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Lakers wrap up regular season play
by Andrea Rachel
It was a tough week of baseball for the Maple Lake Lakers as they competed in three non-league games and wrapped up the regular season. They managed to get one victory against the Soderville Outlaws, but the squad took two losses, one against a hard hitting Coon Rapids team and the other to St. Louis Park.
Maple Lake vs. Coon Rapids
Maple Lake hosted the Coon Rapids Redbirds, another Class B team that won the Metro Minny League, on Wednesday, July 23.
Ryan Klingelhofer took the mound to start the game, and after a lead-off single, a sacrifice bunt, and a hit, the Redbirds managed to score one run. Then in the bottom of the first, things were looking good as Nate Johnson led off with a single. Marcus Zahn advanced N. Johnson with a sacrifice bunt, but then two straight outs left the runner stranded.
A lead-off home run in the top of the second gave the Redbirds a 2-0 lead. After getting three straight outs, the Lakers stepped to the plate and loaded the bases up but a fielders choice and double play ended the rally.
The Redbirds scored an additional run in the top of the third, and three straight outs in the bottom half of the inning left the game at 0-3, in favor of Coon Rapids.
Neither Maple Lake nor Coon Rapids produced any runs in the fourth inning. Then in the top of the fourth Chad Raiche came in to relieve Klingelhofer from the pitching duties. He gave up a single to start the inning, but with the help of his defense, including a double play, got out of the inning unharmed. However, Maple Lake went three-up and three-down in the bottom half of the inning.
Raiche and the Lakers' defense held the Redbirds scoreless in the top of the sixth. Zahn led the bottom of the sixth off with a single, and Keith Jerpseth also reached on a single, but two straight outs left the runners stranded on first and second.
The seventh inning left both of the teams scoreless, and then in the top of the eighth, Ben Jungers came in and relieved Raiche from the mound. With the help of his defense, he managed to put the Redbirds down one, two, three. Maple Lake scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the eighth as Zahn, who reached on a walk, was advanced to second on a single by Raiche and later crossed home plate on a single off the bat of Jerpseth. Raiche and Jerpseth both advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch but a strikeout left both runners stranded.
The Lakers gave themselves a chance as they held the Redbirds scoreless in the top of the ninth, but with the score at 3-1 they couldn't come up with any hits in the bottom of the ninth and they took the loss.
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