A season of phenomenal progress concluded recently for the Syracuse American Legion Juniors team as the Rockets competed at the Class C State Tournament at St. Paul.
Although Syracuse didn’t come away with a win in games against Creighton and Pender, the Rockets were competitive in both contests.
Going into the season, Coach Mark Bayliss had said the young Rocket squad was simply looking to learn and progress this year. For that journey to end with an area tournament championship and bid to the state tournament illustrates how far the team has come in a short period of time.
“I was proud of the way they battled all year,” said Bayliss. “They were playing the best they could at districts.”
Through all of the challenges of the year, Coach Bayliss said the team did a great job of sticking with the learning process while believing they would see results and competing as hard as they could.

Creighton 6, Rockets 0
A pitching change took starting hurdler Jake Gorton off the mound with the score at 1-0 in the sixth frame and Creighton was able to take advantage with a few hits and a few Rocket defensive errors to score five runs and win in opening round action of the state tournament.
Coach Bayliss said his team was right in the game the whole way but needed just one more hit on offense.
“We had chances to score but we just couldn’t get a hit when we needed to,” Coach Bayliss said.
Max Brammier had two hits to lead the Syracuse offense while Kelson Driever and Sam Goering had a hit each.

Pender 17, Rockets 8
Syracuse jumped out for six runs of early offense and led the game at 6-3 at one point and 7-6 going into the fourth frame, but Pender kept charging and wound up eliminating Syracuse from the state tournament.
Sam Goering was the starter on the mound and was pitching well but had to leave the game due to arm soreness.
Coach Bayliss said Max Brammier came in and pitched well but Pender got its offense cranked up and the Rocket defense made a few critical errors.