Faribaut Lakers Split with St. Patrick on Special Day at Home
The Faribault Lakers won 6-0 in the Alumni Recognition game and dropped a 3-2 ten inning thriller to the St. Patrick Irish in the second contest at Bell Field Sunday. Laker ace Matt Lane suffered an injury in the top of the tenth and couldn't continue pitching. Between games a ball sign was placed on the press box to honor former KDHL Sportscaster Mike Morrissey.
Jack Helgeson pitched very well in the Laker shutout in game one and was one of our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Lakers of the game courtesy of Jason Krohn and Tony Langerud. In addition the top two hitters in the order, Blake Langerud and Mitch Johnson scored 4 of the team's six runs and were our other players of the game. Langerud is coming back from a injury and did not play most of the second game. He did pinch hit but was retired.
In game one Langerud led the order and was on base 4 of the 5 times up and Mitch Johnson followed by getting on base 3 of the 4 times he was up to bat. Langerud stole a base and the Lakers have missed that at the top of the order much of this season.
Helgeson scattered 7 hits while going the distance for Faribault. He threw 121 pitches 88 for strikes with 7 strikeouts and 1 walk. There were only two innings in the game when St. Patrick didn't have a hit, but Helgeson didn't allow multiple hits in any inning.
The Lakers came out of the gate with a walk, hit batsman and walk to load the bases with cleanup hitter Matt Lane stepping to the plant. Lane stroked a 1-1 pitch to the shortstop hole and the shortstop literally booted the ball into left field as it hit his shoe as he was reaching down to make the grab. Two runs scored on the play. Following a strikeout Porter Sartor was walked to place runners at first and second. Austin Rendler hit a grounder to third base and Lane did not run into the tag right away. Instead he back pedaled allowing Grote to score from third and was tagged out for the second out. The inning ended with a strikeout.
In the third inning with one out number nine hitter Adam Kline had a single to center, Langerud singled and Mitch Johnson doubled scoring Kline. Typically Langerud would have scored but stopped at third base. Grote slapped a single to left the first pitch he saw scoring Langerud and placing Johnson at third base. Lane lifted a high deep fly ball to right field to score Johnson and the Lakers were up 6-0.
Former Lakeville North pitcher Colin Denk took the loss after pitching the first seven innings. He allowed 7 hits, 5 of the 6 runs were earned, struck out 5 and walked 3. Veteran Bill Dunker pitched the final 3 innings and scattered 3 hits while not walking or strikeout out anybody. Denk threw 98 pitches 66 were strikes and Dunker tossed 39 pitches with 26 strikes.
The only Irish players with multiple hits were catcher Wayne Pexa and third baseman Ryan Friedges.
In game two Faribault was the visiting team and scored in the first inning when Jack Helgeson started the contest with a single, Mitch Johnson walked and Matt Lane ended up getting an RBI but only the one run scored.
Errors reared their ugly head again for the Lakers allowing St. Patrick to score a couple runs in the bottom of the second. The Lakers tied the game in the top of the sixth when Lane took off with two outs on a delayed steal and Johnson scored from third. Lane again executed the play beautifully not allowing himself to get tagged until after the run scored.
Faribault had Derek Ritter lead off the 9th inning with a single and sent Ryan Archambault to the plate to pinch hit for Jake Stocker. Everyone in the press box thought a bunt was in order because the Lakers have been having so much trouble scoring runs, but he was not asked to bunt and was struck out. Dylan Valentyn stepped to the plate and during his at bat Ritter tried to steal second and was thrown out. Valentyn was retired to end their half of the ninth.
The Irish walked off in the bottom of the tenth after a lead-off walk was issued to Will Walsh. Kevin Pexa went in to run. He was sacrificed to second base and scored on a hit by Jack Friedges.
Josh Simon of New Prague got the win for the Irish. He threw the final four innings and allowed just one hit while striking out 4. He threw 43 pitches and 33 were strikes. Right handed pitcher Zach Seurer of Lakeville went the first 6 innings and allowed 2 earned runs while giving up 4 hits. He walked 3 and struck out 3.
Lane went the first 8 innings and allowed 4 hits. He struck out 12 and walked nobody. Tyler Francis came in relief after Lane's injury and had to be warmed up quickly before entering the game. Francis took the loss while going the final inning and two-thirds, walked a batter and allowed the one hit.
Friday Faribault hosts Union Hill at 7:30 p.m.
About 12 Laker alumni were in attendance and recognized during the game. We had Charlie Madson, Greg Krinke, David Morrissey, Nort Johnson, Mike Carpentier and Chris Reuvers join us on our broadcast and it was fun hearing about their years as members of the Faribault Lakers.
When asked about memories the reflections were more about the people they shared time with in the dugouts and on the field than a game or specific play.
During the Mike Morrissey ball sign dedication his son David did a great job saying how his Dad would have, "enjoyed the honor, told a funny story and gotten emotional." David and his four year old son Sawyer (soon to be five) did the honors lifting the black and white cover and revealing the ball which is near the east side entrance into the press box.
Chris Reuvers also spoke about the inspiration Mike was to him in pursuing a career in radio.
There was a terrific crowd at Bell Field and all seemed to enjoy the day. Well over 100 hamburgers and hot dogs were sold.