On the Bench with Byron Higgin
It’s that special time of year when the hot summer sun bears down hotter than ever — but can’t put away the fun of summer playoff baseball.
This week the Minneota Mudhens amateur team starts what it hopes will be a successful ride to the state tournament.
The Minneota American Legion Vultures started their playoff drive at St. James.
And the Junior American Legion Vultures got a top seed and will be making a drive for a spot in the state tournament at Montevideo.
The Mudhens picked up their FIRST EVER win over the Milroy Yankees on Sunday — just in time to propel them into the playoffs.
They scored seven runs in the first inning. Granted, Milroy didn’t throw their best pitchers and played a few reserves as they prepare for the playoffs as well.
But in the past, Minneota has never had enough pitching to throw their best against the Yankees. This year they do — and had two one-run losses and now a 16-7 win.
It couldn’t have come at a better time. Hopefully, they saved some hits for the Clinton Cards game at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Minneota lost at Clinton earlier this year — but we’re not happy with the referring situation (since some of the umpires were related to Card players).
So, as Beau Buysse said, “We wanted to play Clinton.” If they beat Clinton, they will play again on Sunday. If they lose they fall into the loser’s bracket the following weekend.
With a nice 13-8 record, there are high hopes for this team.
The top two teams advance to the state tournament.
Minneota’s Legion Vultures got a nice game from their pitching staff and their hitters during the opener at St. James on Monday.
What’s so nice to see is the way coaches Keven Larson and J.D. Pesch have this team executing the fundamentals in all aspects of the game.
They’ve become better bunters, are developing patience as they wait for a good pitch and have been turning in some very good defensive games.
Winning the sub-state tournament this week at St. James is a big order since there are some great teams in the mix.
But no matter how far they go, it’s safe to say the Minneota baseball program has taken some nice shots in the arm this year.
The addition of the Jr. Legion Vultures also has helped by giving kids a chance to play more baseball. It’s been a fun summer — and it’s not finished yet.
So get out to a ballgame and have a good time. By-the-way, there was a very nice crowd of Minneota supporters at the Minneota-Wells game on Monday.
That was some-what of a surprise since it’s a long distance to St. James and it was in the middle of the day on Monday.
Minneota has great fans!