Legion team can’t get past Annandale


Annandale 5
Maple Lake 4
Two neighbors faced off on Thursday, Maple Lake Legion Post 131 and Annandale Legion Post 323. Maple Lake hosted the game but played as the away team, batting first.
This game was full of close calls, arguments, frustrated at-bats, suicide plays and classic small-town rivalry fit for the summer.
Annandale’s pitcher, Zach Kuefler, started with a fastball that was high and very close or breaking ball very low and sometimes in the dirt. This gave him an advantage as the game narrowed down and his stamina decreased, letting him use his breaking balls to carry most of the workload and pitch the remainder of the game. This strategy made Maple Lake batters off balance, causing five strikeouts, three with runners in scoring position, and five free trips to first, throughout the entire game.
Post 131 started strong in the first inning, with a hit from Hunter Malachek,. He stole second base, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Greg Giebenhain and scored on an RBI single from McRae Haney to make the score 1-0. They got another run in from a Nick Preisinger single, giving Post 131 a 2-0 lead. 
Maple Lake gave Tony Goelz the start. He looked rocky and out of form in the first inning, giving up three runs off four hits. Before the game Goelz said he wasn’t feeling well and battling a fever. Regardless, Manager Ryan Haney needed him to buckle down and give them a chance to win. 
More information and stats appear in this week's Messenger.