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Baseball: Erickson takes part in Legion All-Star game

Clay Erickson of Pequot Lakes had the chance to pitch in the Legion All-Star Prospect Series in August

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Pequot Lakes pitcher Clay Erickson poses next to a poster promoting the Legion All-Star Prospect Series. Contributed

Pequot Lakes sophomore Clay Erickson, from the Nisswa and Crosslake Legion Clubs, was selected to play in the first-ever Legion All-Star Prospect Series in August at Red Haddox Field in Bloomington.

Erickson, son of Matt Erickson and Sara Crabb-Erickson, was nominated by Pequot Lakes High School and Junior Legion baseball coach Jon Kotaska. He was one of 45 players selected across the state to participate in the game, put on by the American Legion Clubs of Minnesota.

“I was pretty nervous,” Erickson said. “I knew I'd be facing a lot of really good kids, but I also kind of went into it thinking it was my chance to shine.”

The series had a total of three All-Star teams, each consisting of 15 players. These players represented the graduating classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024.

Erickson was nominated as a pitcher for the weekend and took the mound for the Gold Team during the first game, where he struck out three batters and allowed just two hits in two innings of work.

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“It was a pretty big step up (in competition),” Erickson said. “I was facing, pretty much, the best people from teams all around the cities and the state. It was definitely a different level of play.”

He also played left field for two innings after pitching. His team finished with a 2-0 record on the weekend.

Erickson said he was grateful his coach nominated him, and hopes to make the trip down to Bloomington next summer as well.

“Around here, it's good baseball, but like down there it's another level,” Erickson said. “It was just good to see how I matched up against that, and I thought I did all right.

“It was just a really fun experience all around. I would definitely do it again if I’m selected.”

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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