The Lakers combined good pitching and hard hitting to knock off Loretto 8-4 on Friday, May 25, at Irish Stadium. The one-two punch of Jeremy Schmidt and Mitch Wurm combined to hold off one of the league’s top teams. Starting on the mound, Schmidt cruised along for six innings, giving up only an unearned run, limiting the Larks to three hits and a walk. He had two stretches in which he retired six batters in a row. The seventh was his nemesis. Loretto loaded the bases with one out on two hits and a walk before Brandon Scanlon and Ryan Schaust delivered hits that drove in a total of three runs to put the Larks on top 4-3. With two runners on base and two out, Wurm entered the game, giving up a walk before ending the inning with a strikeout. He picked up three more strike-outs while finishing the game and recording his first win of the season. Both teams hit the ball hard on many occasions, but the Lakers out-hit Loretto 15-9.
During the past week the Lakers outscored their opponents 19-0 to win three games, but a historical moment came when Mitch Wurm pitched a road trip no-hitter to beat Buffalo 2-0. With the latest wins, the Lakers improved their North Star record to 5-0, with the only losses coming against non-league opponents Albertville and Kimball. Upcoming games: Wednesday, June 6, Howard Lake (H), 7:30; Friday, June 8, D-C Saints at Dassel, 7:30; Sunday, June 10, at Hutchinson, 2 p.m.; Wednesday, June 13, Maple Plain (H), 7:30. Lakers 7, Atwater Chuckers 0 Jake Frederick made his first start for the Lakers and went seven innings to pick up the win on Sunday, June 3. The young left-hander struck out four and held the Chuckers to three hits. Allowing only two base runners through the first four innings, Jake ran into trouble in the fifth. With two out, he loaded the bases on three straight walks.
On Wednesday, May 30, a bus loaded with 42 very talented athletes were off to compete in the Section meet held at St. John’s. While the season of some athletes came to an end, others will be attending the state meet at Hamline University for placing first or second in their event. The boys’ 4x200 team, consisting of Cody Bakka, Drew Hanson, Forrest Coughlin, and Kevin Salveson, won first place. Coughlin in long jump and Joey Mooney in high jump will also advance to the state meet. “This season was a huge success,” said Head Coach Ben Youngs. “Not just because of all the accomplishments, but also because of the great attitudes of all the athletes,” For the overall team results, the girls’ team placed 11th out of 28 with 25.5 points, and the boys placed third with 65.5 points. At the Section meet, athletes must place in the top eight in prelims to advance to the finals.
The Irish baseball team opened their playoff season with the Becker Bulldogs. It was a good game on both ends but the Irish came out on top, 8-3. On the mound was senior Jake Johnson who went six innings. He allowed two earned runs on four hits and four walks, and also picked up nine strikeouts. Throwing the seventh was senior Brian Redemske who struck out the side. The Irish wasted no time in producing a few runs early, starting with the first inning when junior Donnie Mavencamp hit a single. This was followed with a walk from J. Johnson. Up next was senior Derek Rachel who grounded into a fielder’s choice but reached first base safely. That left runners on the corners for freshman Cal Redemske who roped a ball over the fence for his first career varsity homerun. In the third inning the Irish picked up four more runs, beginning with B. Redemske getting hit with a pitch. Hitting the second homerun of the evening was Mavencamp, also his first career bomb, stretching the lead to 5-1.
It was a wonderful day on Tuesday, May 22. The Irish boys’ golf team traveled to Howard Lake to compete for the Central Minnesota Conference Championship before heading off to Sections. “The weather was really nice. It was the perfect temperature with just a few clouds,” said varsity golfer Josh Hogan. The weather was definitely on the boys’ side as they drove, chipped, and putted their way down the fairway. The boys were very anxious to complete their conference season on such a good note. “It was fun golfing on Friday knowing that it was our last conference meet of the year,” said Hogan. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa and Rockford tied for first place with team scores of 172. Osakis was only two points away in third place with 174. In fourth was Pierz with a score of 180. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted had a team score of 181, which put them in fifth. Maple Lake placed sixth with 185 and Kimball/Eden Valley-Watkins took seventh with a score of 187.
