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Laker second baseman Nick Groth makes a routine throw to first base Thursday against Hawley. BRIAN BASHAM/RECORD

Baseball: Johnson ignites rally in Laker win

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Baseball: Johnson ignites rally in Laker win
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

When senior Reed Johnson took to the mound Thursday in relief of starter A.J. Matter, it was the first time in extended action for the Laker, who has missed the front part of the season due to an injury.         

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But Johnson made his presence felt in two important facets of the game — pitching and hitting.

Not only did Johnson pitch four scoreless innings against the visiting Hawley Nuggets in DL’s 10-4 victory, but he ignited a seven-run fifth inning with a two-run single.

“Reed hasn’t played all that much, but his curve was good enough and he used it to pitch strikes,” said DL head coach Steve Fuhs.

“He really stepped it up at the plate and helped the team get on a roll.”

Trailing 4-2, Nick Groth started the big rally in the fifth with a one-out single. He was followed up by a fence ringing double from senior catcher Kirk McLeod, with clean-up hitter Austin Eiter drawing a walk.

Johnson pelted a fastball to left field, easily scoring both Groth and McLeod, as DL used a couple of errors to score seven runs and a 9-4 advantage.

Johnson picked up the win in relief after throwing four innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two.

DL had only six hits, but also used six errors by Hawley.

Richie Grossman had a good bat Thursday as well, going 2-3 with two RBIs, while Groth was 2-4 with two runs scored.

The Lakers had only one error in the game, which has been a fortunate trend for the team, as they have built an 11-2 record.

This week will be crucial in Section 8-2A seeding and the decision for the Mid-State Conference title.

The Lakers host Park Rapids (11-2) Tuesday in a Mid-State doubleheader. If DL can manage a sweep, they will win the conference outright, but a split could result in up to a four-way tie.

Currently, the Lakers hold the top seed in the section, but have games at Bemidji Monday, against Park Rapids Tuesday, and at Thief River Falls Thursday.

Laker results - Hawley at Detroit Lakes, Thursday, May 16

Haw    013 000 0 – 4 6 6

DL      200 071 x – 10 6 1

Detroit Lakes

                        AB    R      H      Bi T. Magnuson    3      1      0      1

N. Groth           4      2      2      1

K. McLeod        3      1      1      0

A. Eiter             2      2      0      0

A. Matter          2      0      0      0

R. Johnson       1      1      1      2

R. Grossman    3      1      2      2

R. Cihak           2      1      0      0

S. Voz              1      0      0      0

J. Lyngaas        2      1      0      0

B. Thompson   0      0      0      0

B. Dahring        3      0      0      0

T. Gebhart        1      0      0      0

Totals               27   10   6      6

2B: McLeod

Hawley

                        AB    R      H      Bi

H. Lawson        4      0      0      0

C. Clute            3      1      2      0

J. Harms           4      1      2      1

J. Johnson        4      0      0      0

P. Hanson        4      0      0      0

J. Schenck       2      1      1      1

R. Boedigheimer 2   0      0      0

C. Crabtree      3      1      1      0

D. Thompson   1      0      0      0

Totals               27   4      6      2

2B: Clute

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL – A. Matter 3-5-4-3-2-3; R. Johnson (WP) 4-1-0-0-1-2

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Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN. 
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