Spring Grove third base coach Jordan Anderson waves runner Aidan Olson Around third base to score in recent Pee Wee baseball action.
Spring Grove third base coach Jordan Anderson waves runner Aidan Olson Around third base to score in recent Pee Wee baseball action.

SG (2-4 league) evened the league series with Mabel with a 4-1 road win on July 2. However, the real drama came, in the non-league second game. There were no games on Friday during the holiday break.

SG 4, Mabel 1

It was a pitchers' duel with SG's Alex Folz tossing a one-hitter while striking out 14 and walking none. Mabel pitcher Isaiah Nolte gave up only 2 hits while fanning 13 and walking only 3.

And only one of the 3 total hits left the infield, a single by Folz after Kai Bjerke had led off the third inning with an infield hit. Bjerke scored on an error, and Folz would come home on a wild pitch for a 3-0 lead.

An error and 2 passed balls had given SG a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Two Mabel errors, a stolen base by Nick Peterson and a passed ball made it 4-0 in the final fifth frame.

Nolte had an infield hit in the scoreless first inning, and he scored the lone Mabel run in the final frame after reaching base on an error, stealing second base, advancing to third on a ground out and coming home on a wild pitch.

It was the first league loss for Mabel.

SG 012 01 - 4 2 2

Ma 000 01 - 1 1 6

SG: Folz and Elton

Ma: Nolte and Selness

In the second (non-league) game, a two-out, walk-off hit by Brendan Kerns capped an amazing rally and 6-5 Mabel win.

SG took a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the final fifth inning. After a diving catch in left field by Noah Elton, Mabel was down to its final out with no one on base.

But three straight hits - a single from winning pitcher Mike Selness, an RBI-triple by Logan Richardson and the game-winning single up the middle by Kerns - turned the tables.

SG had opened the scoring in the first inning with a single by Folz and a walk to Elton setting the stage for a 2-RBI infield hit by Caleb Nerstad.

For Mabel, Kerns (2 for 2) had the first of his 2 triples sending Selness home before scoring himself as Mabel tied the score at 2-2 in the first inning.

All three Mabel errors and back-to-back hits from Bjerke and Folz (2 for 3) helped SG break the tie with 3 runs in the third (SG 5, Mabel 2).

Despite a superb grab at short stop by Nerstad, Mabel scored twice again to get back within one run in the bottom of the third.

An unassisted double play at first base by Bjerke denied Mabel in a scoreless fourth inning. The Lions were on the doorstep of their first second-game victory before the home-team heroics at the finish.

On the mound for Mabel, Selness struck out 11 and walked only two.

SG 203 00 - 5 4 0

Ma 202 02 - 6 7 3

SG: Bergrud, Griffin (4) and Folz

Ma: Selness and Nolte


The varsity girls had closed their summer league slate the previous week with a 5-3 record. The Lions posted victories over Cochrane-Fountain City, Winona, Lake City, Onalaska and Winona Black Losses came against Fillmore Central, Mabel-Canton and Stewartville.


The varsity girls (1-5) were idle during the holiday week. They resumed league play on July 9 with the annual trip to the Wartburg College Tournament on July 11 and 12.


Melrose-Mindoro 46, SG 40

Playing without three starters, SG (3-1 league, 6-5 summer) played from behind while suffering its first summer league loss. Except for an early 5-5 tie, Melrose-Mindoro led the rest of the way. The Mustangs broke away from that deadlock with four unanswered perimeter baskets. They shot better from 3-point range (41%) than they did from closer in (33%).

Even with the three tallest players wearing M-M jerseys, SG held a 14-rebound advantage. But the Lions committed 13 more turnovers. SG was also more successful in getting to the foul line, making as many free throws (13 for 24) as M-M attempted (7 for 13).

SG trailed by as many as 7 points before a 20-15 halftime deficit. The Lions would fall behind by as many as 12 points during the second half before scoring 8 of the final 10 points.

Against a 1-3-1 zone defense, the Lions had an official 17 attempts from both inside and beyond the 3-point arc. Freshman-to-be Chase Grinde shouldered most of the scoring load, scoring 29 of the team's 40 points.

Also in action were Tanner Sanness, Dustin Vickerman, Gabe Solum, Dylan Kampschroer and Jordan Jaster.

Alex Engelhardt was still on the injured list while Elliott Cross was home ill and Brady Schuttemeier away on a family holiday trip. Coach Wade Grinde was in the annual Minnesota no-coaching period.


Prairie du Chien (#4) 41, SG 32

The Lions had a challenge getting off shots close to the basket against a team with a pair of tall post players.

The Blackhawks pulled away from 9-9 tie with a 10-0 run on the way to a 23-11 halftime lead. In the second half, a 10-2 run put Prairie du Chien Team Four ahead by 16 points.

It was a fast-paced game with relatively good ball-handling.

SG (2-2) played with a roster of upcoming freshmen, eighth graders and seventh graders.


Westby (#3) 48, SG 28

Westby Team Three was older (sophomores and freshmen), taller and physically stronger than the young Lions.

After roaring out to a 17-2 lead, the Norsemen then decided to defend with full-court pressure, but the Lions did not crumble and were outscored by only four points the rest of the first half. Westby barely outscored SG (16-15) in the second half.

The Lions (0-4) shot only 25 percent from the field while Westby shot twice as well.

Overall, the Norsemen held a 13-4 advantage in transition points and a 17-8 edge in perimeter scoring.