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Laker baseball still undefeated

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sports Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

It's a Detroit Lakes baseball world and everyone is just living in it.

The Lakers have been experiencing the best of both worlds this season by improving and gaining experience while winning all of their games.

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DL upped its record to 9-0 Thursday in Perham -- what was originally scheduled to be a home doubleheader but moved to Perham because of the condition of Washington Ballpark --and found out its pitching staff is a bit better and deeper than it was before the games.

So far this season, six of DL's seven victories came from either seniors Chris Gilson or Doug Dickey, but Thursday, a trio of Lakers threw their hats in the pitching rotation.

Senior Jon Tolbert, Brock Johnson and Reed Oistad all aided DL's sweep over Perham by the scores of 7-2 and 6-5 in eight innings.

Despite entering the season with basically only two returning starters, the Lakers have persevered through the season with strong pitching, timely hits and solid defense.

As the wins rack up, so does the team's experience.

And every new experience the Lakers have had is a lesson learned; in game two versus Perham, it was battling back from a deficit.

"The number one I've been seeing is the intensity and competitiveness by the players," said DL head coach Steve Fuhs. "After falling down 4-0 in the second game, I was happy to see the guys' mental toughness. And all of these situations are new to these guys and we've had different guys stepping up each time."

In game two, it was Aaron Gnoisky's turn to take his turn in the limelight.

After rallying back from a 4-0 hole and tying the game in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings, Gnoisky delivered a game-winning walk-off single to send Perham down to the broom.

First baseman Max Bentley started the festivities off by getting hit by a pitch. A one-out walk to Brandon Johnson set up Gnoisky -- who was hitting in the nine slot.

Gnoisky ripped a fastball hard over the left fielder's head, easily allowing Bentley to score from second base and end the game with a 6-5 DL win.

Throughout the day, the Lakers' bottom of the order stepped up, gaining timely hits to score crucial runs.

"Our guys executed a lot of plays," Fuhs said. "Perham made some errors in the second game and we didn't."

Sophomore Brock Johnson started the game, struggled early but settled down after two shaky innings in which the Yellowjackets built a 4-0 margin.

Johnson walked two batters, hit two, while DL had three errors in the second frame alone. But the sophomore pitcher recovered, pitching four scoreless innings by giving up just two singles, before Oistad relieved him in the seventh to grab the victory.

"Brock was tentative early, but he proved he can pitch on the varsity level," Fuhs said.

The Lakers added some fire to their bellies with a three-run third inning, as Oistad, Nick Polejewski and Dickey each gained consecutive RBIs, after Tolbert and Gnoisky both walked to lead off the inning.

"That really fired the guys up after they came out a bit flat," Fuhs said of the third frame.

Dickey gained the big two-RBI hit in the seventh to score Polejewski and Gnoisky and tie the game, with Perham committing one error in the inning to help DL's cause.

Gnoisky and Oistad each had two hits to key DL's eight-hit attack. Perham finished with seven hits and was led by Mac Stoll, who went 2-4 with an RBI.

The doubleheader started off with Tolbert on the mound for the Lakers, and the off-speed hurler kept the Perham batters off balance for much of the game.

Tolbert allowed eight hits and let the Yellowjackets' only two runs come in the sixth inning. Oistad came in for the save in the final 1.1 innings of play.

"Jon challenged the hitters and kept his pitches down," Fuhs said. "Our defense made the plays and had zero errors."

The Lakers blasted the cap off the game with a five-run sixth to expand on a 3-2 lead.

DL put together four hits, including an RBI double by Brock Johnson and a run-scoring single by Dickey. Bentley finished the rally off with a two-run single.

"Again, the bottom of the order got hits," Fuhs said of Brock Johnson's 2-3 game and Gnoisky's 2-2 performance.

Dickey finished the game with two hits and three RBIs.

The 9-0 start is one of the best in the last decade for the Lakers, Fuhs said.

"It's a fantastic start and it's building confidence," the DL coach added. "Hopefully we can keep on improving."

The Lakers are also 8-0 in the Mid-State Conference and 7-0 in Section 8-2A play, giving them a big boost for playoff seeding.

DL will try and stay undefeated both overall and in the conference Tuesday when they travel to Pequot Lakes for a doubleheader, starting at 4 p.m.

Laker stats

Detroit Lakes at Perham, Thursday, May 1.

Y-Jackets 000 002 0 - 2 8 2

Lakers 000 124 x - 7 11 0

Detroit Lakes

AB R H Bi

R. Oistad 4 1 1 0

N. Polejewski 3 1 1 0

D. Dickey 4 1 2 3

C. Gilson 3 0 1 1

M. Bentley 2 1 1 1

M. Knoll 0 0 0 0

Bra. Johnson 2 1 1 0

K. Fode 3 0 0 0

Bro. Johnson 3 0 2 1

A. Gnoisky 2 2 2 1

Totals 26 7 11 7

2B: Polejewski, Brock Johnson.

Perham

AB R H Bi

S. Miller 4 0 1 0

B. Omberg 3 0 0 0

M. Hendrickson 3 0 2 0

N. Stoll 4 0 0 0

A. Ruther 3 0 1 0

N. Schmitz 3 0 1 0

B. Bruhn 3 1 1 0

B. Greenwood 3 1 1 0

J. Lahr 3 0 1 0

Totals 29 2 8 0

2B: Hendrickson.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL - J. Tolbert (WP, 1-0) 5.2-7-2-2-2-4; R. Oistad (SV) 1.1-0-0-0-0-1.

Y-Jackets 220 000 10 - 5 7 2

Lakers 003 000 21 - 6 8 0

Detroit Lakes

AB R H Bi

Oistad 4 1 2 1

Polejewski 3 1 1 0

Dickey 4 0 1 1

Gilson 4 0 0 0

Bentley 3 1 1 0

Bro. Johnson 4 0 0 0

Fode 2 0 0 0

Bra. Johnson 2 0 1 0

N. Berg 2 1 0 0

Tolbert 1 0 0 0

Gnoisky 2 2 2 1

Totals 31 6 8 3

Perham

AB R H Bi

Miller 5 1 1 0

Omberg 3 1 0 0

Hendrickson 4 1 1 0

Stoll 4 0 2 1

Ruther 4 0 1 0

Meyer 4 0 1 0

Schmitz 4 0 0 0

Bruhn 3 1 0 0

Greenwood 3 1 1 0

Totals 34 5 7 1

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL - Brock Johnson 6-5-4-2-3-3; Oistad (WP, 1-0) 2-0-0-0-3-0.

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