Baseball squad performing well after one-year absence; fall to Breckenridge twice last week in heartbreaking losses

Pelica Rapids 2016 State Trap Team
Bottom, left to right: Coach Erick Johnson, Coach Sheri O'Brien, Hally Evenson, Abby Fresonke, Abby Johnson, Mason Thornton, Grace Peterson, Desi Hurley, Coach Gary Kowalski, Coach Pete Waller.
Second row, left to right: Levi Johnson, Mark LaPoint, Casey Kulsrud, Jacob Willits, Coulter Hanson, Tim Rustand, Noah Ballard, Max Dykoff
Top row, left to right: Elijah Bradrick, Carson Haugrud, Preston Hart, Kaleb Tollefson, Caleb Bradrick, Craig Jones.
Not Pictured: Brianna Harthun, Tristan Harthun
Abby Fresonke 3rd Place High Gun Femail Novice Division

The Pelican Rapids American Legion baseball team is back on the diamond this season–notching some impressive efforts, even if they didn’t make it in the “win” column.

The Pelican Rapids Orange Sox lost a few heartbreakers with Breckenridge last week.

Abby Fresonke 3rd Place High Gun Femail Novice Division
Abby Fresonke 3rd Place High Gun Female Novice Division

Pelican did not field a Legion team in 2015, but the squad is back this year–under new coach Dan Beck.

“My goal for the kids is to teach them how to have fun playing ball the correct way. Adam Johnson (High School Coach) and I are working together to have consistency between the spring and summer programs,” said Beck, himself an alumni of Pelican High School and Legion Baseball in Pelican Rapids. He is a 2005 Pelican graduate. His coaching experience includes four years as a VFW and High School Coach (JV) at Hermantown High School (2011-2014). He was also Duluth East VFW Coach in 2015,

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“This group of boys has a good amount of talent baseball-wise,” said Beck. “The challenge for them will be making improvements every day. When they do play with effort and focus they have proven that they can compete with anyone.

Sjolie holds Breck to two runs, but Pelican Legion shut out

On June 21, the boys lost a 2-0 game at Breckenridge in which they played solid defensively. However, they failed to score any runs against a very tough Breckenridge left-handed pitcher.

Zack Sjolie pitched very well for the Orange Sox, having only allowed 2 runs and 5 hits over 6 innings on the hill.

A nice crowd of homnetown fans turned out June 23, when Breckenridge Legion traveled to Pelican Rapids.

Knorr pitches solid nine innings

It was an impressive effort on the mound by Logan Knorr, who gave up a few hits early–but held Breckenridge hitless from the third through ninth innings. On the strength of his pitching, the game went into extra innings.

Tied 3-3 at the top of the tenth, things unraveled for Pelican

Breckenridge ended up winning by a score of 6-3 in 10 innings.

Knorr allowed 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out five batters.

At the plate, Oakley Kress and Braden Sillerud each had two hits a-piece for the Sox.

The Sox record fell to 2-6 with the loss.

“Consistency, both mentally and physically, is something that they are still learning as they improve as ballplayers,” noted Beck. “Overall, I am very excited about the future of Pelican Rapids Baseball.”

Three games on Pelican Legion schedule this week

Wednesday: at OTC (Battle Lake) at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday: Home vs. Hawley at 6:30 p.m.
Friday: At New York Mills at 5:00 & 7:30 p.m.