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Andrew Gottenborg / sports@forumcomm.com, Published June 16 2010

American Legion baseball: DGF, Pelican split, Post 397 racks up 22 runs

If Tuesday night’s performance was any indication of the future, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Post 397 could find itself playing at home in late July.

D-G-F, which will host this year’s Minnesota American Legion Division II state tournament, split a pair of games against Pelican Rapids at Bob Marshall Field.

Post 397 returns eight starters from last year’s squad, including a quartet of pitchers with significant experience.

“We have four senior pitchers that threw a lot of pitches last year,” D-G-F coach Allen Krueger says of Jordan Mortenson, Luke Gable, Paul Ness and Jake Baumgartner. “That’s kind of the core of our team.”

Gable had a strong performance in D-G-F’s 13-0 win in the first game. He struck out six batters over six innings while surrendering only three hits.

Even though he’s confident his team has a good chance when any of his pitchers take the mound, he says Mortenson is the staff ace.

“You know what you’re going to get every start,” Krueger said. “He’s always around the plate, you can always count on strikes. He’s also got the best stuff of all four of those guys, so he really is more of a complete package.”

Not to be outdone, D-G-F’s offense showed plenty of pop as well, as Nick Nelson smashed a ball over the right-field wall with the bases loaded to end the game via the 10-run rule.

Krueger says his team is solid in all nine spots in its lineup.

“We don’t have any real weak links in the batting order…we have about 12 guys we can put out there and they’re all going to put it in play,” he said.

Catcher Shawn Johnson collected four singles and drove in an RBI while Jared Hawk batted 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI.

“We have three or four guys that pitch the ball really well,” Hawk said. “They come to work every day, and when our lineup’s hitting, we mash.”

Post 397 dropped its second game, a non-conference five-inning matchup, 11-9.

If his team plays up to its potential, Krueger feels like a trip to the state tournament in its own back yard is within reach.

“Our expectations are about what they are every year, to win a District 9 championship.”

D-G-F moves to 3-1 on its season. Post 397 won its first two games, at Barnesville 3-2 and at Ottertail Central in Battle Lake 6-2.

D-G-F’s next game is at 7:30 p.m. today when it hosts Hawley.

PR 000 000 –0 4 3

D-G-F 020 029 –13 12 2

Johnson, Severson (6) and Guler. Gable and Johnson. HR–DGF, Nelson. W–Gable. L–Johnson.

PR 003 44 –11 8 2

D-G-F 234 00 –9 6 0

Lichty, Halbakken (3) and Grahn. Fischer, Dahl (4), Volk (4) and Rosenfeldt. W–Halbakken. L–Volk.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Andrew Gottenborg at (701) 241-5549