Post 45 American Legion advances to 3rd District baseball tourney

New Prague's Post 45 American Legion baseball team survived a best of three playoff matchups with Woodbury White over the weekend and will play in the Third District Tournament in Apple Valley and Burnsville this week.

Three teams will move on to the State Tournament, which starts Wednesday, Aug. 8, in Bloomington. New Prague plays Oakdale at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, at AliMagnet field two in Burnsville.

Woodbury 8, New Prague 5 (10 innings)

New Prague dropped the first game of a doubleheader in Woodbury on Saturday in 10 innings, 8-5. New Prague took an early lead with a run in the first inning on a two-out Brad Weiers single. Woodbury took a 3-1 lead in the top of the second inning, and New Prague responded with a run by Matt Perkinson. Ross Skluzacek had an RBI hit in the third. Woodbury tied the game in the sixth inning, and the game remained tied until the 10th. Woodbury scored three times, and the Trojans were unable to respond.

Matt Perkinson and Brad Weiers led the team with two hits each, but New Prague was only able to manage five hits overall. Brad Weiers pitched eight innings, and Dom DeLuca was tagged with the loss when he pitched in the ninth.

New Prague 14, Woodbury 4 (Seven innings)

New Prague had a strong performance in the second game on Saturday, pounding out 14 runs and ending the game in seven innings by the 10-run rule. DeLuca hit a two-run home run in the first inning. The Trojans added three more runs in the third with a two-RBI single by Weiers and an RBI ground-out by Matt Beckius. New Prague scored four times in the fourth inning with RBI hits by Nate Novak and Tony Kubes. They tacked on a run in the sixth on a Weiers' RBI double and four runs in the seventh highlighted by a three-run homer by Kubes.

Beckius started the game and went seven strong for New Prague. He scattered seven hits and struck three batters out. Weiers led New Prague with three hits, and Kubes and DeLuca each had two-for-three days with home runs and multiple walks.

New Prague 17, Woodbury 7 (Eight innings)

New Prague played at its home ballpark in the elimination match Sunday night. The Trojans jumped out to an early three-run lead in the first inning. Tyler Bergstrom led off the game with a walk and scored on a double by Justin Novak. Novak scored on a DeLuca double, and Beckius brought him in with an RBI double. Woodbury cut the lead to 3-2 in the third inning on a walk followed by a single and double. New Prague answered with a DeLuca solo home run.

Woodbury tied the score at 4-4 in the top of the fifth inning on an error, a walk and two singles. New Prague responded again in the bottom of the inning with two more runs. DeLuca started it off with a one-out single. Weiers was able to reach on an error, and Beckius drove them both in with a clutch double.

New Prague delighted the crowd with a 10-run outburst in the sixth inning. After a lead-off walk by Bergstrom, the Trojans pounded out six straight hits. Woodbury made a pitching change and was able to get two outs, but New Prague scored three more runs on two singles, a walk and a hit batter. Woodbury was able to score three times in the top of the seventh inning and trimmed the New Prague lead to 16-7. But, New Prague added another run in the eighth on a Justin Novak RBI single to end the game with the 10-run rule.

New Prague collected 17 hits in the game and was led by DeLuca who went five-for-five. DeLuca had seven RBIs and four runs scored. Also having multi-hit games for the Trojans were Justin Novak and Beckius. Derek Bergstrom picked up the win by going 6 1/3 innings. Perkinson came on in relief and recorded the final five outs of the game without giving up a hit.

Coach Terry Kalina said, Sometimes a wake-up call is just what a ball club needs to get its act together. I would never say there is a good time for a loss

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