On a hot night the Lunkers cool off
On one of the first real hot and humid nights of the summer the Brainerd Area Lunkers saw their own hot streak of four straight wins come to and end as the St. Cloud River Bats cooled off the Lunkers, defeating them 6-3 in the first of a three-game set in Northwoods League play Monday night at Mills Field.
Pitching, like the weather, is what got sticky for Lunkers. Derek Hansen, John McLeod and Casey Roche walked seven, threw seven wild pitches, and hit a few batters compared to the River Bats’ Jon Richard who went seven innings walking one while striking out six on his way to earning the W.
“This is not a very good hitting team. We gave them how many walks, how many free stolen bases, hit how many batters and threw how many balls in the dirt?” said Lunkers Manager Ryan Levendoski. “We gotta get these guys throw strikes. We have a good defense behind them, and if we do that, it’s a baseball game.”
Brainerd got on the board in the second when Ryan Abrahamson, who went 1-3, hit a leadoff double and later scored from third on an error , tying the game at one all at the end of two.
Brainerd could have easily been down 7-1 midway through the fourth if it weren’t for some quick thinking from the third baseman Dan Olinger. On two almost identical plays, one in the second,the other in the fourth, Olinger snapped up a ground ball and on both occasions caught a River Bat base runner advancing to home. A quick throw to catcher Wade Wass stopped both runners from scoring.
“This infield is pretty slow, those were slow rollers and the runners made the move to go home, “ said Olinger. “It was nice to make that play twice.”
The Lunkers crossed the plate again in the bottom of the fourth and again it was Abrahamson scoring. His lead off walk, a line drive single from Jon Krist two batters later, followed by an RBI single from Steven Brault down third base line is what manufactured the run.
From that point the game cooled off like the rest of the night, seeing both teams score only once more with both teams being easily retired through until the end.
The Lunkers will move on to face the River Bats, looking to even the series, and to get a chance to start another hot streak Tuesday night at Mills Field.
St. Cloud 101 300 010 —6 7 1
Brainerd 010 100 001—3 6 2
St. Cloud: Jon Richard, Ryan Williams (8), Korey Wacker (9), and Travis Enger
Brainerd: Derek Hansen, John McLeod (2), Casey Roche (6), and Wade Wass
W: Richard (1-0). L: Hansenn(0-1).
2B: Brd-Ryan Abrahamson
3B: StC- Jeremy Banks
SB:StC- Travis Cariveau
SF: StC-Gillman; Brd-Brault
RBIs: StC- GillmanConnor Eppard, Andy Henkemeyer; Brd- Brault, Wampler
DP: StC 1
LOB: StC 11, Brd 8
This infield is pretty slow, those were slow rollers, and the runners made the move to go home, and it was nice to make that play twice