The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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July 13, 2013

Mankato National continues turnaround season

APPLE VALLEY — Kyle Reynolds' RBI single in the bottom of the seventh lifted the Mankato Legion National Post 11 baseball team to a 5-4 victory over fourth-ranked Coon Rapids Saturday and its third straight win in the Gopher Classic.

With the score tied a 4, Mankato led off the bottom of the seventh a single from Josh Cook. He was sacrificed to second by Evan Ellingworth, moved to third on a base hit by Ian Schwickert and scored on Reynold's single. Schwickert and Mullin were both 2 for 4 in the game. One of Mullin's hits was a double.

Schwickert also got the win, allowing one earned run on four hits, walking one, hitting three batters and striking out four.

The win followed two victories on Friday. Mankato opened tournament play with a 2-1 win over Rosetown. Josh Cook pitched the complete-game win, allowing no earned runs on six hits, fanning four and walking three. Isaac Weber was 2 for 3 with an RBI and Alec Karels also drove in a run.

In their second game, the Nationals defeated Apple Valley 4-2. Devin Ries was the complete-game winner, allowing 4 hits, one earned run, striking out three and walking one. Mullin was 2 for with an RBI and Ries knocked in the game-winning run.

Mankato, which began the season 1-8, is now 10-10 and has two more games of pool play. The Nationals take on West Fargo at 9 a.m. today, followed by an 11:30 a.m. game against Yankton, S.D.

Mankato can advance to the championship round of two ways. It can win its pool outright, or qualify as a second-place team if they win the tie-breaker procedure with the other runner-up teams.

"I'm very happy with the way we have turned our season around," head coach Jamie Mulvihill said. "We got off to a pretty bad start but the guys have been playing much better lately. It makes it a lot more fun."

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