Minneapolis Lakers 2011:   Season #22

8/18 Well, That's All Folks.  Close but not good enough.  Lakers bow out to the Millers.
The Lakers did not blink in their rematch with the Millers.  For a team with aspirations to win it all,  having to play Tonka twice in less than week was a huge hurdle to overcome.  Nonetheless, the Lakers were confident that they would win and get to the weekend where their pitching depth would come back into play.   It was a see-saw battle and unfortunately the Millers struck the last blow and held on to win.  Offensively, the Lakers got some production and key hits from BK, Clark, Gotham who hit the ball hard to the left side scoring 2 runs that put the Lakers up 5-3 late in the game.

 The Lakers dialed up Paddy Carroll for the start and he delivered for about 6 or so innings.  It wasn't pretty at times as Paddy walked the leadoff batter in the first four innings.  Inning after inning,  Carroll was able to escape trouble and he battled the Millers and a tight zone in holding  Minnteonka to a single run through six.     Carroll did tire and  left the game in the bottom of the seventh (or was it the sixth?)  with the Lakers  up 5-3 and a couple of opposing baserunners on.   Sammer was brought in put out the fire but  but Tonka was able to tie the game with double and a couple deep sac flies.



Ben Kuhlmann was then called on to keep the game close but the Millers were able to score a couple of runs on some wild pitches.   The Millers would later add an insurance run and the Lakers were unable to answer.  The season is over.  Lakers tip their caps the the Millers, the best team in the state.   The Lakers also wish good luck to all teams remaining and and  fellow Park National Lyons Pub who was last seen winning over the Shamrocks.

It was a great run and the managers would like to thank the players.  We would also like to thank the fans, friends, and families that came out to support us.   Best of luck to our college players who are leaving in just a a couple days and do check back to this website in the coming days for a season recap. 

8/15 Lakers Set Back With 4-1 Loss To the Irish
As the Lakers and the Stockman's Irish beat the Millers and Park respectively on Saturday, both clubs surely had to feel good about knocking off two powerhouses and huge roadblocks to anyone aspiring to win it all.   Unfortunately, some bizarre bracketing had many teams turning around and facing each other early in the tourney as opposed to the conventional cross-bracketing that should transpire.   Therefore the astute observer realized the importance of the Lakers/Stockman's game:   The winner gets the pole position and the ability to loop your top pitchers in the semifinal game on Friday.   The loser gets the winner of Park/Tonka.   Well, the Lakers managed to hit door #2 - and will do just that.

Caleb Phillips started on the bump and pitched very well - through 8 innings.He had given up just 4 hits and the lone run given up was an unearned run early in the game.  Perhaps that set a bad tone as the Lakers would struggle to generate any sustained offense against the Irish.  As a matter of fact, after 7.5 innings, the hit tally was 11-4 in favor of the Lakers but the scoreboard still just showed 1-1.  It did quickly become obvous that the although the opposing pitcher was not overpowering, the way to win this game was to do it the "right way" - hit the ball up the middle;   opposite way; drive;  hit and run;  bunt etc.  Instead, the Lakers made base running mistakes;  failed to move runners over; flew out; and left way  way too many on.

Meanwhile, Stockman's beat the Lakers at their own game:  They made all the defensive plays including some nice plays from their third basemen.  With the score deadlocked  at 1-1, Stockmans was able to lead off the bottom of the eight with a hit; bunt him over and then a soft flare down the right field line that Timmy was not able to track down scored the go ahead run.  A couple more seeing hits to the right side found open grass and broke the game open for Stockman's.  In the top of the ninth, after a leadoff hit, the Lakers went down quietly and approrpriately with you guessed it - pop outs and flyouts.

The Lakers now wait to see who will emerge behind door #2.  It will be a tall order but Lakers do have the pitching depth to compete.  To win it all, you have to beat the best anyhow.   Game time is 6:15 at Dunning on Wednesday. 

