Gary Giombetti

Hibbing Daily Tribune

HIBBING — The Hibbing American Legion and VFW baseball seasons officially came to an end Sunday with the playing of the Sub-State 10 and District 8, respectfully, all-star games at Al Nyberg Field in Bennett Park.

In the VFW game, the National team, consisting of players from Cherry, Hibbing, Grand Rapids, Virginia and Greenway, defeated the American team 22-0 in six innings.

In the Legion game, the National team consisting of Eveleth, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, International Falls and Virginia lost to the American team by the score of 11-3.

Peyton Forer, Isaac Colbaugh and Jude Sundquist participated from Post 1221, and all three of them helped contribute to the victory.

Forer, who is in his last year of VFW baseball, had two base hits and two RBI, and he also reached on an error to drive home another run.

“It was an honor to play in this game,” Forer said. “I got to play with a good group of guys, nice people. It was a fun game overall. It was nice to end on a good note like this. I did pretty good this season, better than last season. Overall, as a team, we did good.”

To be able to contribute made the game better. Forer threw one inning as well, getting a one, two, three inning with under 10 pitches.

“That felt good,” Forer said. “I was trying to make solid contact, swinging for singles. Pitching was exciting. That was my first game throwing a eephus. It worked out good, so I might have to throw that more next spring and summer.

“(Putting up 22 runs) that was fun. These group of guys, we had a lot of fun.”

Sundquist was hit-by-a-pitch, walked once and had a sacrifice fly.

“It was nice playing with a group of guys that we don’t get to see much, just play against,” Sundquist said. “We bonded. This team hit the ball well, with a lot of extra-base hits.

“It was nice to be able to play, being honored by Tim and Chris (Zubich). That means a lot.”

It was Sundquist’s last year of VFW ball as well.

“Last year, I didn’t get picked, so this was nice playing with these guys,” Sundquist said. “It was good to contribute. More runs would have been nice.”

Colbaugh was also in his last season of VFW baseball. He had a single, two walks and an RBI. He also reached on an error, which drove in a run.

This was his first all-star game appearance.

“This was fun. We had a great time,” Colbaugh said. “We played well today. We hit the ball, and they made some errors. They also gave us a lot of free passes.”

Colbaugh was happy to contribute to the win.

“It felt great,” Colbaugh said. “I started out struggling this year for baseball, varsity and VFW. Later on in varsity, I started hitting better. In VFW, I’ve been improving a lot. I got a lot better. I’ve been hitting the ball harder and better.

“The hit I got felt great because it was the teams’ first hit of the game. That started us off. This was a fun way to end the season.”

In the Legion game, Allison did get one hit, a single, but it wasn’t enough to help the National team to victory.

“At the start, I was a little bit nervous, but once I got that first hit out of the way, I felt good,” Allison said. “It was nice getting that hit right away to get some energy for hte team.

“At the end of the game, I tripped in centerfield, and that was kind of embarrassing. Otherwise, it was fun.”

The Nationals just couldn’t keep up with the way the Americans hit the ball.

“They hit the ball, we made some errors and the floodgates opened,” Allison said. “Even so, it was a good time. I got to meet and know some new people. It was fun.”

Westerberg also enjoyed playing in the game.

“It was fun to play with all of these other kids,” Westerberg said. “Things didn’t go the greatest at the plate for me. I could have done better. I could have worked the count better.”

Westerberg, who will be attending Hibbing Community College and will play baseball there, said this was a good way to finish his Legion career.

“It was a good way to finish my season,” Westerberg said. “Playing with Joe and Noah was good, too.”

Vinopal, who singled in his first plate appearance, also enjoyed playing the game.

“It was fun to play with these guys that I haven’t played with before,” Viinopal said. “They’ve been competitors that I’ve played against. I got a hit, It was a good line drive, then I had a rough strikeout, but all-around, it was fun to play with these other guys. Making plays, that are routine…

“It was a good time to end my baseball for this year. It was great.”

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