Elk River Legion baseball took a seven-game win streak into the Delano July 4 Tournament semifinals but wound up losing twice and finished fourth.
The Elks (12-5) were 3-0 in Delano pool play over the weekend, then lost to Minneapolis Southwest 5-3 in the semifinals on Tuesday and to Edilna 7-4 in the third-place game on Wednesday.
Minneapolis Southwest 5, Elk River 3
Tucker Morrell pitched a complete game, giving up nine hits and three walks, striking out three, in the loss.
The Elks tied the score with three runs in the sixth capped by Sam Krick’s two-run single. Terry Hadden singled with two out and scored when Brad Givens got aboard on an error. Porter Morrell walked and Tim Sanford singled, loading the bases for Krick, pinch-hitting.
Minneapolis SW quickly regained the lead in the seventh on a triple and single. They kept it going with another single and a squeeze bunt.
The Elks left 11 runners on base, including bases loaded in the seventh. Southwest had six LOB.
Sanford was 2-for-3 and Baker and Meyer both 2-for-4.
Edina 7, Elk River 4
The Elks had 12 hits, with Terry Hadden 3-for-3 (double, RBI), Nick Johnson 3-for-4 and Tim Sanford 1-for-2 (RBI), but left 13 runners on base.
The Elks led 3-0 but Edina scored four in the third, two of them on a disputed two-run homer where the ball went into the ivy on the wall. Coach Josh Juntunen said outfielder Porter Morrell threw up his arms to signify ground-rule double, and left the ball alone when it dropped, because, the coach said, that’s what they were told by the umpires when ground rules were discussed before the game. But the runners kept going just in case and the umpires ruled a two-run homer after a lengthy discussion.
“They ruled the opposite of what they told us they would do from the beginning,” said Juntunen, “and that was a total momentum shift as Edina went on to score four runs in the inning.”
Elk River also had two crucial baserunning mistakes – one Elk got picked off second base, and another was doubled off base because he ran when he thought there were two outs.
Hadden pitched four innings, giving up nine hits and five earned runs, taking the loss. Porter Morrell finished giving up two earned runs on six hits.