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LEGION BASEBALL: East Grand Forks tops Alexandria for split of doubleheader

Teammates surround home plate to congratulate Donnie Musgrove after he hit a home run in the first game of a doubleheader against Alexandria Tuesday in East Grand Forks. East Grand Forks would go on to win a nail biter 11-10. (Luke Franke/ Grand Forks Herald)1 / 5
East Grand Forks catcher Clarke Peterson is congratulated by his teammates after he scored the winning run against Alexandria to seal the victory 11-10 in the first game of a doubleheader at Stauss Park Tuesday in East Grand Forks. (Luke Franke/ Grand Forks Herald) 2 / 5
East Grand Forks players watch a pitch as it flies by in the first game of a doubleheader against Alexandria. (Luke Franke/ Grand Forks Herald) 3 / 5
East Grand Forks runner Nate Phillips (23) makes it safely to second base after an error causes the Alexandria infielder to mishandle the ball. (Luke Franke/ Grand Forks Herald) 4 / 5
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With one out and the bases loaded, Taylor Brierley played hero, driving in Clarke Peterson on a sacrifice fly to give EGF the 11-10 American Legion baseball win at Stauss Park. Alexandria got a doubleheader split by winning the second game 17-8.    

With Peterson on third base ready to tag, Brierley popped it up down the right-field line, leaving it to the fielder to decide if it was fair or foul.

 “I was just trying to poke one through the infield,” said Brierley.

 “I didn’t really know (if it was fair). I just ran down to first and looked up and he caught it, so it went in our favor.”

Alexandria jumped to a 4-0 lead after two innings, highlighted by a Mitch Thompson two-run home run in the first.

East Grand Forks responded with nine straight runs, four of them in the bottom of the second.

Donnie Musgrove gave EGF a 6-4 lead in the third inning when he hit a two run home run to straightaway center.

“I fully expect anybody on this team to be able to hit one over the fence,” said EGF coach Garret Hjelle. “He (Musgrove) is very calm at the plate. He stays right on track with everything and stays focused. All of these guys . . . can all hit the ball, and they do.”

East Grand Forks extended the lead to five in the fourth when Trevor Selk stole home on a double steal, followed by a Reed Hjelle double that drove in Brierley and Ethan Mushitz.

But Alexandria responded with four runs of their own in the fifth.

EGF added another run in the fifth making it 10-8 going into the seventh. But Alexandria’s Parker Revering doubled to drive in one, followed by a Thompson single that brought home Revering to tie the game.

In the seventh, Peterson singled and advanced to second on Nate Phillips’ bunt single. Selk followed with a single to load the bases for Brierley.

“It was one of those games, back-and-forth, all night long,” said coach Hjelle. “It’s not surprising to me that they came and competed no matter what part of the game it was, they were there. They stay focused and manufactured one in the last inning and that was great.”

East Grand Forks was led by Selk, who went 3-for-5, and Peterson, who scored two runs to go along with two RBI. 

In the second game, Alexandria scored seven runs in the first and eight in the second on its way to the 17-8 win.

Danny Kuhn pitched the win for Alexandria, while Cooper Jerome took the loss for EGF.

Scott Mortenson led EGF, going 3-for-3 at the plate while Blake Stockert and Casey Hammerback each went 3-for-3 with a home run for Alexandria, who handed EGF its first loss of the year (5-1).