The Princeton American Legion baseball team will be returning to familiar territory this weekend.
After a couple-year break, the boys are returning to the American Legion Baseball state tournament.
The boys begin play at 3 p.m. Thursday in Bloomington. Their opponent had yet to be determined when this issue of the Union-Eagle went to press.
The boys advanced with two victories in the North End Sub-District 10 Tournament, held last Monday through Thursday at Solheim Field in Princeton.
They brought home a 14-7 victory over St. Francis in their series opener on Tuesday, July 17, followed by a 5-4 win over North Branch in the series championship game on Wednesday, July 18.
St. Francis 7
Seven of Princeton’s nine players had two hits or more in Princeton’s 14-7 win over St. Francis in Princeton’s opening game of playoff action. Dalton Mattson had four runs and Louis Servaty added three more to help pace Princeton to a seven-run victory.
Zack Ludwig pitched a complete game, throwing 93 pitches to 40 batters in the nine-inning effort. Ludwig gave up 13 hits and struck out three batters. He got the win despite his team being charged with three errors.
With St. Francis up 1-0 in the first inning, Mattson tied the game after coming home off a Ludwig double.
Mattson, Nick Zeroth, Riley Miller and Justin Sjoquist added runs in the second inning to put Princeton up 5-1.
St. Francis added two runs in the third to cut Princeton’s lead to 5-3. Princeton added another run in the third when a Servaty double brought Thomas Klaphake across the plate.
Mattson and Ludwig scored in the fourth to put Princeton up 8-3. Princeton added four more runs in the fifth inning with Daniel Voce, Mattson, Ludwig and Servaty helping Princeton increase its lead to 12-3.
Princeton countered St. Francis’ two runs in the sixth with two sixth-inning runs of their own from Klaphake and Servaty. St. Francis added two more runs in the ninth to give Princeton the 14-7 victory.
PRINCETON (14) SF
AB R H RBI
Voce 6 1 1 1
Mattson 5 4 3 2
Ludwig 5 2 2 1
Muench 5 0 1 2
Godeen 5 0 2 3
Zeroth 5 1 2 1
Klaphake 5 2 2 0
Miller 4 0 4 2
Servaty 0 3 0 0
Sjoquist 5 1 3 0
45 14 20 12
North Branch 4
Princeton scored four runs in the second inning on the way to a 5-4 victory over North Branch on Wednesday, July 18.
The win gave Princeton first place in the North End Sub-District 10 Tournament and a berth in the state tournament.
Down 2-0 in the first inning, Brennen Godeen, Thomas Klaphake, Justin Sjoquist and Daniel Voce all scored for Princeton.
North Branch earned a run in the third to cut Princeton’s lead to 4-3. In the fourth inning Sjoquist was walked, advanced to second on a sacrifice fly and was brought home on a Zack Ludwig double to increase Princeton’s lead to 5-3. North Branch added one more run in the eighth inning.
Ludwig was the offense star of the game, with two doubles off of three hits and two RBIs. Zeroth and Klaphake had Princeton’s other two hits.
Pitcher Dan Muench pitched eight innings for Princeton. He faced 35 batters, giving up 11 hits and striking out six.
Ludwig came in relief in the ninth. He faced four batters, threw two strikeouts and gave up no hits or walks.
PRINCETON (5) NB
AB R H RBI
Voce 2 1 0 0
Mattson 3 0 0 2
Ludwig 4 0 3 2
Muench 3 0 0 0
Godeen 4 1 0 0
Zeroth 4 0 1 0
Klaphake 4 1 1 0
Miller 4 0 0 0
Sjoquist 3 2 0 1
31 5 5 5