The Randolph Rockets and Cannon Falls Bombers played their Battle of Lake Byllesby  game Saturday.  The back and forth game concluded with the Rockets winning 9-6.

Both teams threw their top pitcher so everyone figured it would be a pitcher's duel.  Riley Miller for Cannon Falls, Brandon Gerster for Randolph. Both pitchers were less efficient than normal in terms of strikes to balls ratio.

Gerster left the game in the top of the 7th inning with 108 pitches thrown, 50 for strikes.  Miller left in the bottom of the 5th inning with 98 pitches thrown, 56 for strikes.

The Bombers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when leadoff hitter Owen Edstrom singled on a 0-2 count to open the game.  With two outs Edstrom scored on a RBI single  by Beau Zimmerman with a 1-2 count.

Gerster threw 26 pitches in the first inning with 19 strikes.

In the bottom of the first inning Miller recorded all the Rockets outs by strikeouts after starting the game with a walk.

Randolph took their first lead in a 3 run second inning which opened with an error on a 1-2 count to Drew Jenkins.  Miller walked the next batter, recorded a strikeout looking, then hit the number nine hitter to load the bases.

Gerster had the first RBI, Joel Gehrke would score on a wild pitch and Jacob Weckop had a RBI single.  Eight batters went to the plate and the Rockets scored 3 runs with the benefit of only 1 hit.

Cannnon Falls Head Coach Bucky Lindow told KDHL a big inning for the opponent due to errors and walks has been one of the things his team has been battling since coming out of a COVID quarantine after nearly a month off.

The Bombers scored three runs in the top of the third inning to re-take the lead 4-3.  Elliott Nelson started the inning with a 1-2 count single.  Riley Miller worked the count to 3-1 and crushed a baseball to right center field for a two run home run to tie the game.  Beau Zimmerman singled with the count 1-0, Loden Bell singled on a 1-2 count.

Following a strikeout designated hitter Preston Carlisle was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Ari Wells stroked an outside corner pitch to the opposite field for a RBI single.  The count was 1-2.  Nine batters would come to the plate with Cannon Falls taking a 4-3 lead.

In the bottom of the 4th inning Gerster reached base on an error to open the Randolph offense.  Jacob Weckop singled on a 2-1 count advancing Gerster to third base.  Miller got the next two batters out before walking Mason Lorenzen.  During the at bat Gerster scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 4.

In the top of the 5th inning Cannon Falls would make the score 5-4 when Loden Bell opened the inning with a single up the middle.  Marcus Banks executed a sacrifice bunt to advance Bell.  Back to back errors would allow Bell to score.

In the bottom of the 5th inning Randolph would gain the lead for good when they scored 4 runs on 2 hits.  Neither of the hits resulted in a RBI.

Miller left the mound after facing three batters in the 5th.  Beau Zimmerman came in and walked Gerster to load the bases.  A Bombers error did lead to a run and a run was walked in.

Randolph got an insurance run in the bottom of the 6th inning.  Roberge opened the inning with a 0-1 count single off Zimmerman.  With one out Gerster walked and Jacob  Weckop was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Marcus Banks walked Nathan Weckop to score Roberge making the score 9-5.

Gerster opened the top of the 7th inning with a strikeout before exiting after hitting Banks with a 1-2 pitch count.  Nathan Weckop coaxed a grounder for the second out with Carlisle gaining first base on the fielder's choice.

Wells had another great at bat with a 0-1 count double scoring Carlisle before a strikeout looking ended the game.

Gerster got the win while striking out 6 Bombers.  He walked one batter and hit two others. Zimmerman was charged with the loss.  Miller finished the game with 7 strikeouts in 4 plus innings.  He also had 5 walks and 3 hit batters while allowing 5 hits.

Zimmerman worked an inning plus facing 11 batters with no strikeouts, 3 walks and a hit batter.  Banks finished the game for Cannon Falls with a pair of strikeouts and a walk.

So Bombers pitching had 9 strikeouts, 9 walks, 4 hit batters.  They threw a total 151 pitches with 80 strikes.  Randolph pitching threw 117 pitches, 56 strikes with 7 strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 hit batters.

The final line totals were:

Randolph          9 runs,  8 hits,  3 errors,  14 runners left, 9 in scoring position
Cannon Falls    6 runs, 10 hits, 3 errors,   9 runners left,  5 in scoring position

There was a fantastic crowd, concesssions served on a picture perfect 73 degree sunny day.

The Rockets improved to 15-0, Cannon Falls dropped to 4-8.

Randolph goes to Spring Valley to play Grand Meadow/Leroy-Ostrander/Kingsland Monday.  A 4:30 p.m. first pitch

The Bombers are in Wanamingo Monday to tangle with Kenyon-Wanamingo.  The game will be broadcast on KDHL Radio, 920 AM, 97.9 FM, KDHL app.  All those options for listening are free.  Our coverage begins 4:45 p.m.

There are some great tips here.

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