Legion Baseball: Woodbury, East Ridge compete in Gopher Classic
It may be the end of July, but the East Ridge and Woodbury legion baseball teams are preparing for the most important weeks of their seasons.
The two teams are getting ready for the weekend of July 27-29 when the district playoffs begin and the chance to play at state is on the line.
Woodbury and East Ridge prepared for that weekend this past weekend in the Gopher Classic, which is a large tournament based in 16 different sites across the state of Minnesota.
Each team plays five games and the best teams from each site compete for a chance to win the Gopher Classic. Both Woodbury and East Ridge failed to advance to the playoffs with the 16 teams, but they both grew as a team and learned from one another.
"I'm so proud of this team and how these guys grew as a team," said Josh Sharp, Woodbury legion head coach. "I just hope this type of play continues this week and heading into district playoffs in a couple weeks."
Woodbury came out of the Gopher Classic with a 2-3 record. Sharp said the team was close to pulling out a couple of games, but Woodbury faced some tough competition from a handful of teams in Minnesota.
Sharp was happy with his pitching staff and how they handled themselves on the mound. He said that he feels comfortable putting in any pitcher in the future because of this tournament.
East Ridge, on the other hand, finished with a 1-4 record and was a part of a couple games with walk-offs. One favored East Ridge, while the other was in favor of Elk River.
Head coach Aaron Rau said he likes to see those opportunities when the games are close and it takes a fight to earn the win. He knows these types of games will come in the playoffs and wants his team to be prepared for anything that comes their way.
"This upcoming week is very important to come into districts with wins and momentum," Rau said. "We need to be ready for anything that comes our way."
The two teams will continue to play the regular season this week and the teams will meet for seeding for the district playoffs on Monday, July 23.
Then, the teams will play on the weekend of July 27-29 for the district playoffs. If the teams do well during districts, they will play at the state tournament in early August.