Cloquet Legion team continues losing streakCloquet fell in the annual Lakeview Classic American Legion baseball tournament last weekend, losing games to Proctor 3-1 on Friday and Anoka 10-9 on Saturday. The defeats extended a four-game losing stretch littered with defensive mistakes.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Last summer, Nate Weets had just finished his freshman year of high school when he started playing in his first season on the Cloquet American Legion baseball team.
“Some teams now have first-year college freshmen,” said Weets, a 5-foot-10 right-handed pitcher. “They take advantage of your errors and can turn them into runs.”
Cloquet fell in the annual Lakeview Classic American Legion baseball tournament last weekend, losing games to Proctor 3-1 on Friday and Anoka 10-9 on Saturday. The defeats extended Cloquet’s four-game losing stretch littered with defensive mistakes.
“We can be a really good team if we’re on, but if we’re off, we can be pretty bad, too,” explained Weets, who took a no decision result after starting against Anoka, a game Cloquet (3-4) led 9-1 before several long innings of mishaps in the field in the 10-9 loss “We have to turn it around or we will run out of time.”
Last week Cloquet American Legion Coach Dennis Conklin noted this is the last time teams can return college freshman players to their community squads. Currently, if players are age-eligible, some 19-year-olds can even play. However, Conklin said this summer is the final year of that ruling.
That means starting second baseman, 18-year-old Eric Peterson, is in his final year of baseball.
“We have to be a smarter baseball team and know the situations,” said Peterson before the team faced the Superior Reds Wednesday night on the road. “We have to play for the front of the jersey and come together.”
Cloquet pitcher Victor Foxx agreed.
“We were on in high school, but now we’re in a hole,” said Foxx, a right-hander who also plays outfield. “We just have to keep our heads up — the world isn’t going to end. Once we get a win here, we’ll be alright.”
Cloquet High School baseball Coach Rick Norrgard, who coaches youth and VFW baseball in the summertime, said the team can turn around.
“I watched them play some this weekend, and at times, they’re just not getting a lot of luck,” he said. “They have plenty of talent to respond. They’ll be fine.”