On a dream night for baseball, fans in Pine Island were treated to a 3-2 nine inning Panther win over Kenyon-Wanamingo on Friday night.

The game had everything. A dramatic home run by Pine Island junior shortstop Joe Bauer to send it into extra innings. A throw out at the plate to cut down a go-ahead run for the Knights. A couple of outstanding catches by each team in the outfield.

It was great to have former Pine Island legendary coach Craig Anderson join me on the broadcast and give us a coach perspective of the chess match of a game.

Neither starting pitcher factored in the final decision. The Knights had senior Matt Houglum on the mound and the Panthers countered with senior Drew Lohmeyer.

Kenyon-Wanamingo loaded the bases in the first inning and did not score. It would be a precursor of things to happen for the Knights. They left 12 runners on base, nine in scoring position. The Panthers stranded 11 runners, with seven in scoring position.

The Knights scored the first run in the second inning against Panther starter Drew Lohmeyer.

The bottom of the fourth, Pine Island scored their first run and then Bauer clubbed a solo homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Bauer's homer came on the 104th pitch of the game by Houglum, who was replaced by Dylan Craig.

Drew Lohmeyer threw the first four innings and tossed 64 pitches, 43 for strikes. Senior Braden Aakre finished the game and got the victory.

Kenyon-Wanamingo had an opportunity to take the lead in the top of the ninth inning after senior Gavin Roosen got on base following an error. Carter Leninger crushed a ball to right center field up against the fence and Roosen tried to score from first base.

He was thrown out at the plate after a great relay throw from Brady Braaten to catcher Derek Rucker. Rucker dove to the plate to tag Roosen, who appeared to lift his arm over the oustretched arms of Rucker and touch home plate but was called out for the first out of the inning.

Leninger was at second base with a double. A fly out and pop out ended the top of the ninth and the Panthers went to work in the bottom of the inning.

Joe Bauer was walked to start the inning and stole second to get into scoring position. A ground out got Bauer to third and he scored the winning run on a bloop single by senior  Derek Fall for the walk-off win.

Kenyon-Wanamingo intentionally walked Braaten and Aakre to load the bases and set up a force at any base before the bloop single.

Aakre got the win and Craig was saddled with the loss.

Aakre threw 63 pitches over the final five innings, 37 for strikes, and Craig threw to the final 13 batters with six walks, four intentional.

Our Sviggum Insurance Agency of Wanamingo Knights of the game were Craig with a couple of hits, nice sacrifice bunt and RBI, and Matt Houglum, who connected for a couple of hits, including a triple, and scored a run.

Leninger made an outstanding running catch in the bottom of the fifth to rob Bauer of extra bases before he stepped up for his two-out homer on a 1-1 count in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings.

The No. 16 Class 2A ranked Panthers are now 11-3 and No. 10 ranked Class 2A Knights fell to 9-5 and lost their third game of the week. Both schools have their proms on Saturday.

Pine Island Left Field Fence- photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Pine Island Left Field Fence- photo by Gordy Kosfeld


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