Baseball: Lakers fall in extra-inning baseball thriller against Bemidji
“Baseball is oftentimes a game of inches and bad hops. Today it impacted the outcome of the game. That's baseball,” said Laker Head Coach Terry Eiter.
DETROIT LAKES — They didn’t come out on top, but it was one of the most thrilling games so far this season for the Detroit Lakes varsity baseball team Friday, as they fell to the Bemidji Lumberjacks 5-3 in extra innings at Washington Park in Detroit Lakes.
It was a pure battle of pitching and defense for the Lakers against Bemidji as Brock Okeson faced off in a brilliant pitching matchup with Lumberjack hurler Hunter Brodina.
The game was a 0-0 stalemate until the bottom of the fourth inning when Mason Omberg drew a two-out walk. Hunter Korth ripped a single to right field the next at bat, and they both advanced a base on a Brodina wild pitch. A Bemidji fielding error off the bat of Josh Mack would score Omberg before Connor Beswick grounded out to end the inning.
After a scoreless top of the fifth, the Lakers would punch in their second run of the game with a two out single off the bat of Jacob Thomas. Grady Kirchner would score to give DL a 2-0 lead.
Bemidji fought back in the top of the sixth with a two-out, two-run rally. After Lumberjack Cam Justice reached on a walk and advanced on a wild pitch, two extremely costly back-to-back DL fielding errors off the bats of Ethan Biehn and Dylan Waukazo would be enough for Bemidji to tie the game 2-2.
After a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth for Hunter Brodina, Bemidji came up with another two-out rally in the top of the seventh. Brodina roped a single into right field and Cam Justice followed that up with a deep single over right fielder Josh Mack’s head to move Brodina to third.
Ty Lundeen would give Bemidji the 3-2 lead with an RBI single that just skimmed past the diving glove of Laker third baseman Jacob Thomas. Noah Rieber came into the game to relieve Okeson and pick up the final out with a strikeout.
The Lakers answered back in the bottom of the seventh. Connor Beswick led off the inning with a bloop single to right field. Cade Jackson singled to right the next at bat and Noah Rieber drew a walk, loading the bases with no outs. Grady Kirchner would tie the game with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring utility runner Josh Goodspeed and setting the Lakers up with the winning run on second with one out.
Jacob Thomas drew a walk, loading the bases and bringing up cleanup hitter Brock Okeson. The Lakers decided to get aggressive and go for the win and attempted a sacrifice squeeze, but the pitch was high and outside and Okeson was unable to make contact, leaving runner Cade Jackson stuck in a pickle he wasn’t able to escape.
Okeson would re-load the bases on the next pitch after it struck him, bringing up Mason Omberg with two outs and the bases loaded. But an Omberg groundout ended the inning and extended the game into extra’s tied 3-3.
A walk and a fielding error put two on for Bemidji in the top of the eighth with two outs. Lumberjack Ben Corradi would get a lucky bounce on a ball he ripped toward second base, which scored Will Zellman and Ryan Loewe to give Bemidji a 5-3 lead.
Corradi picked up the save in the bottom of the eighth with a 1-2-3 inning to give the Lumberjacks the 5-3 victory.
Okeson finished the game with three runs allowed on 6.2 innings pitched and two strikeouts for the Lakers. Brodina finished with three runs allowed on 6.2 innings pitched and four strikeouts for Bemidji.
“Baseball is oftentimes a game of inches and bad hops. Today it impacted the outcome of the game. That's baseball,” said Laker Head Coach Terry Eiter. “Pitching was outstanding on both sides today. Our outfielders were playing the wind perfectly and we had some spectacular plays on the infield, the errors were just untimely and cost us big. Brock and Noah deserved a better outcome. We need to find a way to manufacture more runs, especially in tight games like today. We will learn from this and get better.”
The Lakers will travel to Aitken next Tuesday to take on the Gobblers in a double header.
BEMIDJI- 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 2- 5
DETROIT LAKES- 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0- 3
DETROIT LAKES PITCHING- Brock Okeson: 6IP, 2K, 7H, 3R, 1ER, 1BB; Noah Rieber: 1.1IP, 2K, 2R, 0ER, 1BB
DETROIT LAKES HITTING- Noah Rieber: 0-3, BB; Grady Kirchner: 1-2, R, RBI; Jacob Thomas: 1-3, RBI, BB; Brock Okeson: 0-2, BB; Mason Omberg: 0-3, R, BB; Hunter Korth: 1-4; Joshua Mack: 0-3; Connor Beswick: 1-4, R; Cade Jackson: 1-3; Noah Besser: 0-1