James opens the Division II district playoffs against Windom at 11 a.m. Thursday, while Sub-District 'C' runner-up Blue Earth (12-8) faces Springfield at 4 p.m. Thursday. All of the district games will be held in Truman.
"Not bad for the No. 5 seed," Post 89 mentor Steve Sonnicksen said with a grin. "Our guys did a nice job of battling all the way back to the championship game."
Olsen drilled a two-run single to stake Blue Earth to an early 2-0 lead over USC in Sunday's opener before Barslou's two-run triple and Carter Hanson's RBI double fueled Post 89's four-run second.
USC countered behindRBI singles from Riley Kloos, Shawn Redman and Stenzel to produce five runs in the last of the second, but the offense was just revving up.
Kloos and Redman added RBI singles during USC's four-run third before Blue Earth answered with three in the top of the fourth behind RBI hits from Barslou and Blaine Hougen for a 9-all tie.
Olsen's key two-run double with two out snapped the tie in the Blue Earth's fifth before David Franta's two-run single and Barslou's RBI single extended the lead to 14-9.
Kyle Bauman's RBI single sparked USC's two-run sixth, but that's as close as they would get as Blue Earth reliever Andrew Bell worked a 1-2-3 seventh.
A weather-weary Post 89 lineup mustered only two hits - Barslou's infield hit and Hougen's single - against St. James' Stordalen in the finale.
Stordalen struck out two, did not issue a walk and hit one batter in seven stellar innings to net the complete-game win for St. James.
Craig Nelson's two-run double into the left-field corner with two out in the third snapped a scoreless tie for the hosts.
Stordalen generated a two-run single to pace St. James' four-run fourth before Ryan Menssen contributed an RBI single during the fifth.
Walker Froehling tallied two of St. James' seven hits.