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American Legion team advances in playoffs

The Two Harbors American Legion Post 109 Baseball Team (the Rivals) following their playoff win over Deer River. Front Row: Lucas Kempffer. Row 2 (L-R): Trey Fleck, Will Peterson, Easton Best, Luke Small, Mark Pearson. Row 3 (L-R): Coach Rob Best, Keller Conrolw, Kyler Kinn, Mark Small, Jonah Koehler, Kyle Omtvedt, Zack Duresky, Nate Bauck, Tim Bott, Tim Luoma, Coach Doug Omtvedt.

The American Legion Post 109 baseball team, the Rivals, advanced to the playoffs on Tuesday after a successful season.

Regular season play

On July 9, Brookston traveled to Two Harbors to take on the Rivals. The Rivals had their hitting shoes on pounding out 18 hits and scoring 12 runs in a 12-6 victory. Kyler Kinn, Lucas Kempffer, Easton Best and Alex Lemke all had three hits apiece with Lemke and Best each collecting 3 RBIs. Kyle Omtvedt went the distance on the mound, giving up 7 hits with 7 strike outs and 1 free pass.

On July 15, the Rivals headed to Marble to take on the tough squad from the Greenway area. In a very hard-fought game, the Rivals lost in extra innings 4-3. Kinn led the hitting honors with 2 hits while Bott and Duresky each had an RBI. Omtvedt went the distance on the mound in a gutty eight-inning performance, giving up 7 hits while striking out 7 and walking two.

Then, there was a Friday night showdown against Ely at Ely on July 18. Before the game, calculations showed that a victory over the state-ranked Ely squad would give the Rivals a No. 2 seed in district play, while a loss would drop them to a No. 5 seed. In a low scoring affair, the Rivals prevailed 3-1. In a game where all the runs were unearned, the Rivals defense was the key with the big play being a double play turned by Luke Small to Jonah Koehler to Omtvedt, shutting down a fifth-inning threat. Tim Bott took the honors on the mound, throwing a no-hitter through five innings, while giving up 2 for the game, walking 7 and striking out 8. It was by far Bott’s best performance of the year.


The Rivals opened the Division II District 8 playoffs with a 9-2 win over Deer River Tuesday evening.

The Rivals opened the scoring in the second inning when Omtvedt doubled to score Best who had singled.

The game remained 1-0 until the Rivals blew open the game scoring 6 runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by a two-run home run by Kempffer and a two-run double by Omtvedt.

Omtvedt pitched a nice game, scattering 7 hits and striking out 5 for the win. Leading the way offensively for the Rivals were Koehler with three hits and two runs batted in, Kempffer with the home run and Omtvedt with two hits and three runs batted in. Deer River was able to break up the shut out by scoring two runs in the seventh inning.

The Rivals (10-6) advance in the winner’s bracket of the double elimination tournament and will play Ely again at 2:30 p.m. Friday in Ely. The tournament runs through Sunday with the winner advancing to the State Tournament.