STEVENSVILLE — Stevensville Post 504 and Three Oaks Post 208 always value the opportunity to play against each other.
The two local American Legion teams played a doubleheader at Lakeshore High School on Tuesday evening, with the teams splitting the pair of games.
Three Oaks took the first game, 11-5, before Stevensville bounced back with an 8-1 victory in game two. The second game was called after four innings due to darkness.
“We do (look forward to playing Stevensville),” Three Oaks manager JC German said. “We won’t play each other if there’s another game scheduled. We also know we’re going to see each other in zones. Last year I don’t think we played a regular season game, just because of the way the schedule worked out.
“It means a bit, being the two local teams in town. (Stevensville manager) Jeff (Bradford) and I go way back, and it’s good for the kids. The stands were full, too.”
In the first game, Three Oaks (4-8-1) and Stevensville (15-6) each plated a run in the first and remained tied until Post 204 added a run in the third.
Three Oaks really broke the game open in the fourth and fifth innings, however.
Hunter Adams hit a double off the center field fence that scored two runs in the fourth, moving the score to 4-1.
In the fifth, Three Oaks plated five more runs.
Post 204 recently returned from a trip to New York, where they saw a lot of talented legion teams from the East Coast. German said, with the team returning just three days ago, that the players were still playing well after seeing a high level of competition.
“We came out stroking the ball, and I believe that’s a direct result of the pitching we saw out east, I really do,” German said. “We hit the ball really well the first game.
“(We were) kind of flat in the second one, but any time we play these guys, half of these guys know each other really well, but it was a good game.”
Gannon Kutemeier took over on the mound in the fourth. Stevensville got a run back on a solo home run by Austin Hurt, and added three more on a three-run homer by Devin Pulling in the bottom of the seventh.
Kutemeier, however, added some insurance for himself in the top of the sixth, plating two on a single.
Stevensville didn’t make it easy on themselves in game one, as five of Three Oaks’ 11 runs were unearned.
Bradford said he thought his team came out sluggish in game one, but responded nicely in the second game.
“My son Marcus, who played on this team for four years, just let the kids know that we didn’t have any energy in that first game. We came out flat,” he said. “My philosophy during the week is that we have 16 guys here, and 16 guys will play.”
504 came out swinging in game two, scoring two runs in the first.
Jakob Aldrich led off with a walk, then stole second before scoring on a double by Kaleb Parrett. Parrett, too, scored in the inning on a wild pitch.
Stevensville picked up four more runs in the second on an RBI single by Aldrich and a two-RBI double by Parrett.
From there, 504 relied on its pitching. Nate Turner threw a complete game, allowing just three hits.
“I was little low on my pitching,” Bradford said. “Nate Turner came through, threw a great game and saved some arms for the weekend. We’ve got a five game set in Adrian this coming weekend.”
Bradford, too, said he enjoys the opportunity to play a local team like Three Oaks.
“I can’t say how much help (German) has been to me and our team,” Bradford said. “Both teams have great groups of kids and it’s really fun to play them.”
Stevensville Post 504 will be hosting the Michigan legion state tournament beginning on July 24 at Lakeshore.
Three Oaks 11, Stevensville 5
Three Oaks 101 252 0 — 11 12 1
Stevensville 100 010 3 — 5 7 4
WP — Tyler Mojsiejenko. LP — Kaleb Parrett.
Top hitters — Three Oaks: Rogers 2 1b; Tyler Mojsiejenko 1b, RBI; Gannon Kutemeier 1b, 2 RBI; Hunter Adams 2Bb, 3b, 3 RBI; Manuel Villalobos 2b, 2 RBI; Bath 1b, 2b, RBI; Montgomery 1b, RBI. Stevensville: Austin Hurt HR, RBI; Devin Pulling 1b, HR, 3 RBI; Caleb Schmitt 1b, RBI; Ethan Price 3b.
Stevensville 8, Three Oaks 1
Three Oaks 001 0 — 1 3 2
Stevensville 242 x — 8 6 1
WP — Nate Turner. LP — Jack Veersma.
Top hitters — Three Oaks: Rogers 1b, HR, RBI; Hunter Adams 1b. Stevensville: Jakob Aldrich 1b, RBI; Kaleb Parrett 1b, 2b, 3 RBI; Jaidyn Morris 1b, RBI.
Records — Stevensville 15-6, Three Oaks 4-8-1.
Note: Game two suspended due to darkness after four innings.