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BASEBALL: Olinger’s ninth inning hit gives Lunkers victory

The Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers moved their second half record to 2-1 with a thrilling 2-1 victory over the St. Cloud River Bats at Mills Field on Friday night before a crowd of 679 people.

Jason Forjet threw a brilliant game over eight innings, and Dan Olinger ended the game with his third hit of the night in the ninth inning. The Lunkers rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the top of the seventh inning.

The Lunkers faced a tall task in the River Bats Matt Iannazzo. Iannazzo entered the game with a 2-0 record and a minuscule ERA of 1.42 in two starts.

Forjet got the start for the Lunkers. He also entered the game with a 2-0 record. Forjet entered the game with an ERA of 1.91 over five starts.

The two pitchers matched each other pitch for pitch in the first five innings. The Lunkers got five hits off Iannazzo over five innings and left two runners on in the second, and three in the fourth inning.

Iannazzo got out of the second inning on a fielders choice grounder from Tommy Reyes, and got out of the fourth on a strike out to Christian Stringer.  Iannazzo then gave way to Keenan Kolinsky in the sixth inning.

Forjet scattered four hits in the first six innings and didn’t allow a runner past second base.  Forjet would pitch eight innings, striking out eight while walking just two batters, but didn’t factor into the decision.

After six scoreless innings, St. Cloud finally broke through in the seventh inning off Forjet. Carlos Lopez started the inning with his second hit of the night. Lopez then stole second base and moved to third on a throwing error by Lunkers catcher Jon Crist. Kyler Stiner then picked up the RBI as he knocked in Lopez with a base hit.

Forjet got out of the inning without any further damage as he struck out Derek Campbell and picked off Stiner at first before getting Keegan Dale to ground out to shortstop Reyes to end the inning.

Down 1-0, Brainerd came right back in the bottom of the seventh inning. Andrew Letourneau bounced out to third, and Christian Stringer flew out to left field.

Nick Hamilton then smacked a double down the right field line and the Lunkers were in business. Olinger stepped to the plate with a 1-3 night with a hit and two strikeouts . He  laced a laced a double to the right center field gap on a full count and the game was tied 1-1.

Forjet got out of an eighth inning jam as he Andy Henkemeyer got his third hit of the night, and CJ walked. Forjet then got Mitch Garver to fly out weekly to third on a 2-0 count, struck out Bryan Haar, and got a fielder’s choice grounder from Lopez.

After the Lunkers couldn’t push anything across in the bottom of the eight inning, Chase Webb came on to relive Forjet. Stiner led off the inning with a base hit. Webb then struck out Derek Campbell and picked off Stiner at first base on a close play that drew the ire of the River Bats first base coach. 

St. Cloud  000 000 100 — 1 9 1

Brainerd   000 000 101 — 2 9 2

St. Cloud: Matt Iannazzo, Kennan Kolinsky (6), Michael Fagan (9), and JR Reynolds

Brainerd: Jason Forjet, Chase Webb (9), and Jon Crist

W: Webb. L: Fagan.

2B: Ryan Abrahamson (B), Nick Hamilton (B), Dan Olinger

SB: Andy Henkemeyer (S), Mitchell Garver (S), Carlos Lopez (S) 2

RBIs: Kyle Stiner (S), Olinger (B) 2

LOB: StC 7, Brd 12

Time: 679.