One-run games go VFW’s way

Damon Rademacher congratulates Princeton VFW pitcher Allen Linder after he threw a no hitter in the team’s victory over St. Cloud West.  Tyler Ohmann / Union-Eagle

Damon Rademacher congratulates Princeton VFW pitcher Allen Linder after he threw a no hitter in the team’s victory over St. Cloud West. Tyler Ohmann / Union-Eagle

There’s an old saying that tells us turnabout is fair play.

And if you don’t subscribe to that theory, just take a look at what the Princeton VFW baseball team did last week.

In a season in which the team lost game after game by one run, quite a few of them in the last inning, Princeton turned the tables on St. Cloud West (St. Cloud Tech players) with a run in the bottom of the seventh on July 1 for a 5-4 win.

The game had a deja vu look to it in the top of the inning when St. Cloud scored a run to tie the game at 4-4.

“I thought, oh no, here we go again,” one fan was heard to say.

But center fielder Johnny Groebner saved the day with a diving catch to end that inning, with runners on second and third, and Princeton scored in the bottom of the seventh for the win.

Consecutive singles by Bryce Broda, Groebner and Derek Abrahamson loaded the bases with one out and Broda scored on a wild pitch, setting off a celebration of the team’s first win of the season.

“We carried the momentum of that catch by Groebner into the bottom of the seventh and we finally won one,”said coach Jeff Beckers. “It was nice to win one against a good team.”

Damon Rademacher went the distance for the win, giving up 10 hits, walking 5 and striking out 5.

Gehrig Scheffel drove in Princeton’s first run with a single, Rademacher gave Princeton a 2-1 lead in the third with an RBI single, and Drew Walquist’s two-run single in the sixth gave Princeton a 4-3 lead.

And just to prove it was Princeton’s day all the way around, Allen Linder pitched a no-hitter in the B game and Princeton came away with a 1-0 victory, scoring in the first inning.

Linder walked 1 and struck out 4 as Brent Chambers, Preston Burch and Jake Oakes had hits for Princeton.

Monday afternoon of this week the team, despite a 9-8 edge in hits, lost a 5-1 game at Milaca.

Jake Carlson pitched for Princeton, surrendering 4 earned runs, walking 3 and striking out 6.

“It wasn’t our best game,” Beckers said. “We had a man in scoring position every inning.”

The only time Princeton cashed in was in the fifth on an RBI double by Carlson, his second double of the game.  Groebner, Linder and Carlson each had two hits.

The B game was canceled because of rain.

Regular season ending

Princeton plays at Litchfield today (July 10), at Cold Spring Monday and at Brainerd Tuesday before playing its final home game of the season Thursday, July 17, at 10 a.m. vs. Little Falls.

Playoffs are scheduled to begin the following week.

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