Baseball: Brainerd VFW 16U beats St. Cloud Cathedral in home opener

Brainerd VFW shortstop Cayden Kleffman makes a dive for a ball Wednesday, July 8, at Mills Field. Brainerd played St. Cloud Cathedral in a doubleheader. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Brainerd scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to come back and claim a 4-3 win against St. Cloud Cathedral Wednesday, July 8, at Mills Field in Brainerd.

It was Brainerd’s second game of the year and Brainerd VFW coach Trent Grams said the players were excited to finally play games after being sideline for most of the spring and summer because of COVID-19.

“The kids are excited and they are fresh too because they haven’t played a lot of baseball this year,” Grams said. “So we are trying to play as many games as we can in the month of July. The weather is hot, but I think they responded very well.”

Brainerd’s second baseman Isaac Hanson ripped a two-run double to tie the game 3-3. He scored the go-ahead run on an error by St. Cloud Cathedral’s catcher on a throw to third.


Hanson was just trying to get something in the outfield that would land.

“I got a good breaking-ball over the plate and was able to hit it into right-center,” Hanson said.

Hanson finished the game 1-for-3.

“The best part of his at-bat is the adjustments he made from his first two at-bats,” Grams said. “And how he was staying level through the zone. He got an outside pitch and stayed level in the zone and got a nice double for us.”

The rally started when right fielder Riley Derosier and center fielder Matt Karlson singled, putting runners on the corners with no out.

Third baseman Alex Jones hit a single to score Derosier for a RBI before Hanson’s two-RBI double.

Grams credits the big inning to Cathedral’s starter getting tired towards the end of the game.


“We got a few runners on and then they switched pitchers,” Grams said. “Anytime you come in as a relief pitcher with runners on base it is not always the easiest situation. Our boys did a good job of capitalizing on it.”

Carter Springer was the Brainerd starter pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up three runs none of which were earned. He struck out five and walked three.

“Carter works fast and stays on the mound,” Grams said. “He works and attacks the (strike) zone and he keeps his defense in it.”

St. Cloud Cathedral scored two runs in the top of the first. Cathedral’s center fielder Evan Wahlin opened the game and reached first base on an error. After stealing second, Cathedral’s starter Stephen Ellingson singled to advance Wahlin to third.

Ellingson was caught stealing second, but Wahlin scored on the throw making it 1-0 three batters into the game.

Cathedral’s first baseman Austin Lenzmeier was safe at first on a fielder’s choice while Henderson scored to give Cathedral a 2-0 in the first.

Springer then retired seven batters in a row before walking Talen Baraegelmau in the fourth. In the top of the fifth, Brainerd committed three errors in the inning and Cathedral took a 3-0 lead on one of those errors.

Adam Jensen came on in relief for Springer to get the last out of the fifth inning.


Jensen picked up the win pitching the final 2 1/3 innings without allowing a hit and striking out three. Jack Theisen got tagged with the loss for Cathedral.

Brainerd picked up a win Tuesday, July 7, against Pierz 5-1. Jack Schafer picked up the win in that one and Springer led the charge offensively going 2-for-2.

Brainerd will travel to play Buffalo Thursday, July 9. Grams wants to get everyone a start this first week of playing.

“Right now we are evaluating,” Grams said. “We want to get everyone a start this week and we are just seeing what they can do in the game situations. These kids have been practicing and now we are ready for these games.”

St. Cloud Cathedral 3 3 2
Brainerd 4 6 5
WP: Adam Jensen. LP: Jack Theisen. 2B: Brd-Isaac Hanson.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

What To Read Next
The Central Lakes College Raiders hosted Rainy River Saturday, Feb. 4.
The Central Lakes College Raiders hosted Rainy River Saturday, Feb. 4.
The Central Lakes College Raiders hosted Hibbing Friday, Feb. 3.
The Central Lakes College Raiders hosted Gogebic Community College Friday, Feb. 3.