Faribault pitcher Matt Lane struck out 19 batters, Montgomery pitcher John Krocak fanned 12 tonight at Bell Field in first round Region 3C playoff action.  The Lakers won the game 1-0 thanks to some textbook execution.  The game took 1 hour and 53 minutes.

Lane told KDHL following the game he was feeling very good on the hill and it showed.  He was locked in from the first pitch to the last with good movement on both his fastball and his slider.  The Lakers ace threw 117 pitches, 92 for strikes with 2 walks and 2 hits allowed.  A one out bunt single in the 6th and a single muscled off the handle of the bat to center with two outs in the 7th inning.  Lane was 25 of 31 first pitch strikes.

Faribault could also only get two hits off Krocak.  Mitch Johnson led the 5th inning off with a 1-1 count double to left center.  I thought the Lakers would have Jack Helgeson execute a sacrifice bunt to get Johnson into scoring position.  It was not a bunt but equally as effective.  Helgeson was down 0-2 and fouled off a Krocak fast ball straight back.  On the next pitch he hit a roller to second that allowed Johnson to gain third base while he was thrown out at first.

One out and a runner at third.  Dylan Valentyn stepped to the plate and was hit by a pitch.  Mike Carpentier then hit a fly ball to center deep enough for Johnson to tag up and score the only run of the game.  During a Porter Sartor at bat Krocak tried to pick of Valentyn at first base and the ball went down the right field line.  Valentyn hustled over to third base reminding me of his fullback days with Bethlehem Academy under Coaches Scott Hanson and John Gross.  It was an excellent throw from right field but Valentyn was safe.  Sartor then flew out to right field to end the threat.

The Lakers other hit was a one out single by Sartor in the 8th inning.

Krocak threw 106 pitches, 75 for strikes while going 8 innings with 12 strikeouts, no walks, 2 hit batters and 2 hits allowed.  He was 13 of 28 in first pitch strikes.

Faribault had no errors in the game. Of course they only had to field 8 balls because of the dominance of Lane on the mound.  The Mallards had two errors and neither factored in the scoring.

The Lakers travel to Veseli and play New Market 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night in a winner's bracket game.  The winner is assured of a trip to the State Amateur Baseball Tournament.

Montgomery is in Lonsdale for a 7:30 p.m. game on Wednesday.

In the other elimination bracket game New Prague is at St. Benedict at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

The other winner's bracket game will be Wednesday with St. Patrick at Prior Lake at 7:30 p.m.

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