8/13 Gotham Leads the Lakers Past The Millers
It was not quite like the former Notre Dame vs Navy streak, but the Lakers have been victim to a long losing streak vs the Millers - a lifetime one.  The Lakers have been blown out a lot and they have come close a few times, but Tonka has always gotten the best of the Lakers.   As a matter of fact, just 12 years earlier, the Millers embarrassed the Lakers in the opening game of the 1999 state tourney.

The streak came to an end on the big stage as the Lakers win 8-1.  Three headlines on the game:   First and foremost was Sam Gotham's performance.  While it wasn't easy - and nothing is against that lineup, Goth scattered seven hits, 3BB and 5Ks over all nine innings.   As the game progressed, Gotham got stronger.  With a soaring pitch count of over 125, the bench overcame Skip's propensity to pull Gotham and he was sent out to finish the game in the ninth inning which he did in convincing form.

The second headline was the defense which was stellar yet again with only one error committed (probably a forced error on ball fielded deep in the hole).  The defensive play was highlighted by a great diving stop by Ben Kuhlmann of a sure would-be hit up the middle to save a run and kill a potential rally.  Lost behind the pitching and defensive play was the Laker offense.  The Millers did have a sloppy defensive inning, but the Lakers were able to capitalize with speed and timely hits.  The Lakers did hit the ball up and down the order with multiple hits from quite a few.  The offense was highlighted by doubles from Jeff Miller, Reichert, Kuhlmann and a big fly from the Bistro.

With the win, the Lakers do salute the Millers who have been the best ballclub and the classiest of organizations in the State.  The Lakers expect that the Millers will be well traveled in the lower bracket with a possible rematch later next week.  There is no looking ahead though as the Lakers square up against a Stockman's team that  beat Park earlier in the day.  The tournament venue now moves to St. Paul with a 6:15 start at Dunning on Monday.

8/12 Lakers Defense Rules the Roost.  Millers Next
Going in, the Lakers did not know very much about the North St. Paul Red Roosters.  Although Skyline has been much maligned, it was 1-0 in the tourney as the Shark had just downed the Angels less than 24 hours before.  As the game progressed, it became apparent the makeup of the team - college players even younger than the Lakers but regardless, clearly talented with some pretty good pitching.

Early on, it seemed like the Lakers would be in control and might run away with it.    The local nine however continued to leave runners on the bases time and time again.  The strike zone then became very small and although Bennett pitched very well, outs became hard to come by.  The Red Roosters  took advantage of a couple of walks and after they scratched through a couple of texas leaguers, the result was a 3-3 tie game after 4.

In the sixth inning, the Lakers were able to take advantage of some errors and load the bases.  Timmy Miller then came through with a key 2 RBI single.  Miller later added another RBI single to finish with three on the night.  Meanwhile the strike zone stayed small and Bennett was unable to get the last out leaving with a high pitch count and the bases loaded in the seventh.  MC Sammer was called on to get the last out and with everyone holding their breath, on a full count, he was able to induce the key groundout to BK who fielded the hard grounder to second.  Sammer then proceeded to close out the game pitching the eight and ninth inning and giving up one inconsequential run.  Final score 8-4.

The key to the game  was the Lakers defense.  Not only were 0 errors committed, but again and again, the  Lakers escaped trouble by flashing the leather, turning double plays,  and making difficult plays.  The LakerNation takes a big bow to the performance turned in by Luke Muellerliele, Dub T, BK, and Nick Reichert picking them at first.

This sets up the big showdown vs the Millers.  They  all know what is coming and the Lakers also look foward to squaring up against the Miller #1 Erdall who they faced just a couple weeks earlier.  Game time is 7:00PM at Haddox.  Fans should be mindful that portions of 494 are closed on Saturday.  Take alternate routes...

8/12 Lakers Open State Tourney Play vs Roosters
The Lakers head to Haddox (Valley View) to take on the North St. Paul Red Roosters in the opening round of the Class A state tourney.  First pitch is around 8:30 on Friday night.  Information and results for tourney can be found from links of the Minnesota Baseball Website:  http://www.minnesotabaseball.org/ .  For family and fans - enquire about family passes at the entrance.  Also, please be mindful that 494 will be close late Friday and reopen on Sunday morning.

