Herald JournalHerald Journal, April 21, 2003

1948 Winsted baseball team ends season with a nailbiter

By Joe Kieser

This is part four of a series of five articles. Watch next week's edition of the Herald Journal for a report on what the players are doing today.

Winsted won the first game of the state amateur baseball tournament by the score of 8-3 over Worthington.

Lloyd Lundeen was in brilliant form as he pitched a two-hitter into the ninth inning. Worthington got its three runs on four hits in the ninth inning.

John Boller pitched in relief and struck out all three batters in the ninth.

On the mound for Worthington were Don Tepel from the U of M and Bib Yankovich, who had three consecutive no-hit games to his credit.

In the fourth inning, Alex Romanchuk was safe on an error, Red Keating doubled and Fred Wallner homered to right, Yankovich pitched in relief but fared no better. Lundeen singled, Ken Norman was safe at first, and Pat Williamson singled to score two more runs.

The team was off and running with Lundeen mowing down the opposition. With 12 hits and only one error, they had played a masterful game.

The game did not get any easier as they played a heart stopper against Shakopee. Shakopee had four early runs and Winsted was hitless into the fifth inning off the famous Cooney.

Boller and Hendrickson were wild, but they kept Winsted in the game. Superb fielding by Winsted kept everyone on the edge of their seats.

Winsted tied the score in the sixth on some timely hitting. Williamson walked, Romanchuk singled, Keating doubled, and Norman singled.

All these heroics were still not enough, because Shakopee moved ahead when they scored in the seventh. Winsted went into the bottom of the ninth down by one run.

The decision by Cooney to pitch to Wallner was probably the turning point for Winsted. He just looked up as the long home run to left field tied the score.

Again, it would take extra innings to decide this game.

The bottom of the 10th started with Hasse's double, and he went to third on Bob Hendrickson's ground out. Williamson did not have a hit all day, but he doubled to score Hasse.

The final score was 5-4, and they carried Williamson off the field. The highly favored Shakopee team was beaten, and their fans stood in disbelief.

Is it possible that the home town boys had one more good game in them? Boller and Hendrickon had 14 strike outs and Winsted made all of their eight hits count.

Pitching for the second time in the tournament against Belle Plaine was Lundeen. Belle Plaine scored three in the second, and Winsted one to start the uphill battle again.

Lefty Johnson was pitching well, but somehow, Winsted scored four to take the lead. Wallner and Lundeen hit back-to-back homers and Norman missed the third in a row by a couple of feet.

Pederson relieved Johnson and pitched scoreless ball into the eighth. The eyes of Cy Seymour and Bill Hasse again coaxed out two walks.

Romanchuk singled and the score increased by one. Donovan, a southpaw, relieved Peterson but the damage had been done. Winsted won 6-4 and the Class A trophy belonged to them.

Lundeen again struck out 16 batters and Winsted had 14 hits. The AA champs Albert Lea was next on the list.

Winsted got off to a good start against the AA champs. They were leading 5-4 going into the sixth inning.

Albert Lea scored six runs in the sixth to go ahead for good. Winsted gave a great effort in the ninth, but ended up losing 11-9.

Romanchuk, Boller, and Hendrickson did the pitching. Winsted out-hit Albert Lea 12-11.

The season ended with a 35-5 record.

Winsted also played in the tournament in 1935 and 1949, where they were third, and 1950, where they were second in the tournament.

The all-time attendance in the tournaments of 34,280 in 1948, and 35,318 in 1950 still stands today.

There were many individual stars, but the trophy was presented to Seymour, Herman Peschken, and the great team effort.

After the season, there was a letter from Congress, dinner invitations, and congratulations from the local community.

The chicken dinner given by the Winsted Civic & Commerce was well attended. The tables in the Holy Trinity basement were arranged in the shape of a ball diamond.

Dr A. A. Kasper and Harry Moore gave interesting talks on the year's ball club.

Seymour had molded this team into one of the best ever from this area.

For nastalgia, next Sunday afternoon walk out on the old ball field at 1 p.m. You will still be able to feel the passion these men had for the game of baseball!

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