Legion baseball: Wadena takes down Morris in Division II state championship, Rondestvedt takes home MVP
After beating Luverne 1-0 in 15 innings in a Friday-night thriller, Post 171 beat Tri-Town and Morris on its way to a Legion state championship in Division II.
LUVERNE – The Wadena Legion baseball team battled its way through an eight-team field to take home the Division II state championship on Sunday with a 14-0 win over Morris.
After knocking off Luverne and Tri-Town, Post 171 scored 14 runs in five innings, highlighted by Evan Lunde’s grand slam in the fourth inning.
Wadena put up 12 hits, scoring in every inning on its way to a mercy-rule win. Post 171 allowed just three hits.
Payton Rondestvedt received the Tony Sipe Outstanding Player award, and it was much deserved. In the semifinals against Tri-Town, Rondestvedt launched a three-run home run to break the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning.
Teshe Loer added an RBI single in the fourth to go ahead 4-0. The score would hold for the remainder of the game as Isaac Hamann threw seven shutout innings on the mound. He struck out 11 batters and allowed four hits in the win.
Wadena had just six hits in the 4-0 win. Hamann, Josh Dykhoff, Rondestvedt, Connor Davis, Loer and Tyson Barthel all reached base.
Post 171’s most demanding test came against the host team in the opening round. Luverne nearly knocked Wadena into the loser’s bracket in a 15-inning, 1-0 thriller.
Throughout the high school and Legion seasons, Dykhoff and Rondestvedt have been the go-to arms on the mound for Wadena. The two combined for 15 shutout innings and 22 strikeouts in a game that lasted long into the night.
Dykhoff got the start on the bump and threw 8 and 1/3 innings. He collected 14 strikeouts with just three hits allowed. Rondestvedt earned the win, fanning eight batters in 6 and 2/3 innings with just two hits allowed.
Along with coming through in the clutch on the mound, Rondestvedt did it at the plate as well. Hamann walked to start the bottom of the 15th before Luverne elected to intentionally put Dykhoff on first base. Rondestvedt took the first pitch he saw into left field for the walk-off win. ‘
In 15 innings, Wadena tallied nine hits, with only one of them being an extra-base hit. Rondestvedt had four singles and a walk in a 4-for-6 game at the plate.