8/10 Lakers All Stars Help Park National Beat Riverview 8-6
Sam Gotham, Lucas Skjefte, and Nick Reichert participated as Park National beat Riverview 8-6 in the all-star game at Haddox.  Gotham started the game for Park National and pitched a scoreless first.  Skjefte had a few hits including a double.   I left before Reichert got into the game.  Bennett Johnson was also named to the all-star team but was unavailable to play.  Next up is opener of state which will be at 8:30PM on Friday night at Red Haddox vs the North St. Paul Red Rooster.

8/5   Yes!!!  State, Here We come!!   Lakers 7, Rocks 1
There will be no choke in 2011.   Although the Lakers came into the playoffs full of confidence and pitching depth, some demons persisted in the minds of some.   After all, the Lakers have fielded some pretty strong teams in the past that have proceeded to - yes choke in the playoffs.  Perhaps, it was the quality of opponent that contributed to the Lakers not letting down.     Forget about the records - the Rocks were on a win streak and playing well down the season stretch.  They had some formidable pitchers and their lineup is always dangerous. 

It took a masterful performance by Gotham to take game 1 and Bennett did not dissapoint with an equally convincing performance in game 2.  Solty always said that you should approach every playoff game like any other game during the regular season - So when Bennet arrived fairly late in his striped pants, that was possibly a good sign of things to come.    LakerNation did hold its collective breath when Bennett was struck down after being hit in the foot by a liner up the middle.  He proceeded to pitch 8 solid innings only giving up one earned run and striking out, maybe about 7 or 8.  When Johnson did get into trouble, the defense was solid with couple of double plays as well as some rangy play by the middle infielders.  BK pitches a scoreless ninth.

On offense, the Lakers did everything right - and the Lakers combined both speed with some gap power to notch their runs.    With the Lakers holding a slim 2-1 lead, in the top of 6,  Boda starts off  with a bunt single.  Timmy Miller follows up with another bunt single.    With excess speed on the basepaths, Skjefte started the track meet by roping a shot to deep right center.  Lucas ended up with a triple and would later score himself.  With Bennett  then shutting down the Rocks again in the bottom frame of the inning, Lakers were on their way.  In the end, it was close to perfection as Lakers  put it all together in doing everything right:   pitching, defense, speed, and hitting.    This all added up to no-choke and a well earned ticket to the big show.   Other game notes:

  • Bennet Johnson pitching line:  1ER, 4 hits, 1BB, 7K
  • Offensively, the Lakers had 13 hits.  Offensive highlights: 3B: Skjefte, Svoboda;  2B Wilson-Traisman, JMiller, Reicheret;  SB Svoboda, Skjefte 
  • KPK was in attendance and in uniform.
  • Lots of Laker alum were in attendance:  The Rube, Teddy Ballgame Kimble (who returned his uniform), and now Cobra Billy Diaz who looked on from the sidelines. 
  • Lakers are headed to Canterbury on Saturday as part of fun and fundraising.  If anyone wants to go, contact one of us.
  • This is the third trip to state for the Lakers and the second in three years. (1999, 2008, and now 2011)
  • Four Lakers are headed towards the All-Star game on Tuesday Aug 9 - Gotham, Johnson, Skjefte, and Reichert.  More to come later.
  • The loud drunk guy in the left side of the bleachers was NOT affiliated with the Lakers.
  • The Lakers open next Friday I believe vs Skyline #3 seed.  Winner takes on the Millers.

The season  is not yet over but I would like to take opportunity to thank fans for support both all season and during the playoffs.  The home seating section at Parade was filled with Laker fans on Friday night.   See you at state...

