District 6 Tournament
At St. Cloud
Wednesday, July 31
Game 1 -- Little Falls vs. Park Rapids/Bemidji loser, 7 p.m., Faber Field
Thursday, Aug. 1
Game 2 -- Sauk Rapids vs. Game 1 winner, 11 a.m., Putz Field
Game 3 -- Cold Spring vs. Waite Park, 11 a.m., Faber Field
Game 4 -- Park Rapids/Bemidji winner vs. St. Cloud 76ers, 1:30 p.m., Putz Field
Game 5 -- Brainerd vs. Albany, 1:30 p.m., Faber Field
Game 6 -- Game 1 loser vs. Game 3 loser, 5 p.m., Putz Field
Game 9 -- Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 5 p.m., Faber Field
Game 10 -- Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7:30 p.m., Faber Field
BYLINE1:By MIKE BIALKA
Lack of commitment by players led to Brainerd's early exit from the 2001 District 6 American Legion baseball tournament.
A lack of dedication hasn't been a problem this summer as Brainerd prepares to compete in the district event Thursday through Sunday at St. Cloud's Dick Putz and Joe Faber fields.
Brainerd has won nine of its last 10 games on its way to a 21-5 record. It opens 1:30 p.m. Thursday against Albany at Faber Field.
"The kids have been good about showing up," Brainerd coach Paul Jenkins said. "Only one or two haven't been there as often as the rest. A solid 14 have been showing up.
"I've been real satisfied with the season. The kids have been real good. They don't argue with the umpires. It's a pretty classy group of kids.'
The group includes catcher Joey Tautges who leads the team with a .432 average and has cracked five doubles.
Designated hitter Brad Gangestad is hitting .423 with five doubles and 14 RBI. Outfielder Chris Klabo is batting .333 and leads the team with 18 RBI.
Other top hitters are first baseman Drew Boland (.373), outfielder Fred Weiss and second baseman Mark Germain (both .333) and outfielder Chad Weiss (.305.)
"We're pretty solid throughout the order," Jenkins said. "Most teams have one kid who can hit third. I feel we have four or five who are good enough to hit there for us."
Brainerd also has depth on the mound. Chad Weiss is 6-0 with a 1.95 ERA, Kevin Mertens is 4-2 with a 2.77 ERA, Boland 4-1 and 2.85 and Aaron Jenkins 1-0 and 1.84 ERA. Chad Weiss or Mertens will start against Albany.
Tautges is 3-0 in nine innings with a 1.56 ERA. Ryan Browning is 1-0 in 12 innings with no earned runs and one walk.
Injury is one of Jenkins' concerns entering the double-elimination event. Klabo, Germain, Boland and Tautges are battling various ailments.
"Klabo's wrist is not real good," Jenkins said. "He will have to have it taped up. Germain is coming off an ankle injury. He's been in and out of the lineup the last few games.
"Boland has had a bad wrist that kept him out of the second game of the doubleheader against Perham (July 25). Tautges has tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. I was counting on him for some relief. He's usually a pretty good stopper to put in at the end of a game. He has real good speed."
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