The local VFW team has started its summer season. The local boys got the season going this past week with games against Centennial, Totino-Grace, North Branch and Chisago Lakes.
The team is made up of the following players: Cody Skog, Jake Sylvester, Mitch Andres, Levi Holland, Dustin Davis, Kevin Johnson, Nathan Rogers, Jake Cotton, Kyle Gageby, Mitch Renstrom, Matt Ziebarth, Jacob Watson, and Jake Johnson. The team is coached by Todd Smrekar and Bluejacket alumni and current Waldorf College baseball pitcher Dallas Nelson.
To begin the season, VFW Post #2735 opened up with Centennial in a double header at Larson Field. The local nine surrendered both games 12-6 and 11-1 in 6 innings. Jake Johnson and Mitch Andres took the losses on the mound. The highlight of the double header was Matt Ziebarth’s ten pitch at bat in the bottom of the seventh which concluded with a 3-run homer to left, his first of the summer.
On Saturday, June 11, the team traveled to take on an always tough Totino-Grace. It was a back-and-forth affair for much of the game, tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth when a tough bounce led to a couple of Totino runs, some lack of control by the local post on the mound loaded the bases, and they were promptly cleared on one pitch that was deposited into the Fridley neighborhood making it 9-3. Leading the team in hits in the game were Mitch Renstrom with two doubles, Skog, Davis, Sylvester, Jake Johnson, and Rogers all had one hit in the game. Skog took the loss on the bump.
On Monday, June 13, North Branch came to town. The locals would pick up their first win of the season behind the 6 strong innings of Jake Johnson who struck out 11 hitters. Kevin Johnson picked up the save pitching the seventh. Leading the offense for the night was Kyle Gageby who had two big hits including a triple to score 2 runs and put the game away. Jake Johnson also had two hits as did Mitch Renstrom. Sylvester, Kevin Johnson, Andres, and Davis each had one hit apiece.
On Tuesday, June 14, Post #2735 traveled to Chisago Lakes, and the game was called in the third due to rain with Chisago leading 4-3. The game will be completed on June 30 when Chisago comes to town to for the second game of the league season.