8/2 Lakers defeat Rocks 4-0 to take series lead 1-0

Lakers and Rocks were tied at 0 through 5 and a half innings and then the Lakers take advantage of an 2 out error on the Rocks SS and a 2 RBI single by Timmy to cross 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th.  Both pitchers were throwing well, Goth for the Lakers and Cousins for the Rocks, but the Lakers were threatening through the first 5 innings with having runners on and in scoring position every inning but the 1st.  Goth threw very well only giving up one hit and striking out about 9 in 8 innings.  The Rocks did threaten as Goth had 3 hit batsman and 4 walks, but they were not able to get anybody past 2nd.  Goth walked the first 2 in the 5th but got out of the jam himself by striking out the next 3 Rocks in order.  Caleb came in to pitch the 9th, in a non save situation due to the insurance run scored by Svboda in the bottom of the 8th, and took the 3, 4, 5 hitters for the Rocks down in order.  Same teams return to action Fri night for game 2 with the Rocks as the home team at 7 pm at Parade.

8/2 Lakers v Rocks Game Start Time Changed to 8:30pm
The start time for for the opening game of Lakers/Rocks originally scheduled for 7:00PM was pushed back to 8:30 in order to accomodate 2/3 series rainout between Pub and Rats.  That game will be played at 6:15 preceding the Laker game.

7/31 Lakers Take on Rocks in 2/3 Playoffs.  Game 1, Tuesday 7:00PM Parade

The Lakers will return to Parade Stadium as the #2 seed vs #5 seed Rocks in a 2/3 series with the winner advancing to the state tourney. Following is the schedule for the Series.  All games are 9 innings:

Game 1:  Tuesday Aug 2.   8:30PM Rocks at Lakers  @ Parade Stadium
Game 2:  Friday Aug 5.  7:00 PM Lakers at Rocks @ Parade Stadium
Game 3:  Sunday Aug 7, 12:00PM Rocks at Lakers @ Parade Stadium if necessary

7/27 Lakers 5, Merchants 4

Lakers close out the 2011 regular season by downing the Metro Merchants 5-4 on a humid mosquito filled night.  This was a makeup game from a late rainout and due to some gaffe, there were no Northwest Umpires scheduled for the game.  Mike Castle was able to convince one of the umps from the previous game to stick around so game on.  With nothing at stake in the form of placement, the Lakers wanted win but also set up pitching for playoffs.   Bennett Johnson started and pitched well but was vicimized by errors, bleeders, and the patented brand of merchant pesky baserunning.  When Bennett left the game, the Lakers were looking at a 3-2 and then a 4-2 deficit.  Bennett then continued to stretch out innings in the pen, as he was subseqently replaced by Caleb who had been throwing a simulated game in the pen.  Phillips also  pitched well,  keeping Merchants off the basepaths while the Laker offense was finally able to not-strand runners and pull even to knot the score in the sixth.  In the seventh, BK beats out a mishandled infiield hit and then later scores on an RBI single by JMill.  Gotham and TMill rested on the bench.   NKuhlmann contemplated the upcoming Legion state tourney.  "Off-resistant-mutated" mosquitos were out in full force.

Up next, a weekend off as the Lakers watch the scoreboard on Single-Elim-Sat to see who their opponent will be.  Some are headed to Canterbury to try to win some money to pay team dues.

7/26 Millers beat Lakers 8-3 

Timmy goes 5 innings and gives up 2 first inning runs and then 0's for the next 4 innings.  MC Sammer throws for 1 and 2/3 and then Reichert tosses the last inning and a third.  The Millers hit some balls hard but the Lakers had about 3 or 4 errors on the day, although the home Tonka scoreboard gave them all hits ?????.  Offensively Lakers had some opportunities to score but were lacking in that timely 2 out hit.  Miller and Skjefte had an RBI double and Triple respectively.  Next up is the Merchants in the last regular season game of the year.

