Pirates tally 12th win
As the old saying goes “two out of three ain’t bad.” The Blue Earth Pirates (12-2) have won two out of their last three contests. On June 21, Blue Earth was home against the Horned Frogs of Lakefield.
Lee Hodges started the game on the mound for the Pirates. Offensively, Hodges had an opportunity to drive in a few early runs in the bottom of the first as there were Pirates on second and third base with two outs. However, Hodges left both runners stranded as he grounded out to second to end the Blue Earth threat.
The top of the third inning saw Hodges at his best as he was able to strike out the side. The player/manager left Lakefield batters puzzled as the final strikeout of the inning was of the looking variety.
The bottom of the third again saw the Pirates unable to capitalize with a runner in scoring position. Blue Earth third baseman Kane Malo reached base as he was hit by a pitch in the frame, but ended the inning stranded at third.
With two on and two out in the top of the fourth, the Horned Frogs drew first blood. A single to center field and an error by Pirates’ center fielder Aaron Wendt helped give Lakefield a 2-0 lead. That would prove to be the final inning on the mound for Hodges as he moved to second base for the remainder of the game.
The Pirates finally got on the board in the fifth inning. Wendt atoned for his earlier fielding error and slammed a double deep into the left center field gap. Fellow outfielder John Franta drove in Wendt on the next at bat by hitting a double in virtually the same spot. An RBI single later in the frame by Brandyn Olsen tied the game up at two.
The Pirates took control of the game for good in the sixth inning. Kaylan Legred hit a screaming line drive double down the third base side that drove in the first run of the inning. Franta’s one-run double and Malo’s two-run single later in the inning helped the Pirates produce four runs in the frame.
The top of the ninth provided some blooper reel material as Lakefield batter Jared Bakalyar had his bat fly out of his hands on consecutive swings. After the first swing and miss, Bakalyar launched his bat into foul territory and hit the fence along the first base side of the field. Bakalyar’s bat flew into the fencing behind home plate after the second swing and miss. Fans in attendance enjoyed a chuckle or two after witnessing Bakalyar’s folly.
Relief pitcher Brandyn Olsen shut the door on the Lakefield offense as he pitched five scoreless innings en route to Blue Earth’s win. At game’s end, the Pirates produced six runs on 12 hits while the Horned Frogs managed to score two runs on seven hits.
The Pirates were also in action for a doubleheader during the Winnebago Fun Fest on June 17. Blue Earth dropped the first game of the double dip as they fell to the Wells Wildcats 2-1.
Pirates’ starting pitcher Garrett Anderson gave his team a chance to win, but the Blue Earth bats were silent for the most part. Hodges and Wendt each had two hits in the game, leading the way for the Pirates.
Blue Earth notched a victory in the second game of the doubleheader as they defeated the Minnesota Lake Royals in extra innings. Pitcher Brandyn Olsen struck out 11 batters and earned the win despite just four hits from the Pirates’ offense.
Blue Earth’s next game took place at home against the Jackson Bulls on June 23. The statistics of this game will be highlighted in the next issue of the Faribault County Register.