Ely’s American Legion baseball team gave a packed house at Veterans Memorial Field plenty to cheer about on Thursday night.
Before an overflow crowd of more than 700 fans and after a stirring opening ceremony that involved all eight teams and dozens of veterans, Post 248 capped the night with a rousing 12-1 rout of Kenyon in the Division II State Tournament quarterfinals.
Starting pitcher Wes Snyder launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the first and went four innings to get the win, combining with Trevor Bernsdorf on a five-inning no-hitter.
Riley Bernsdorf, meanwhile, had the night’s longest hit - a towering two-run homer to left that landed across Eighth Avenue and bounced down White Street.
In all, Ely had 12 hits - five for extra-bases - en route to a surprisingly easy victory.
Being in the visitors’ role may have even been a help to Post 248.
Home teams for state tournament games are predetermined, and Ely was in the first base dugout and hit first despite playing in its own ballpark.
That didn’t seem to deter Post 248, which got first-inning singles from Sean Fisher and Trevor Bernsdorf and took a 2-0 lead on Riley Bernsdorf’s two-run double to right.
Snyder dominated on the mound, and Ely never stopped hitting.
Now 21-8, Ely moves into a Friday night (8 p.m.) semifinal with Luverne. La Crescent meets Eden Valley-Watkins at 5:30 p.m., in the first semifinal. The winners meet for the state title at 2 pm Saturday, and the third-place game is set for 11 am.