7/25 Lakers hold on to beat Merchants 5-3

Sam Gotham starts on the bumb, and was the post-game grill master, and gets the win for the Lakers throwing 6 strong innings.  He allowed the Merchants to load the bases in two seperate innings but he was able to get out of them allowing only 3 runs, 2 earned.  MC Sammer picks up the save. Lakers got out to an early 3-0 lead when Timmy plates 2 runs on a FC and Merchant error and then scored himself.  The Merchants tied it up at 3 and then the Lakers scored 2 in the top of the 6 for the needed margin of victory.  The win locked up the 2 seed or better for the Lakers with 1 game left to play in league, wednesday against the same Merchant team. 

7/24 Lakers out hit the home team but fall to Cold Spring 8-4

Paddy gets the call on the bump for the Lakers in their trip up to Cold Spring and throws 5 solid innings only giving up one run.  When he left the Lakers enjoyed a 3-1 lead.  Cold Spring scored 2 in the 6th, and the Lakers scored 1 in the top of te 7th, then the flood gates opened.  The Springers were able to take advantage of some walks scoring 5 runs on 3 hits in the inning.  Offensively for the Lakers BK went deep for his 2nd HR and Reichert and Clark each had 3 hits.  Three games remaining in the regular season over the next three days as the Lakers play the Merchants Mon and Wed and travel to Minnetonka on Tues. 

7/22 Lakers fall in extras to the Prior Lake Jays 6-5

Caleb starts on the bump and goes 5 innings for the Lakers.  Lakers take the lead early scoring 3 runs on 4 hits including RBI doubles by Reichert and J-Mill.  They then score 1 in the top of the 5th for a 4-0 lead.  The Lakers run into a little trouble in the 5th with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 down after a sac bunt.  RBI single, SB, 2 run error, RBI single and sac fly by the Jays lead to the Jays take a 5-4 lead only scoring 2 earned runs.  The Lakers score one in the top of the 7th and Williams shut down the Jays in the 6th and 7th and we head to extra innings.  Lakers cant score in the top of the 8th and then Jays lead off the bottom of the frame with a single, throwing error on a sac bunt allows the runner to be safe at 1st but Nick Kuhlman is backing it up and throws the other runner out at third.  BK then takes the mound and the Jays get the runner to 3rd and hit a fly ball to Reichert in Left.  A strong one hopper gets to the plate at the same time as the runner slides in and the Jays score the winning run. Next up Cold Spring

7/21 Lakers survive close game with BlueSox, win 4-3 in 8

Bennett starts on the bump and throws 3 perfect innings striking out the last 7 batters he faced. Coming back from arm tightness he pulls himself from the game.  Timmy comes in and throws well but the BlueSox take advantage of Laker miscues and score 2 unearned runs in the top of the 6th.  Trailing 3-2 the BlueSox load the bases with one out in the top of the 7th and BK comes in and gets a grounder but the Lakers can't turn the double play and the tying run scores.  BK strikes the next guy out and throws the 8th to pick up the win with the Lakers scoring 1 in the bottom of the 8th.  Offensively Lakers have men on base most of the day buyt cant get the big hit to open up the scoring.  In the first Skjeft doubles and WT triples to score the first run of the game but the Lakers cant score WT from third with 1 out.  Reichert hits a solo HR in the 3rd to make the score 2-0 after the Lakers cant score with 2 on and 2 out in the 2nd.  Lakers cross another in the 4th with Chris Samanant courtesy runner scores from 2nd on WT's second triple of the game for the 3-0 lead.  On to the 8th, tied at 3 Luke doubles to lead off the 8th, J-Mill is itentionally walked, a failed bunt and then Skjefte hits a walk-off RBI single to left scoring Luke.  Well on to Prior Lake on Fri and a drive to Cold Spring on Sunday.

