Amateur Baseball: The Club's comeback falls short, Roseau ends inaugural season
The Detroit Lakes Baseball Club was eliminated from the regional 10C baseball playoffs with a 6-4 loss to the Roseau Royals on Aug. 6. The Club finished its inaugural season with a 3-10 record.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Michael Achterling is a reserve outfielder on the active roster of the Detroit Lakes Baseball Club.
DETROIT LAKES — The Detroit Lakes Baseball Club wrapped up its inaugural season on Saturday following a 6-4 loss to the Roseau Royals in a Region 10C playoff elimination game.
The Royals jumped out to a 5-0 lead through five innings before The Club began its comeback effort by scoring two runs in the bottom of the frame. Singles from Tristan Wimmer and Andrew Kulik did the damage.
The Royals scored an additional run on a single in the top of the seventh inning to go up 6-2, but The Club answered right back, plating two more runs in the bottom of the seventh on Blaine Henderson walk's and an error. Casey Ness crossed home on the error.
However, that's where Detroit Lakes' scoring would end. The Club would bring the tying run to the plate in both the eighth and ninth innings, but couldn't complete the comeback, ending The Club's season on a 6-4 loss and with a 3-10 record.
Detroit Lakes player-manager Brandon Johnson said even though the result wasn't what they were hoping for, everyone seemed to have fun and were very relaxed, which made the game one of the most enjoyable of the season.
"A much more relaxed team can also compete better," he said. "We showed up. We wanted to play nine innings of ball, and have fun, and we did that and had a really good time. We came very close—One pitch away from tying the game up. We could've, easily on that last pitch, hit a home run instead of strike out, and then we're tied instead of losing 6-4 and season done."
Ness led the offense going 2-for-4 with two doubles and run scored. Johnson also contributed at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double, walk and a run scored. Matt Huberty pitched a complete game, throwing144 pitches, 101 for strikes. He allowed six runs, five earned, on 12 hits while striking out four.
Huberty was a former Detroit Lakes amateur player, but hadn't played in the last ten years before this season.
"We eased into it," Johnson said of Huberty's work load. "We went from 11 pitches in one relief appearance, to the next appearance, we did 35 to 40. And then he finishes it up with a 144-pitch gem."
Johnson also praised Huberty for appearing in seven of the team's 13 games this season after being out of baseball for the last decade, including an important win against Erskine.
"He gave himself quite the year," said Johnson. "I was very pleased to get to see him put together a complete game. I would've loved for it to have been a complete game win, but it is what it is."
Looking to next season, Johnson said The Club would be looking to add more games to the schedule next year to give the season more regularity and the players more at-bats. Adding, the team would be open to rejoining the Hi-10 league next year, which could decrease the team's travel time for away games and give fans local match-ups against Perham, New York Mills and Wadena-area ball clubs.
However, he said, The Club still needs to improve during the off-season.
"I think each of (the players) need to do a personal inventory of what we want to get better at before next year and work to improve those," he said. "For me, as a skip, offering opportunities throughout the winter, if guys want them, to go hit and staying involved in the game. I think shoring up the defense for the guys that will be returning is going to be a key for us."
He said he was also realistic that some players may move onto other things during the off-season, and other players are going to want to join The Club next year. He wants to give everyone a chance to show they can make plays and contribute.
"There are a lot of extremely talented baseball players in this community that did not come out this year," said Johnson. "And, if we get some of those guys to come out next year, we will not only again have a great crop of guys, but we will have an improvement in talent."