The Shakopee American Legion baseball team made a strong run in the annual Gopher Classic.
Shakopee went 5-0 in pool play down in Mankato July 8-10, advancing to the round of 16 in the 96-team field before being eliminated with a 14-12 loss to Woodbury July 11 at Red Haddox Field in Bloomington.
The Gopher Classic has 16 host sites and all the pool winners advance to the championship round.
In pool play, the Sabers had wins over Minneapolis Southwest (10-7), Mankato American (11-9), Le Sueur-Henderson (4-1), Brandon Valley, South Dakota (14-6), and Bennington, Nebraska (9-0).
As a team, Shakopee had 21 doubles, a .349 team batting average, 49 runs scored, a .460 on-base percentage and 25 extra-base hits in the five pool games, along with a team earned-run average of 2.97 and a .956 fielding percentage.
In the loss to Woodbury, Shakopee (10-6 overall) trailed 11-5 after five innings and couldn’t come all the way back. But down 14-8 in the top of the seventh, Shakopee made things interesting.
Alex Duncan hit a grand slam to cut the lead to 14-12. There was still nobody out, but that’s where the rally ended as Woodbury got a two ground balls and a pop up to end the game.
Duncan finished with seven RBIs, going 3 for 5. Joe Roder was 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs, while Vinny Schleper went 2 for 4 while driving in one run.
John Sullivan finished 2 for 3 with two runs scored, while Tanner Ho was 2 for 3 with four runs scored. Wynn Strait finished 2 for 2 with a double.
Roder was saddled with the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) in three innings of work. Schleper gave up six runs (three earned) in one relief inning, while Strait worked 1 1/3 innings, allowing three runs.
Ben Turcotte recorded two outs for Shakopoee to end the sixth inning.
In the win over Bennington, Sullivan hurled a five-inning shutout for Shakopee striking out eight. He also doubled and a drove in a run.
Cade McGraw and Brandon Doble both doubled and had two RBIs, while Caden Lang doubled and scored a run. Ho finished 2 for 3 with two runs scored. while Turcotte had an RBI.
Against Brandon Valley, Shakopee scored six runs in the third inning to lead 6-3 and scored seven more runs in the sixth to go up 14-6.
Duncan finished 2 for 4 with a double and four RBIs, while Schleper was 2 for 2 with two doubles and two RBIs. Roder also doubled and drove in two runs, while McGraw doubled, drove in a run and scored twice.
Ho finished 1 for 1 with a double and two RBIs, while Ashton Pauly had an RBI.
M Hopkins got the win in relief, allowing two runs (one earned) in two innings. Ho started and allowed three runs in three innings, while Lang allowed an unearned run in one inning.
Duncan led Shakopee over Le Sueur-Henderson. He tossed a complete game, striking out five and giving up just two hits and one run. At the plate, he finished 2 for 4 with a solo home run.
McGraw tripled and drove in a run, while Ho had an RBI.
Against Mankato American, Duncan homered again, finishing 5 for 5 with three doubles, five RBIs and three runs scored.
McGraw went 2 for 5 with a double and three RBIs, while Strait doubled and drove in a run and Nicholas Briggs and Lang each doubled. Sullivan and Pauly each had RBIs.
Strait earned the win, working 2 2/3 innings of relief while allowing two runs (one earned). Jordan La Tour started and went five innings, allowing seven runs (five earned).
Against Minneapolis Southwest, Duncan had a double and three RBIs for Shakopee, while Roder tripled and drove in a run. Strait finished 1 for 2 with a double and two RBIs, while Ho and Doble each had a double and an RBI.
McGraw also had an RBI, while Lang was 2 for 3 with two runs scored.
Schleper got the win, working 5 1/3 innings and allowing seven runs (three earned). Roder picked up the save with 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.
The Sub-State 3 playoffs start for Shakopee July 18 and end July 24, and will be held at Apple Valley Legion field.
This year’s state tournament will be July 28-31 with Burnsville’s Alimagnet Fields as the host site.