Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Shawn Bode
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

U-12 baseball thriving


August 2, 2018

Photo courtesy Shawn Bode

Front row, left to right : Cobe Kirk, Charlie Rigleman, Eric Ellingson, Ethan Dresel, Payton Marshall, Mason Meyer, Adam Johnson. Middle row: Dawson Mortensen, Elliott Wasche, Dawson Fjosne, Adam Neumann, Vincent Prachar, Reese Bode, Luke Dewey. Back row: Jordan Priest, Kaden Robbins, Tyler Juhl, PJ Fritsch, Joey Steen, Austin Johnson, Levi Mikrot. Missing: Elijah Youngs, Gunnar Rhodes, Dalton Slama, Rion Waxlax, Sebastian Blondo. Coaches row: Paul Dewey, Dave Mortensen, Shawn Bode, Chad Robbins (missing: Pete Steen).

The U-12 Little League baseball season was capped by a terrific match up between the two Moose Lake/ Willow River teams vying for third place in the Silver Division of the Quad Cities League. The silver division was the middle division and placement was based on regular season records. MLWR Northland Apparel's lead off man Kaden Robbins started the game with a line drive into the right field corner. The speedster was able to circle the bases for an inside the park home run. Reese Bode pitched three shut out innings fanning seven and helped himself with a double, and the Apparels were staked to 2-0 lead through three. Tyler Juhl was on the bump for the opposing MLWR Moose Lake Dental squad. The flame thrower pitched efficient baseball and was helped by some golden glovework by C/SS Luke Dewey, SS/C Dawson Fjosne, 3B Dawson Mortenson, 3B/1B Joey Steen, and 1B Levi Mikrot. However the Dental squad could not get the key hit with runners on base, as Adam Neumann pitched the final three innings in relief in scoreless fashion for the Apparels, notching nine whiffs in picking up the save. The Apparels scored two more runs late as Robbins and Neumann each collected two hits in the 3-0 victory for the Apparels.

Getting to this game took some gritty performances by both teams. The Dentals beat Cloquet Southgate Pizza in the first round 6-3 in a game also started by Juhl. They then lost a close 4-2 game against the West Duluth Cardinals where Luke Dewey and Joey Steen put up strong performances on the mound.

The Northland Apparels won their playoff opener 10-0 over a good Hermantown team. Kaden Robbins went the distance shutting out the Hawks while throwing just 81 pitches over 6 innings. Five days later, top silver team Proctor Four Star came back in the bottom of the 6th for a walk off 4-3 victory in game 2 of the playoffs over the Apparels. Fellow lefties Robbins and Neumann shared pitching duties. PJ Fritch had a key 2 run bases loaded single in the first inning.

On the 20 game season, Northland Apparel was led in pitching by Robbins' five wins, 64 K's in 42 innings, and a 0.72 ERA, Neumann's 44 K's in 20 innings, Bode's 24 K's in 12 innings, and also some solid work from Cobe Kirk, PJ Fitsch, and Dalton Slama. Robbins, Neumann, Bode and Eli Youngs all hit over .400 with the first three also having OPS's well north of 1.000. Austin Johnson at .326, PJ Fitsch .282, and Elliott Wasche .262 were also reliable hitters. ML Dental was led in pitching by Juhl who was 3-0 on the season, had a ERA of 2.54 and K'ed 62, Dewey going 2-0 with an ERA of 1.96 with opponents batting average of .136, and Joey Steen who sat 35 batters down on strikes. Fjosne, Mortensen and Mikrot had some solid performances on the mound as well. Mikrot led the team in batting with average of .429, Dewey batted over .400 and led the team in RBIs with 16. Jordan Priest and Vincent Prachar both hit .361, Fjosne .341, and Steen .320. Priest was one of the first U-12 Rebels in years to clout a home run over the 210 foot Little League fence.


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