Faribault Lakers Advance to Final Weekend of State
The Faribault Lakers erupted for six runs in the second innings and held on to defeat the Midway Snurdbirds 6-4 Saturday in the Class C Minnesota Amateur Baseball Tournament.
The game was played in Green Isle and during most of the game the conditions were ideal but the grass was wet from a day of light rain after a night of heavy downpours.
Green Isle grounds crew told me they worked a few hours getting the field ready and the first game Saturday was moved back an hour.
The Laker game was scheduled for a 5PM first pitch but actually started at 5:37PM.
For the second game Faribault ace Matt Lane took the hill and battled a very good hitting Midway team.
The Snurdbirds were Region 14 Champions and finished their season with a 19-6 record.
The Lakers are now 26-11 and will play the defending State Champion Raymond Rockets Saturday night at 7:30PM in Norwood.
Lane showed his usual ability to pitch well under duress and also contributed at the plate.
He finished the game with nine strikeouts, four them came against the last seven batters he faced.
Lane had three hits, an RBI and scored a run.
He was named one of the Faribault State Farm Insurance agent Tony Langerud Faribault players of the game along with Ryan Archambault, Christian Von Ruden and Joe Grote.
Archambault had the Archambault Brothers Dispotal pick of the game with a nice scoop of a Adam Kline throw in the dirt to end the third inning when Midway sent seven men to the plate and scored twice.
Matt Lane started the six run second inning with a single and Ryan Archambault followed with a double to place runners at second and third with nobody out against Midway ace Jake Lund.
Lund came into the game with 100 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched and a meager 1.11 ERA.
Lund had Jack Helgeson facing him with a 1-2 count when he threw a pitch in the dirt that Helgeson chased but the ball went to the backstop and Lane scored. Helgeson was at first base with no out recorded.
Faribault second baseman Evan Jensen was walked with the bases loaded and the Lakers were on their way to a huge inning.
Following a strikeout for the first out Mitch Johnson hit a grounder that was booted by the third baseman and scored another run.
Blake Langerud followed with an RBI groundout and the next three batters all collected RBI singles Von Ruden, Grote and Lane.
After that Lund exited the game and was relieved by draftee from Bertha Patrick Riewer.
Riewer retired Archambault to end the inning and the Lakers were up 6-0.
The Lakers had their chances to score after that but couldn't get a run across the plate against Riewer.
Faribault had a lead-off single in the fourth and didn't score, back to back singles to open the fifth inning and didn't score, a lead-off hit batsman in the seventh and didn't score and in the top of the ninth they had a lead-off single and eventually the bases with only one out and didn't score.
Meanwhile Midway chipped away with a run in the fith and seventh but also had other opportunities to score only to see Lane pitch out of any trouble.
The Snurdbirds had a double to start the fourth inning and didn't score, back to back singles in the fifth and only tallied one run, back to back singles in the eighth and didn't score.
Lane went the distance and threw 123 pitches, 88 for strikes. He fanned 9 batters, walked one and hit two batters.
Grote had a couple of exceptional plays at shortstop in the fifth inning.
The first play he went toward the hole to field the ball and slipped on the wet outfield grass so he couldn't get his feet set and still threw the runner out and the next batter he charged a slow roller in the grass to retire a batter.
Raymond did not win their Region and the defending champs are 30-10.