Lakers fall to Polecats, defeat Orphans

It was a bitter-sweet week of baseball for the Maple Lake Lakers as they lost in extra innings to Monticello on Wednesday, a team they beat in extra innings earlier in the season. Then, after being rained out on Friday against St. Michael, the Lakers came back on Sunday to defeat Howard Lake, a team they recently lost to in extra innings.

Maple Lake vs. Monticello

Maple Lake hosted the Monticello Polecats on Wednesday, June 25, in what turned out to be a grueling, 11-inning game that ended with the Polecats scoring the game-winning run in the top of the 11th.

Chad Raiche started the game on the mound for the Lakers and he gave up just two runs while scattering nine hits in seven innings of work.

Maple Lake took their first lead, one they would hold until the top of the eighth, in the bottom of the first. Darin Decker led the Laker offense off with a single and Nate Johnson advanced him to second on a sacrifice bunt. But Johnson would also reach on a throwing error by the catcher. So with runners on first and second, Raiche stepped to the plate and ripped a double to score the two runs. Unfortunately, a double play ended any further rally.

The Polecats scored a run in the top of the second on three straight singles, but the Lakers still kept their one-run lead.

In the bottom of the third they gained a two-run lead on the Polecats as Eric Wurm, who reached on a walk, made his way around the basepaths with the help of a sacrifice bunt from D. Decker and a double off the bat of N. Johnson. N. Johnson was close to scoring another run for Maple Lake, but he was thrown out at home while attempting to tag up on a fly ball to center.

Monticello cut the lead back down to one in the top of the fifth as they scored one run on two hits.

The two teams continued to battle back-and-forth and then in the top of the seventh Sam Marsnik came in to relieve Raiche from the pitching duties. He got himself into a bases-loaded jam, but managed to get out of it without any damage done as he picked up a strikeout.

It wasn't until the top of the eighth that the Polecats would score a run to tie the game up at three-all. Maple Lake had their chance to score in the eighth and ninth, but unfortunately, they went three-up and three-down both innings.

In the top of the 10th, Monticello got a one-out single, but Marsnik came up strong with two strikeouts.

The Lakers had their chance to end the game in the bottom of the 10th as they loaded the bases up with no outs, but unfortunately two straight strikeouts and a fly out to left field ended the inning.

Monticello rallied with two outs in the top of the 11th to score what ended up being the game-winning run. In the bottom half of the inning the Lakers got their lead-off man aboard on a walk, but a line-drive to the third baseman caught the runner at first base off too far and Maple Lake was doubled-off. The double play ended any sort of Laker rally and they took the 4-3 loss.

"This was a tough loss for us, espcially since we had our chances throughout the game," said Lakers' Manager Dale Decker.

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