After two tough losses to begin the season, the Maple Lake American Legion baseball team hosted Rockford on Monday, June 18, where they got their first win with a score of 12-2. Maple Lake took the field with Jake Johnson starting on the mound. It was a quick at-bat for Rockford as their lead-off hitter hit a line drive to Maple Lake’s short-stop for an out, followed by two strike-outs. On offense, Maple Lake was able to get things started right away. With one out, Donnie Mavencamp hit a single to reach the bases. Brian Redemske was next with a triple that brought in Mavencamp for the first run of the game. Derek Rachel made a sacrifice out while Jake Johnson and Dusty Strub reached first through errors on Rockford’s shortstop. Bosten Fieldseth was up next and brought in Johnson with a base hit. A strikeout ended the inning and Maple Lake had a 3-run advantage. In the second inning, Rockford struggled to reach the bases as Johnson retired three batters and walked one.
Approaching the league All-Star break, the Lakers advanced their record to 13-4 with a league win over Delano and an exhibition victory over Freeport of the Lakewood League. In a schedule change, the Lakers host the Cokato Kings on Thursday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m. This game had been previously announced for Monday, June 25, at Cokato. Loretto hosts the All-Star game at 7:30 p.m. on June 29. Maple Lake’s representatives for the North Star League All-Star game will be announced at Thursday’s game. Before that, Maple Lake travels to Loretto on Wednesday, June 27, for a 7:30 p.m. game. On Sunday, July 1, the Lakers host the D-C Saints at 2 p.m. Before earning a well-deserved break for the July 4 holidays, the Lakers make up the rained-out game with Delano on Monday, July 2, for a 7:30 p.m. starting time. Lakers 7, Delano A’s 3
The Lakers enter the July 4 break with a record of 11-3 in the league and are in contention for the number-one seed in region play. With this weekend games concluded, the other top teams are Howard Lake at 12-4 and D-C 11-4 after dropping a close one to the Lakers. Maple Lake’s overall record is 15-5. To preserve their top spot, the Lakers needed a win at Delano on July 2, the make-up of a rained out game. Rockford comes to Irish Stadium on Friday, July 6, for a 7:30 p.m. league game before an important contest at Howard Lake on Sunday, July 8, at 2 p.m. The East beat the West 6-4 in the annual North Star League All-Star game held at Loretto on June 29. Luke Fobbe, Jake Frederickson, and Brian Redemske represented the Lakers. The annual Portside Open fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, July 14. The Lakers hope to have a big turnout for this event. Golfers should line up teams and contact Maple Lake manager Chad Raiche as soon as possible to enter.
The Maple Lake American Legion baseball team added another win to their record when they out-scored Buffalo on Monday, June 25, with a final score of 10-4. Buffalo was up to bat with Maple Lake starting in the field. Landon Caughey started on the mound for Maple Lake and retired Buffalo’s first two hitters to start the game. The third batter swung for a base hit followed by another strike-out, which put Maple Lake in the batter’s box. However, they were unable to get anything started as the first three batters were thrown out. Caughey gave up a walk to start the second inning and a wild pitch advanced the runner. With one out, the number six batter earned a base hit that brought in his teammate for the first run of the game. The next hitter was retired and the runner on base was thrown out for the third out. On offense, Maple Lake also started off with a walk drawn by Derek Rachel. A strike-out and ground-out followed, which brought Bosten Fieldseth to the plate.
Every practice, every conference meet, and every invitational of the boys’ season has built them up to be strong enough to take on sections. Each and every swing throughout the entire season prepared the golfers for these two important days. This year sections were held at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker. The weather on day one was pristine golfing weather; partly cloudy, seventy degrees, with no wind whatsoever. “It was the perfect day to be on the course,” said varsity golfer Trevor Borell. This gave the boys a little extra shove to try their hardest. So, they had no way of using the famous “I did bad because of the weather” excuse. Unfortunately, none of the boys made it to day two of the sections competition, but they tried their hardest and had fun on day one, and that’s all that matters. Looking back on their season, the boys took some time to reflect on their flaws.