NORTHWOODS LEAGUE: Lunkers show their power
The Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers offense was as hot as the plus 90 degree temperature Wednesday as the Lunkers scored 16 runs on 19 hits to come out of the All-Star break with a 16-4 victory over Alexandria at Mills Field in Brainerd.
The scorching heat also contributed to the lights being knocked out twice resulting in two game delays. The Lunkers scorching offense knocked out Beetles’ starting pitcher Matt Fyffe after just four innings. Fyffe was roughed up for 11 runs on 12 hits.
The Lunkers’ Dan Olinger and Adam Letourneau combined for six hits and six RBIs. Letourneau fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle and Olinger raised his average to .309 with three hits, including two doubles, in five trips to the plate. Olinger, who was named the All-Star game MVP, also scored four runs.
Letourneau and Wade Wass also hit towering home runs. Letourneau hit a shot to right field and Wass connected on a homer to straight-away center field.
The offensive onslaught was more then enough for Lunkers starting pitcher Aaron Griffin. Entering the game with a 2-0 record and ERA of 2.52, Griffin gave up just one run on four hits in seven innings of pitching. James Farris and Shea Lukes came on in the eighth and ninth inning to finish.
Brainerd limped into the All-Star break, having lost five of their last six games. Included in that were losses to Alexandria last Thursday at Mills Field by the scores of 3-0 and 6-4. The Lunkers could mount little offense in those games and carried that into the weekend, losing three of four games at Duluth.
Two big innings were the key on Wednesday evening as Brainerd scored four runs in the third inning and five in the fifth.
The Lunkers trailed 1-0 in the bottom of third inning. After getting two quick outs, Letourneau got things started with his first home run of the season. Then Nick Hamilton and Casey Roche each singled. Olinger doubled to right center field to score both runners. Olinger scored on a single by Steven Brault and the Lunkers took a 4-1 lead.
After adding a pair of runs in the fourth inning, the Lunkers opened it up in the bottom of the fifth with five more runs. Olinger earned his way on with an error on the second baseman. Brault and Stringer each singled to load the bases. Wass walked to score one run and then Tyler Wampler tripled to clear the bases. Tommy Reyes then singled home Wampler and the Lunkers led 11-1 after five innings.
The Lunkers cruised the rest of the way, with the power outage the only thing standing in the way of their offensive surge.
Alexandria 001 000 030 — 4 9 1
Brainerd 004 253 20x — 16 19 1
Alexandria: Matt Fyffe, Shawn Riesgraf (5), Drew Ghelfi (8), and Robert Case
Brainerd: Aaron Griffin, James Farris (8), Shea Lukes (9), and Wade Wass
W: Griffin. L: Fyffe.
2B: Ben Magsi (A), Jeremy Boyd (A), Andrew Letourneau (B), Nick Hamilton (B), Dan Olinger (B) 2, Tommy Reyes (B)
3B: Kevin Grove (A), Tyler Wampler (B)
HR: Letourneau (B), Wass (B)
RBIs: Logan Bowers (A), Grove (A) 2, Boyd (A), Letourneau (B) 3, Olinger (B) 3, Steven Brault (B), Christian Stringer (B), Wass (B) 2, Wampler (B) 3, Reyes (B) 2
DP: Alex 1
LOB: Alex 7, Brd 7