7/18 Lakers able to hold off Rats win 4-1

Second game in a row where the heat index was over 100 at first pitch.  Lakers offensively are threatening in almost every inning but the Rats are able to get out of most of the jams unscathed.  In the second Luke gets to second with 2 outs and a slow roller by Rubin to 3B has Luke on his horse thinking about scoring.  The throw is low to first, Rubin beats it out and the throw home sails over the catchers head and Luke scores. In the 4th Timmy gets to second af hit and a SB scores on an RBI by Skjefte.  Top of the 7th Lakers throw on 2 insurance runs with Paddy Carroll and Caleb Phillips both pinch running and coming around to score.  On the mound Goth threw well through the heat and was able to keep the Rats in the infield most of the game.  The ground outs led to 3 double plays turned by the Lakers including one to end the game with the bases loaded after the Rats already scored 1 in the bottom of the 7th.  Vics game scheduled for tuesday already canceled as they have to make up a league game so next game is thurs against the BlueSox.  Lakers currently tied for 2nd in Park National after the Patriots beat the Pub last night and 3 teams are tied with 4 losses in league.

7/17 Lakers beat Chanhassen 10-0 in the heat

Game time heat index of about 105 and Rubin called some dinosaurs in the 3rd inning but the Lakers with 10 players counting Paul travel to Chanhassen and come away with the victory.  Caleb gets his 2nd start in as many games and comes away with the victory throwing 3 scoreless innings.  Chris Samanant tosses the 4th and 5th and then Skjefte makes his mound debut for the Lakers throwing the last 2 innings.  What is important to note is that Skjefte was the only, primary position, non first base infielder there, so Clark got to make his first appearance at SS in a Laker uni.  Skjefte faced only 6 hitters using his defense with 3 ground ball outs in the 6th.  Lakers offense did well scoring 3 in the 2nd and 2 in the 4th before crossing 5 more runs in the 6th and 7th.  Bistro had a day with 4 hits and 3 RBI.  Lakers have 8 games including 4 league games remaining before the playoffs start, and they begin with the River Rat Bat Attack Monday night at Parade. 

7/15 Merchants V Lakers rained out. Make-up date TBD

BK joins some of the Laker vets for a night out in Uptown which ends with 2 triple orders of pepperoni Topper sticks.

7/13 Philips returns and Lakers beat Tommies 4-2

Commanding Edge, AKA St Thomas Tommies, changed their name to the Pirates in the off season but the Lakers were able to travel to St Thomas and come away with the win.  Caleb starts on the mound and throws 3 shutout innings in his return facing one Tommie over the minimum through 3.  Luke Mulerlilie hit a solo HR in the 2nd inning and in the 4th singled got to 2nd on a ground out and then got to 3rd and scored on wild pitches.  In the 4th inning BK and NWT go back to back jacks for the Lakers 3rd and 4th runs of the game.  On the bumb after Caleb went 3, Bennett threw 2 and EZ and BK throw 1 each with BK picking up the save with the Pirates getting 1 run off of Bennett in the 4th and 1 off EZ in the 6th.  Lakers return to action on Friday vs Merchants at 6:15 at Parade.

7/12 Laker beat Angels 13-0

Gotham takes the mound for the Lakers and throws a complete game shutting out the Angels. Goth threw well and had some good D behind him with the Lakers turning 3 double plays on the night.  Offensively the Lakers hit the Angels pitcher pretty well but also took advantage of some Angel errors.  In the first the Lakers cross 1 run after a throwing error.  In the 3rd the Lakers get 3 more runs, and then get 3 in the 5th, 1 in the 6th and finish it off scoring 5 in the 7th.  J-Mill had an RBI double to left center which got stuck in the Parade ivy. Lakers back at it on Wed at St Thomas to play the Commanding Edge Tommies.

7/10 Lakers beat DC Saints 7-3

Patty Carroll gets his first start on the bump for the Lakers and uses the double play ball to get out of a few jams in the first 3 innings.  Timmy Miller comes in and throws the last 6 innings in the 94+ degree heat to pick up the win.  Lakers get going early scoring 6 runs in the first 2 innings taking advantage of a few free passes and timely hits.  After the 2nd innings the Lakers only cross one more when Bistro, after a double, scores on an RBI double on the potential last Laker AB for Will Chen.  The Lakers threatened in almost every inning and had 5 SB's as a team on the day, led by Svoboda. Next up Angels on Tuesday.

