Strong pitching leads Post 121 to two wins

The Watertown Post 121 American Legion baseball team won two games and lost two games last week.

The week started with a pair of wins for Watertown on Monday and Tuesday , as Post 121 defeated Lester Prairie 6-0 on Monday, June 25, and beat Norwood 2-1 in nine innings on Tuesday, June 26. However, in a tough battle on Wednesday, Watertown fell to Montgomery, 3-2, and then lost on Sunday, July 1, 10-4, to Minnehaha Academy.

In the first win of the week against Lester Prairie, Max Zitzloff pitched all seven innings, striking out 12 and allowing only two hits. Offensively, P.J. Hangartner was 3-for-4 and Matt Elsenpeter and Mark Sandquist were both 2-for-4. Adam Parker and Andrew Nichols also had hits for Watertown.

In Tuesday’s win over Norwood, it was Matt Schreder’s turn to pitch a masterpiece on the mound. He went all nine innings, striking out eight and allowing only three hits. Nick Tschida delivered the winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning. Alex Runck had two hits for Watertown, and Ben Hillmann, Sandquist, Hangartner, Parker and Alex Bakke had hits as well.

Watertown continued to play solid baseball on Wednesday, but couldn’t find enough offense to knock off Montgomery. Watertown surrendered three runs in the first inning before Hangartner came in to throw four shutout innings and Sandquist closed the last inning out with three strikeouts. However, three runs was enough for Montgomery to win despite being outhit by Watertown. Watertown got 2-for-4 performances from Hillmann and Elsenpeter, and Parker, Hangartner, Bakke and Schreder added hits as well. However, it wasn’t enough to come from behind.

"We out-hit them but couldn’t come up with a string of hits," Watertown coach Steve Hangartner said. "We left 12 guys on base. The boys are starting to really play some good ball, though."

Watertown closed the week with a 10-4 loss to Minnehaha Academy, which used five runs in the top of the ninth to pull away and seal the win. Zitzloff threw another nice game on the mound, allowing five runs in the second inning but otherwise pitching efficiently, allowing only one other run.

Brendan Weege led Watertown offensively by going 3-for-5. Tschida was 2-for-4 and Hillmann, Schreder and Parker were all 2-for-5.

Watertown played three games on Monday and Tuesday, and is scheduled to return to the field Monday, July 9, to host DeLaSalle at 7 p.m. Watertown also hosts Delano July 10 at 7 p.m.