Luverne wins pair at district tourney
Special to the Journal
The Luverne 11 and 12-year -old All-Stars traveled to Elba on Friday night, July 14 to begin District play against Samson, coming away with a 4-2 win.
Blake Hermerling started the game off with a first pitch fly off the fence in left-center only to be thrown out sliding into second.
Patrick Smith followed with a single to center.
Pete King hit a double to left, followed by Austin Brown being hit in the arm by a pitch.
Rann Smyth then hit a single to center giving Luverne a two-run lead.
Samson scored 1 run in the bottom of the fourth and 1 run in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at 2-2.
Samson then struck out two Luverne batters and caught a fly ball hit by Landon LaSalle to keep the score tied. Extra inning play began with Blake Hermerling being hit by a pitch.
Patrick Smith then hit a single to second, but Blake was tagged out.
Toddick Oliver walked and Pete King blasted a single down the third base line.
Austin Brown hit to the first baseman for the second out.
Rann Smyth drew a walk after taking the count to 3-2.
Zane Sexton hit an infield single between the pitcher and third.
Kenny Thomas flied out to end this seventh inning rally, but two go-ahead runs had scored.
Samson promptly went down with a strike out to the lead-off batter.
Now back at the top of the order Samson's catcher, Gage Jackson, hit a single to left only to see the next two batters strike out and fly out ending the threat.
Patrick Smith and Austin Brown threw 12 strike outs, gave up seven hits and five walks.
Luverne slugged 11 hits with Pete King going 3-for-3 with two singles and a double.
Other hits came from Patrick Smith, Austin Brown, Rann Smyth, Zane Sexton, Andy Ackerman, Will Moses and Shawn Lewis.
Samson pitching recorded 11 strike outs, two hit batters and three walks.
Luverne returned to Elba Saturday afternoon, July 15 to play in the second round of the District tournament.
Slocomb scored four runs in the bottom of the second to take the early lead.
Luverne went scoreless until the top of the fourth when Landon LaSalle led off with a single to right field.
Justin Fuller was thrown out at first by the second baseman.
Blake Hermerling was then hit by a pitch, followed by Patrick Smith walking.
With bases loaded Toddrick “T.Dog” Oliver crushed the first pitch fastball over the left-center field fence for a game tying grand slam.
Slocomb came charging back with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead, 7-4.
Luverne took the lead back in the top of the sixth.
With walks by Landon LaSalle and Patrick Smith, Blake Hermerling hit a double.
Toddrick Oliver hit a single to left, giving Austin Brown a chance to work his magic.
With two strikes and two outs Austin lined a two-run double to the center-field fence scoring two runs.
Rann Smyth walked only to be forced out at second on a Zane Sexton single.
When the dust settled, Luverne had roared back with 4 runs to take the lead.
Slocomb sent 6 batters to the plate in the bottom of the sixth only to leave three men on base.
Luverne again came from behind to win 8-7 with outstanding pitching from Blake Hermerling, Zane Sexton and Pete King.