Baseball: Elks Legion, coached by former Gopher, is 3-6 so far

The Elk River Legion team, coached this year by a former Gopher and pro pitcher, has a 3-6 record so far, including 2-2 in league play.

The Elks beat Centennial 4-2 on Tuesday with Alex Babcock going the distance with a six-hitter. They broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth when Brennan Beese doubled home a run and scored on Riley Givens’ single. Austin Heuer had a double and scored two runs.

The Elks lost to Maple Grove 2-0 on Wednesday, giving up both runs in the first on two singles and two errors. Ben Johnson threw four innings (two unearned runs) and Joe Gonrowski two innings.

Matt Loberg is the coach. The Anoka native, 31, was a pitcher on three Big Ten champion teams with the Gophers and spent three seasons in the Cleveland Indians’ chain. He’s a manufacturers’ rep for a pipe company.

Loberg is the brother-in-law of Bill Givens, whose two sons have played for the Elks. Givens is Loberg’s assistant coach.

Most of the lineup for the Elks state high school tournament team is playing for the Legion while two of the senior standouts, Brandon Meyer and Jordan Hollom, are playing town-team instead.

In the Grand Rapids tournament last weekend, the Elks beat Bemidji 5-4 and lost to New Ulm 6-5, Edina 9-4 and North St. Paul 8-1. Johnson pitched the win over Bemidi and went 5-for-7 at the plate in the two games Friday.