Tri-City Red triumphant in state opener

In its previous seven games, the Tri-City Red American Legion baseball team used solid pitching and a potent offense to win a pair of tournaments. This weekend, Red is trying to add another tournament title to its 2012 résumé and got off to a good start Friday morning with that same formula.

Tri-City grabbed an early lead against New Ulm Gold in its state-tournament opener at Chanhassen High School's Storm/Redbird Stadium and cruised to a 9-5 victory.

Max Knutson and Sam Hentges combined for seven runs batted in while starting pitcher Karl Elfstrom gave up one run in six innings of work to pick up the victory. Knutson provided a pair of two-run singles and Hentges tripled home three runs. Elfstrom scattered six hits and walked five to go with two strikeouts.

The victory was the first in a state tournament for a Tri-City Red team since an 8-7 victory over the Rochester Patriots in the third round of the 2007 tournament.

The win also sets up a second-round contest against Hopkins at 7 p.m. on Friday at Storm/Redbird Stadium. Hopkins, the fourth-place team from the 10th District, opened the tournament Friday afternoon with a 5-4 win over Third District champion Eastview.

The state tournament runs through Monday with games on Saturday and Sunday at Chanhassen and Athletic Park in Chaska. The final two games of the tournament on Monday are set for Athletic Park.

Minnesota American Legion Division I baseball state tournament First round Tri-City Red 9, New Ulm Gold 5 Hopkins 5, Eastview 4 Winona 5, Fergus Falls 4, 10 innings Burnsville 6, Eden Prairie 0 Giant Valley 4, Waite Park 1 Lakeville North 7, Monticello 0 Edina 8, Grand Rapids 1 Alexandria 4, Chaska 2

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