No. 2 Lakers trample No. 1 Warroad to advance in Section playoffs
FERGUS FALLS -- Eight runs were definitely a key in the Detroit Lakes baseball team's 8-1 Section 8-2A third-round win over the North's No. 1 seeded Warroad, but it was what didn't happen in the fourth inning which put the Lakers over the hump.
What didn't happen was Warroad scoring a run in the fourth, despite having the bases loaded with no outs and DL cling-ing to a 3-0 lead.
"That right there was what probably won us the game," said DL head coach Steve Fuhs of the huge missed opportunity by the Warriors.
Behind one of DL jun-ior lefty Ben Lindquist's best game of his career and a 3-4 day by senior third baseman Tyler Fode, the No. 2 Lakers advanced to the section semifinals in Fergus Falls today, which will be played at 6 p.m. this evening.
Under some drizzly conditions, it was impor-tant to put the ball in play to force the defense to make plays in the slick conditions.
The Lakers did just that by being aggressive at the plate, while Warroad made two crucial errors to give Lindquist enough of a cushion to limit the potent Warrior offense to just five hits.
"First of all, I just wanted to pitch strikes and keep the ball low," Lindquist said. "It was huge to also get out of the fourth inning with no runs, because that really built up my confidence."
After the Lakers scored three runs in the top of the fourth, helped by a War-road error and a big pinch-hit RBI single up the mid-dle by junior Logan Baker -- which broke the ice on the scoreboard -- Warroad looked to have the answer in the bottom half of the frame.
Senior Brett Hebel started by lining a leadoff single to centerfield, which was followed by a pair of walks by Lindquist to load the bases with no outs on the board.
But Lindquist main-tained his composure, striking out Joel Lam-brides and forcing a harm-less infield pop fly to sec-ond baseman Brett Provo.
Lindquist slammed the door on a third-called strike on Alan Peterson to end the threat.
"Ben just had some great stuff today," Fuhs said. "He was throwing three pitches for strikes and had the batters off balanced."
Warroad didn't pose a threat from there on out, until they scored their lone run in the bottom of the seventh on a Lindquist error and Hebel RBI -- but the damage was already done as DL led 8-0 by then.
Lindquist finished striking out eight, walk-ing four and limited only two Warroad runners to advance past second base.
"I have to tip my hat to the defense, they made the plays," Lindquist said. "My slider was also domi-nating today. I still threw my fastball, but that was setting up my slider."
Back-to-back two-out, two-run hits by seniors Brock Johnson and Fode sealed the win for the Lakers in a five-run sixth, which put them in firm control 8-0.
With bases loaded, Johnson whacked a single over the shortstop's head, scoring both Provo and Danny Engberg.
Fode made sure War-road freshman pitcher Alan Peterson didn't have time to think about, crushing a pitch through the left-centerfield gap to plate each of senior first baseman T.J. Manning and Johnson.
"(Peterson) was throw-ing me a lot of fastballs and very few curves and I was just on his fastball," Fode said of his three hits and two RBIs in the game. "I was just looking to make contact with the ball (in the sixth inning) and hit a gap, which I ended up doing."
Fuhs was not surprised seeing his two seniors come up with DL's biggest hits of the game.
"That's what seniors need to do and usually it's our seniors who come up with the big hit," Fuhs said.
The Lakers will face the winner of the Staples-Motley and Fergus Falls game, with the semifinal tilt to be played at 6 p.m. tonight.
The winner of tonight's game will have to lose twice in the finals, which will be played in Fergus Falls Thursday, starting at 2:30 p.m. and Friday at 3 p.m. if necessary.
Section 8-2A playoffs: (2) Detroit Lakes vs. (1) War-road in Fergus Falls, Tues-day, June 8.
Lakers 000 305 0 - 8 8 1
Warriors 000 000 1 - 1 5 2
AB R H Bi
B. Provo 4 1 0 0
D. Engberg 4 1 1 0
C. McLeod 2 0 0 0
T. Manning 2 1 1 0
B. Johnson 3 1 1 2
T. Fode 4 1 3 2
A. Pederson 3 1 0 0
J. Thompson 4 1 1 0
B. Labat 1 0 0 0
L. Baker 1 1 1 1
Totals 28 8 8 5
AB R H Bi
R. Merriman 4 0 0 0
M. Myrick 4 0 2 0
B. Hebel 3 0 1 1
S. Storey 3 0 1 0
J. Lambrides 2 0 0 0
A. Sandahl 2 0 0 0
A. Peterson 3 0 0 0
D. Thompson 2 1 1 0
Totals 25 1 5 1
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): DL - B. Lindquist (WP) 7-5-1-0-4-8...Warr: A. Peterson (LP) 5.2-8-8-5-9-4; S. Storey .1-0-0-0-0-1; R. Friesner 1-0-0-0-0-0.