Legion State Tournament: PL State run ends with 11-5 loss to Eden Prairie

By Justin Braun

The 2023 Prior Lake Laker Legion Team after completing their American Legion State Tournament run in Rochester, MN, on July 29, 2023.

The Prior Lake Laker Legion’s hopes of bringing home a state championship ended Saturday with an 11-5 loss to Eden Prairie Legion at Dale Massey Field in Rochester.  Prior Lake finished their state appearance with a record of five wins and two losses.

Eden Prairie launched quickly in the first inning after Seth Tierney homered to center field, scoring three runs and taking a 3-0 lead.   Prior Lake would answer back in the top half of the second inning when Joe Stelzig and Trevor Mong singled, followed by a bases-clearing home run from Spencer Keeney, tying the game at three.  The lead would be relinquished in the home half of the second when Eden Prairied scored, taking the lead again 4-3.

Prior Lake’s bats were silenced while Eden Prairie continued their attack.  Eden Prairie would tally three more runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth.  A last-chance effort by the Laker Legion would plate two more runs but would fall short with a loss by the score of 11-5.

Noah Slates and Dominik Giancarlo each collected two hits for Prior Lake. Keeney led the Laker Legion with three runs batted from his home run in the second inning and went 1-for-3 on the day.

Tyus Smith started for the Laker Legion on the mound and threw 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on four hits, striking our four, and walking seven.  Relief was provided by Nate Bodine, Greg Schonhoff, and Benton Blattner, who gave up a combined seven runs on six hits with two walks.

The Laker Legion wrapped their season as Substate 4 Champions and American Legion State Baseball Tournament Pool 4 Runner-up.  Prior Lake compiled a final record of 18-14 for the 2023 season.

For more information on the MN American Legion State Baseball Tournament bracket and standings, visit the MN American Legion Baseball website.