The Pelican Rapids Post 17 American Legion Orange Sox began their season with a doubleheader split against Twin Valley – Ulen Hitterdal. 

The Orange Sox picked up the win in game one by a score of 8-1 behind a no-hit performance from Luke Sjolie. Sjolie pitched all seven innings without allowing a hit. 

He issued only two walks and struck out 11 giving up only one unearned run. 

“Luke was in complete control tonight,” noted Head Coach Andy Johnson, “He kept batters off balance and hit his spots. It was really fun to watch.”

Pelican Rapids got the scoring started in the first inning. Peyton Blakeway led the game off with a sharp single to left field before promptly stealing second base. He would later steal third base also and score on a Carson McNeal sacrifice fly. The score would remain the same into the fourth inning, when the Sox would add to their lead. Carson McNeal led off with a single to left field. He would advance to second on a wild pitch before moving to third on a McHale Korf groundout. Ethan Sjostrom would then bring in McNeal on a ground out up the middle to the second baseman giving the Sox a 2-0 lead. 

Pelican continued to add to their lead in the fifth inning. Jack Paulson cracked a one-out single to center field before advancing to third on an error off the bat of Blakeway. 

Luke Sjolie made it 3-0 on a single to center field bringing in Paulson and advancing Blakeway to third. Timmy Guler would then bring in Blakeway on a sac fly to left field. The Sox put the game away in the sixth inning, scoring four more runs. Sjostrom and Cody Nord began the inning with a pair of walks before Blakeway drove a deep double to right field, plating Sjostrom. After a walk to Sjolie loaded the bases, Guler drew a walk of his own, bringing in Nord. McNeal then drove in another two runs with a double down the left-field line bringing the score to 8-0. Sjolie continued to cruise, striking out the last batter of the game to secure the season-opening win for the Orange Sox. 

McNeal led the Sox at the plate with three hits. Blakeway followed with two of his own, and then Sjolie and Paulson with one hit each. 

Despite McNeal pitching performance, Pelican drops game 2 

Game two proved to be a tougher affair for the Orange Sox as they couldn’t get their bats going en route to a 4-1 defeat. 

Ulen struck first, scoring two in the first inning on a two-out single to left field. Pelican would chip away at the lead in the third inning. Blakeway led the inning off with a walk and then stole second base. He would then steal third base and scored on a throwing error by the Ulen catcher. Pelican would mount several rallies the rest of the way but couldn’t get the clutch two-out hit to capitalize on their opportunities. 

McNeal got the start on the mound and pitched well, allowing only two earned runs while striking out eight Ulen batters. Timmy Guler had the lone Orange Sox hit in the game.