Pirates edge Lakers in close game
It was not always pretty but the Blue Earth Pirates picked up another win on the baseball diamond when they downed the Heron Lake Lakers 9-8 in a game played at Veterans Field on June 19.
After a scoreless first inning, the Lakers pushed five runs across the plate in the top of the second inning.
Blue Earth had recorded the first out before Heron Lake got a base runner on with a bloop single to right field. A single to left put runners at first and second.
The Pirates had a chance to get out of the inning unharmed but a potential double play ground ball turned into an error which allowed the Lakers to score the first run of the game.
The floodgates seemed to be opened after that and Heron Lake ended up getting six hits in the inning to take a 5-0 lead heading into the home half of the second inning.
Koby Nagel and Karson Legred both drew walks to start the Pirates’ second inning. Tanner Nawrocki hit an opposite field single to load the bases and bring up the top of the order.
Keegan O’Brien hit a sinking line drive to the outfield which the left fielder dove for and missed. All three baserunners scored to make the score 5-3 in favor of the Lakers after two complete innings.
Blue Earth added two more runs in the bottom of the fouth inning to tie the game at 5-5. TJ Schmidtke and Brandyn Olsen both reached base courtesy of walks. Lee Hodges came to the plate with two outs. With the runners taking off at the crack of the bat Hodges came through with a single to easily score Schmidtke. The speedy Olsen did not stop as he rounded third base and he slid into home just ahead of the throw to even up the contest at five runs apiece.
The Pirates took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. The bases were loaded with zero outs when Nawrocki hit into a force out at second base. The runner at third base, Cody Sukalski who had gotten on base with a walk, scored on the force play to give Blue Earth a 6-5 lead through five complete innings.
Heron Lake regained the lead in the top of the sixth. The Lakers used four singles and a double to add three more runs to their total and go back on top 8-6.
Blue Earth got a run back in the bottom of the sixth. O’Brien drew a base on balls and took second on a ground out to the second baseman.
An error by the shortstop allowed Olsen to reach first base and O’Brien to advance to third. A single to left scored O’Brien to pull the Pirates within one run of the Lakers. After six complete innings Heron Lake was on top 8-7.
After holding the Lakers scoreless in the top of the seventh inning, the Pirates came to bat in the bottom of the inning.
Hunter Bleess, Legred and Nawrocki all drew walks to load the bases with no outs. O’Brien singled to score Bleess and tie the game at 8-8.
The go-ahead run was scored by Nawrocki who scored from third when Olsen hit into a force play. It proved to be the winning run because the Pirates held the Lakers scoreless in the final two innings.
Heron Lake finished with eight runs on 13 hits. They committed one error. Blue Earth scored nine runs on eight hits and they had two errors.
Zach Schonrock started on the mound for the Pirates and was relieved by Logan Jahnke in the middle of the sixth inning. Jahnke went the rest of the way to pick up the win.