7/7 Lakers start weekend early lose 13-1 to Pub

Well that was forgetable.  Pub hit the ball well and took advantage of some walks and hit batsmen. They got 4 in the 1st, 1 in the 2nd and then opened it up with 8 in the 3rd.  The lone Laker offensive highlight was a Reichert triple to start the second and an RBI single by Clark to bring in Reichert.  HOF all-star game Sat at noon, Dunning field in St Paul.  $5 to get in and the Laker representatives are J-Mill, NWT, MC Sammer and Reichert.  Next Laker game in Dassel Cokato, bring you church program $2 off entry to the game.

7/6 Lakers return from break with 7-0 win vs Rocks

Gotham takes the hill for the first game after 3 days off and goes complete game to get the shutout.  Rocks pitcher throws well through 5 but the Lakers are able to put up 4 runs in the bottom of the 6th.  Early on the Lakers are able to take advantage of some misplayed balls by the Rocks SS and score 1 in the 3rd and 2 in the 4th for the early 3-0 lead.  The D played well and Goth kept the ball in the infield with only 2 flyball outs to the OF.  Highlights: Skjefte RBI triple past ex-Laker Ryan Cousins, Glasser 2 RBI double in return and Svboda doing scorebook in button down shirt and jeans.  Next up Pub Thurs night 6:15

6/30 Lakers win 8-7 in back and forth battle with NWS

Timmy Miller starts on the bump and throws six strong innings.  A couple errors behind him and a few walks lead to the NWS rallies.  Pre game while the 10 Lakers that show up are warming up in the 100 degree heat, Skjefte states we will hit 3 Homeruns today.  He started it off with a solo HR in the 3rd, then Miller got a solo HR in the 5th and Williams got a solo HR in the 7th (to tie the game at 7 after NWS took the lead in the bottom of the 6th).  So Skjefte's prediction came true and the Lakers got the win.  Lakers take 1-0 lead then NWS scores 3 Lakers come back scoring 3 and then 2 to take a 6-3 lead.  NWS claws back and takes lead 7-6 in the bottom of the 6th.  In the top of the 7th Williams hits a HR with one out to tie the game up.  J-Mill comes up with 2 outs and lines a double to LC field and then Clark works the count to 2-2 and hits an RBI single scoring J-Mil for the winning run.  Chris Samanant pitches the 7th and picks up the save. No game until 7/6.  Happy 4th of July

6/28 Long night of baseball and Lakers finish 1 and 1. Lose to Cobras 3-2 and beat Cobras 7-2

Lakers and Cobra Kai first finish off the suspended game resuming in the top of the 6 tied at 2.  The Lakers cant score in either of their innings and the cobras take advantage of 2 Laker errors in the bottom of the 6th to win the opener 3-2.  On to the scheduled game.  Lakers send Goth to the hill and he was able to work through some wildness and toss a complete game, giving up only 2 runs in the 4th inning.  The Defense plays better this game and Timmy makes a sliding catch in RF and Goth made a few good plays coming off the mound.  Offense showed up early as Lakers begin game with hit, error and back to back doubles to take the early 3-0 lead.  The score a few more runs in innings 2 through 5 and cruise to the 7-2 victory.  Bistro had a beer bring.  Next up is a recently scheduled game against the NWS redhawks then a few days off for the holiday weekend.

6/27 Lakers get attendance for Berries game but cant get W.  Lose 4-3

EZ starts on the mound and lets say the D was a little rusty in the first inning as there were 3 errors on the board for the Lakers and 0 hits for the Berries with the Berries scoring 2 runs in the first inning.  No errors the rest of the game for the Lakers. In the second the Berries get a couple hits and a couple more runs.  The Lakers get 3 runs in the top of the 3rd with singles by Clark and Skip and then a 2 RBI double by Timmy who came around to score on a Muelerlilie RBI. No runs the rest of the game as EZ threw 4 innings and BK came in for the last 2.  Next up finishing the suspended game vs the Cobras and then playing the make up game against the Cobras starting at 8:30 at Parade.

