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NORTHWOODS LEAGUE: Passed ball lets Lunkers win in 10th

Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 10th inning, the Brainerd Lunkers defeated the St. Cloud River Bats on a passed ball, giving the Lunkers a 4-3 victory when Steven Brault touched his foot to home plate in a Northwoods League game Wednesday night at Mills Field.

“It’s finally nice to be on the good side of one of those extra-inning baseball games,” said field Manager Ryan Levendoski.

Lunkers starting pitcher Jason Forjet didn’t get the decision but he pitched well enough to, leaving the game with the Lunkers up 2-0 after seven, having surrenered three hits, while walking one and fanning seven.

Behind the plate the Brainerd had three players with multiple hits, Kye Winter went 3-4,  Brault 2-4 and Dan Olinger was 2-4.

The Lunkers scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Steven Brault worked his way around the bases, starting with a leadoff walk.  Brault advanced to second on a balk, moved to third on a sacrafice fly from Christian Stringer  and  scored on a fielder’s choice created by  Dan Olinger when he by put the ball in play on the right side of the infield.

In the bottom of the fifth the Lunkers scored again. Jon Krist hit a one-out single and two batters later Nate Hamliton hit a single of his own that saw Krist scoring from first and Hamilton collecting the RBI.

The River Bats scored all three of their runs off Lunkers pitcher Tyler Harris. St. Cloud scored two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth, with both rallies getting started with two outs.

In the bottom of the 10th, Brault led off with a single, Christian Stinger put a bunt down the third-base line, advancing Brault to second. With Olinger at the plate, a passed ball sent Brault to third. Two pitches later a passed ball scored the winning run.

With the win the Lunkers stop a two-game losing streak and remain 1 1/2 games back of the Mankato Moondogs, who beat the Wilmar Stingers 5-4, in the North Division of the Northwoods league.

St. Cloud 000 000 021 0— 3 7 0

Brainerd 000 110 000 1— 4 10 2

St. Cloud: Andy Urban, Tim Verthein (8), Chris Kubitz (10), and Mitchell Garver

Brainerd: Jason Forjet, Tyler Harris (8), Tyler Sparger (10), and Jon Crist

W: Tyler Sparger. L: Chris Kubitz

2B: StC -Connor Eppard, Mitchell Garver

SB: StC -Gillman

S:StC -Gillman

SF: Brd-Stringer

RBIs:StC -Garver, Banks, Eppard; Brd -Olinger, Winter, Hamilton

DP: StC 1, Brd

LOB: StC, Brd

Time: 2:57.