Legion baseball

The Chetek-Weyerhaeuser Legion Post #179 baseball team started their 2019 summer season with a pair of wins, sweeping the Cameron Comets in a doubleheader on Thursday, June 6. Pictured above, shortstop Riley Toufar waits at second base for the throw from catcher Peyton Kowalski before tagging out a Cameron base runner attempting to steal a base. Also pictured, behind Toufar, is second baseman Izaak Bohl.

Just one day after the 2018–19 school year wrapped up, the Chetek-Weyerhaeuser summer league team—known as the Legion Post #179—began the 2019 summer season with back-to-back wins over the Cameron Comets on Thursday, June 6. 

In their first game of the week, the Bulldogs (2-0) downed the Comets 12-1 behind a near-flawless pitching outing from ace Dakota Herrmann. The incoming senior pitched a complete game, striking out 13 batters and allowing just four hits and one run.

“Dakota will be on a pitch count the entire summer. We want to make sure he gets his work in, but not overthrow him. He pitched a really nice, complete game tonight,” stated Post #179 head coach Scott Kowalski.

The Bulldogs’ bats were relatively quiet, logging just seven hits. However, their patience at the plate led to nine walks and base runners in all but two innings. 

“Cameron’s starting pitcher was very solid and it took us awhile to finally get to him. I like how patient and disciplined we were at the plate and drove up his pitch count,” Kowalski noted.

The game was deadlocked at 0-0 after three innings, until Cameron took a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the top of the fourth. 

Post #179 tied things in the bottom half of the inning when incoming senior Peyton Kowalski’s RBI single plated incoming sophomore Carter Kummet.

The Bulldogs blew the game open with an eight-run fifth inning to take a commanding 9-0 lead. 

Ryan Smith, an incoming sophomore, had a two-run single, while teammate and incoming junior Izaak Bohl added an RBI single. Herrmann joined the party with a one-run double. Post #179’s other runs came via walks or errors committed by the Comets.

The ‘Dogs tallied three more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, two of which were on errors, while Herrmann grounded into a fielder’s choice to score another.

Herrmann was credited with the victory for Post #179 and also was 1-4 with three RBIs and one run. Carter Kummet was 1-2 with two runs and an RBI. Peyton Kowalski added two RBIs and one run and was 1-2. Smith and Bohl were both 1-2 as well and each player scored twice. Smith had two RBIs and Bohl finished with one. 

“It is always fun mixing in the young players with the older players, and we have a good mix this year.  We have a solid group of next year’s seniors to rely on and three of them saw extensive action throughout the varsity season.”

Although it was a five-inning game, the second game of the evening ended in the same fashion as Post #179 routed the Comets 10-5.

“When playing doubleheaders this summer, we will try and play mostly younger guys who are new to the varsity level in the second games of those doubleheaders. I was really impressed with the younger guys performed in this second game,” coach Kowalski said.

 Playing as the home team again, the ‘Dogs turned to incoming sophomore Eric Taft to pitch. Taft shut the Comets down in the first inning despite walking back-to-back batters to start the game.

Post #179 took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the inning, following a leadoff walk by Carter Kummet, a single by Ashton Kummet and a single by Smith to load the bases. Cameron then committed an error on a ball put in play by Taft, allowing both Kummet boys to score. 

However, the Comets captured the lead with four runs of their own in the top of the second inning. Cameron used a two-run single, and a sacrifice fly ball, and Taft walked one run in as the Comets grabbed a 4-2 lead.

Fortunately, Cameron returned the favor and walked in three straight runs, which put the ‘Dogs back in the lead 5-4. Bohl and Carter Kummet each singled in the inning, while Broc Haas, Ashton Kummet, Smith and Taft were issued walks.

After Cameron tied the game 5-5 in the top of the third, the Bulldogs rallied for five unanswered runs—two in the bottom of the third and three in the bottom of the fourth—to cruise to the five-run victory.

Incoming senior Darien Traczyk had a leadoff single and eventually scored when he was walked in. Incoming senior Eliott Paetzold also walked and scored from another walk in the inning to give the ‘Dogs a 7-5 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Paetzold tripled with the bases loaded to put Post #179 ahead 10-5.

Taft shut the Comets down in the final two innings to earn the win. In five innings of work, Taft allowed four hits and five runs and struck out seven. He issued eight walks as well.

“Taft pitched really well; he worked through some nerves and stayed pretty composed in the rough patches. I look forward to having him pitch throughout the summer and preparing to be a varsity-level pitcher next spring,” coach Kowalski explained.

Paetzold was 1-1 with a triple, a walk and three RBIs. Taft was 0-2 but had three RBIs as well. Both Carter and Ashton Kummet were 1-2, with Ashton recording two RBIs and one run, while Carter scored twice and had one RBI. Smith was 1-2 with one RBI.

The Bulldogs will play a doubleheader at Hayward on Monday, June 17, and then play a single game at Cameron on Tuesday, June 18.

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