Third baseman Mike Stalboerger tags out Robert Peterson, a draftee for Pipestone who picked up the pitching win against the Lakers.
Trailing 3-1 entering the sixth, the Lakers walked four Redbird batters, hit another one, and committed three errors in the inning. Luverne had only four hits in the frame, including two infield singles, but sent 13 batters to the plate and had nine circle the bases.
Errors and walks plagued the Lakers in the first state tournament appearance in 25 years. Of Luverne's 12 runs, only three reached base on hits. Five of the six walks issued by the Lakers came around to score. The Lakers also hit two batters with pitches and both scored.
A week ago, the Lakers swept three games in the regional tournament while committing only one error. On Sunday, the Lakers committed seven errors, leading to seven unearned runs for Luverne.
The Lakers took an early lead, to the delight of their boisterous fans packed into the grandstand. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Ryan Wuertz doubled to left and scored on Sam Rothstein's single up the middle.
Jake Thelen, a draftee catcher from St. Martin, waits for the ball, but the Luverne runner scores behind him.
Rothstein, a draftee from St. Martin, started pitching for the Lakers. He threw five innings and struck out six. He allowed five hits and five runs, but only three were earned.
After Luverne scored two runs in the top of the second to take a 2-1 lead, the Lakers threatened in the bottom of the second. Jake Thelen, a draftee catcher from St. Martin, and Jeff Olmscheid led off the inning with singles. Doug Fuchs laid down a good bunt, but the Redbirds starting pitcher, Robert Peterson, a draftee from Pipestone, fielded it quickly and fired to third to force out the lead runner.
Jon Lieser then hit a rope towards the hole, but the Luverne shortstop caught it just off the ground and threw to second to complete the double play.
After that, Peterson retired all nine batters the second time through the Lakers' lineup. The Lakers had four hits for the game, and all four were in the first two innings.
The Redbirds demonstrated good team speed on the base paths and in the field. In the fifth, their first baseman made a nice over-the-shoulder catch on Olmscheid's pop fly to rob him of a hit. Fuchs followed with a drive to left that died against the wind, which was blowing in, and the Redbird's left fielder caught it on the warning track.
The Lakers made some nice defensive plays themselves. In the second, they cut off a relay throw and caught Peterson in a run down after his RBI double. He was tagged out. In the third, Thelen threw out Luverne's lead-off hitter trying to steal.
In the fifth, with runners on first and second, Thelen caught the runner on first off the bag. He started running toward second, which prompted the runner on second to head for third. Ryan Wuertz, playing first, threw to Mike Stalboerger at third for the tag out of the lead runner 2-3-5.
The Lakers ended their season with a record of 15-11.
In other state tournament action, Watkins won 3-2 against Cannon Falls in 10 innings, Melrose beat Hampton 8-3, and New Munich was eliminated by Jackson 5-1.
|Lake Henry--||100||000||0||- 1||4||7|
Luverne- Batting: Mike Wenniger 2-4 R-3 RBI; Robert Peterson 2-3 2B R BB; Corey Nelson 1-2 R-2 SB-2 BB; Jesse Reisch 1-3 RBI R BB; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Robert Peterson (W) (5-4--1-1-0-2); Wenniger (1-0-0-0-1-2); T.J. Schmidt (1-0-0-0-0-0).
Lake Henry - Batting: Ryan Wuertz 1-3 2B R; Sam Rothstein 1-2 RBI; Jake Thelen 1-3; Jeff Olmscheid 1-2; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Rothstein (L) (5-5-3-3-6); Ryan Wuertz (0.2-3-7-2-3-2); Mike Stalboerger (1.1-1-0-0-0-4).
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