Four-run fifth gives Otters win at DL

The compacted spring schedule combined with the high school league's mandatory pitch count created a conundrum for Detroit Lakes in their fifth game this week as visiting section rivals Fergus Falls (2-6) used a four-run fifth inning to break ope...

Starting third baseman Jackson Fields, left, and regular catcher Ethan Schweigart had to take the mound for the Lakers due to pitch count this week for the regular starters and the duo led the Lakers at the plate accounting for half of DL's 10 hits in a tough loss to Fergus Falls Friday, May 4. Robert Williams / Tribune

The compacted spring schedule combined with the high school league’s mandatory pitch count created a conundrum for Detroit Lakes in their fifth game this week as visiting section rivals Fergus Falls (2-6) used a four-run fifth inning to break open a tie game and escape Washington Park with only their second victory of the season 9-6 Friday, May 4.

“Guys played well, (we) just didn't have the pitching, not a knock on the guys that threw for us; (Jackson) Fields hasn’t thrown in a year and Ethan (Schweigart) since ninth grade; gotta love that pitch count.”

The Otters chased Fields in the second inning with a run in the first and four in the second to stake a 5-0 lead.

Schweigart threw all six innings of relief and only surrendered runs in the game-changing fifth inning. He escaped two men in scoring position in the fourth with a threat-ending strikeout of Nathan Zierden.

DL evened the game getting the bats going against Otter starter Eric Salvesen in an answering five-run third.


Jackson Haire was hit by pitch to lead off and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Sully Wood. Reed Mace made a close play at first base count for hussle when the throw to get him evaded the first baseman on a tricky hop.


Haire scored after escaping a brief pickle between third and home; Cooper Hermanson doubled to bring Mace home with DL’s second run. Mason Blank followed with a double of his own to score Hermanson and Blank came home on a two-out base ht by Blake Itzen. Schweigart singled and worked around the bases to tie the game on a wild pitch.

While Schweigart had to labor out of a jam in the fourth, Salveson regained the hill with purpose and fanned the side in the home half.

Fergus used a single, a double and a pair of walks to plate four in the fifth for a 9-5 lead.

DL scored once in answer on singles by Blank and Fields with the RBI. However, Salveson struck out the three other Laker batters in the inning to leave the game up 9-6.

He fanned 10 DL batters in five innings on the hill allowing all six runs on seven of DL’s 10 hits.



Schweigart only allowed one base runner in the final two innings, that coming on a strikeout of Logan Wentworth who took first base when the ball went to the backstop on the pitch.

Wood walked and Mace singled with two out in the Laker sixth but reliever Cole Fronning stranded both runners with a strikeout of Hermanson.

Fronning got two quick outs in the seventh on fly balls. Fields reached on a single to center and Itzen hit his second single of the game to bring the tying run to the plate. Fronning struck out Eli Brooks to end the game.

The Lakers outhit Fergus Falls 10-5. The meat of the order: Blank, Schweigart, Fields and Itzen all had at least two hits each. Fields was 3-4 with three singles.

The Otters took advantage of 12 walks. DL left six on base; Fergus stranded eight runners.

As a team, the Lakers are hitting .297 through seven games with an on-base percentage of .432 and are scoring 7.3 runs per game while giving up 6.0.


The week on the mound was a good barometer for the coming schedule when the Lakers will play six games in four days. Schweigart, the starting catcher, proved he can handle emergency duties on the rubber, along with cleanup duties in the batting order.

“The plan was to show them nothing as to our pitching capabilities,” said Bommersbach. “I think we saw one of their better pitchers. He threw hard and we hit him. I love the effort and the no give up attitude; it's fun to coach a team like this.”

The Lakers (4-3) have a pair of Mid-State Conference doubleheaders in the coming week Tuesday, May 8 at Aitkin (3-2) and home versus Staples-Motley (1-4) Thursday, May 10 before two games on Friday, May 11 with section rivals Little Falls (2-3) and former section rivals Thief River Falls (4-5) the next day. The Prowlers ended DL’s season last year at sections before dropping to Class AA this season.


FF 140 050 0 - 9  5 2

DL 005 010 0 - 6 10 2

WP: Eric Salveson; LP: Ethan Schweigart; S: Cole Fronning

Robert Williams has been a sports editor for Forum Communications in Perham and Detroit Lakes since 2011.
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