Breckenridge Post 53 Jr. Legion kicked off its summer baseball season with a 4-3 victory at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, led by the arm of Mark Wermerskirchen and the bat of Dallen Ernst.
Wermerskirchen pitched 5.2 innings, allowing two earned runs, striking out four, and allowing four hits. Wermerskirchen, who didn’t play school baseball, kept DGF off balance by mixing up speed and location during his first appearance of 2021.
The pitcher also recorded five outs with his glove, including two missiles at the mound that he snared and tossed to first base.
Ernst scored Breckenridge’s first run on a sacrifice by Paul Armitage, getting a good read on a bunt towards first and taking off for home. The big cleanup hitter drove in his team’s other three runs, going 4-4 with three doubles.
Breckenridge committed just one error in the game, compared to five for DGF. Kaleb Albertson got things rolling with a sliding catch in foul territory near first base in the first inning. He also caught several high throws on his way to nine putouts.
Heading into the sixth inning, Post 53 held a 4-1 lead. Wermerskirchen walked the first batter, before the next two barreled doubles to the fence. Ernst came on in relief and struck a batter out to end the inning with Breckenridge up 4-3.
Post 53 went down quietly to start the seventh. Ernst issued a walk to the lead-off man in the bottom half, and DGF had all the momentum. The very next batter drilled a liner to right center field, but Peyton Christensen came flying in for a basket catch. The Rebels were stealing, which allowed Christensen to rifle the baseball to first base for a double play.
Christensen showcased his speed throughout the game, reaching on an error and slapping an infield single to go along with three great catches in center field.
DGF’s lead-off hitter stepped into the box, trailing 4-3, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. He hit a chopper to Wermerskirchen at shortstop who fired to Roberts at first to seal the opening day win for Post 53.
Breckenridge mustered just six hits to DGF’s four, but never trailed, staying composed on the road against a skilled program. Nate Porter subbed into the game and relayed a deep hit back to the infield to save a run. Left fielder Joey Conzemius slid over to second base when Post 53 suffered an injury, recording a key out in the sixth. Zane Mikkelson allowed one passed ball in six innings of work, while catching the only pop-up hit his way.
Breckenridge travels to Browerville on Tuesday for a double-header beginning at 5 p.m.