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BASEBALL: Lunkers sign pair of Colorado lefties

The Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers general manager Dustin Anaas announced Monday that the Northwoods League team has signed left-handed pitchers Joe Willman of Northern Colorado and Steven Brault of Regis University (Denver) to contracts this summer. 

A 5-foot-10 junior from Aurora, Colo., Willman was a consistent starter for the UNC Golden Bears in 2010, making 14 starts and finishing with a team-high five complete games. He has also done plenty of work out of the bullpen, notching more than 30 appearances in his first two collegiate seasons. Willman had a brief stint for the Lunkers in 2010, pitching 18.1 innings in five games.

Brault, a 6-1 170-pound freshman from El Cajon, Calif., is new to Regis University and joins fellow RU Ranger teammate Charlie Henderson in playing for the Lunkers. Although he is listed as a pitcher, Brault may play some innings in the field.

“If you have followed the Lunkers at all over the last two years, you will know that we have had great success with guys from Colorado schools,” Anaas said. “But having depth in your pitching staff, and the ability to go to a lefty when you need to, is very important in this league because pitchers are not exactly a dime a dozen.”

Lunkers field manager Ryan Levendoski and Anaas will continue to build the roster until play begins June 1. The Lunkers home opener, presented by Cub Foods, is June 1 at Mills Field when Brainerd takes on the Alexandria Beetles at 7:05 p.m. Fireworks following the game will be presented by Mills Fleet Farm.