6/26 Lakers take out Patriots 8-2 during Sunday Funday

Noon game at Parade usually leads to parking lot fun, especially after a victory.  This Sunday was just that.  Bennett Johnson pitches well and shuts out the Patriots through 6 innings, Pats score 2 in top of 7th with Lakers up 8-0.  Early on the Laker offense was hitting the ball hard but right at the Patriot defenders, as they hit into 3 double plays in the first 3 innings.  Then in the 5th and 6th innings the Lakers are able to open the flood gates taking advantage of some walks and bloop hits and score 7 runs in the 2 innings.  Reichert and Williams hit the ball well with Nickie getting 2 hits and 3 RBI and William's has 3 hits.  Post-game had to be in the lot by the football field due to the main lot being used for event parking.  Will Chen manned the grill and KPK and Reichert went 6-0 in Bags game.  Patty Carroll also showed up big time in his second appearance in a Laker uniform and didn't even step on the field. Next up Berries Monday night.

6/23 Lakers lose 5-0 to Blaine Fusion

Zero hitting and 3 errors does not lead to success very often.  Lakers traveled up to Blaine and Timmy throws well giving up only 1 unearned run in 7 innings.  Unfortunately the Lakers weren't able to help him out.  Patty Carroll makes his Laker Debut on the mound in the 8th inning.  Two days off and then the Homies at Parade on Sun at noon. 

6/23 Suspended Game  To be Completed Tuesday before next Lakers/Cobras Game

6/22 Lakers and Cobra Kai suspended after 5 while tied at 2

The Cobras score 2 runs in the bottom of the 5th to tie the game at 2 and then Castle calls the game due to weather.  Neither Skip or the 2 Cobra managers knew the exact rule as the game had gone the official 5 innings.  So the game may have to start over with a complete make up game or we may have to play 2 innings sometime in the furture.  Next up Blaine thursday night to end the stretch of 10 games in 9 days.

Quick note - Laker Nation will be doing some post game grilling and what not after the noon tilt this sunday against the Homies/Gators/American Pie Pizza Patriots (they may have gotten a new sponsor since this article went to print) 

6/21  Lakers Burnsville Rained Out.   Caroll back from DL.  Roster news

The Lakers were rained out in Burnsville for the second year in a row.  In other team related news, Patrick Caroll come off of DL (broken finger) and ready to begin working in with the staff after his rehab assignment.  Also Caleb Phillips is recovering well and looking to begin baseball activities shortly and possibly back in the rotation sometime in July.  With Chris Samanant joining the pitching staff the arms are coming back at the mid point of the season. Jared Mountain has made his annual debut with a start in RF Sunday in Victoria for Fathers day.  Cobras next if Mike Castle does not rain the game out. 

6/20 Offense and pitching lead to 17-0 win over the Rats

Sam Gotham starts on the mound for the Lakers and gets early run support as the Lakers cross 11 runs in the bottom of the first inning.  Goth faced 3 batters over the minimum giving up 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 8 Rats.  The offense was led by Reichert and Jeff Miller who both had Home Runs to Left Field.  Timmy Miller showed off some speed scoring from first on an errant pick off attempt without a throw to home plate.  Next game down in Burnsville, you guessed it, tomorrow night.

6/19 Lakers and Pub travel to Victoria, Pub victorious 6-3

Two Mpls teams squared off in Victoria in the 3rd place game of the Vics tourney. Chris Samanant gets his first start on the mound in a Lakers Uni and throws well for the first 3 frames.  Reichert relieves young Samanant and Williams throws the last 3 and a third innings in his first pitching performance since HS.  Pub hit a couple HR's and Lakers aren't able to score any runs after the 4th inning.  Lucas Skjefte ended the tourney hitting 7-11 from his leadoff spot in the order and was able to take the field with his little brother Tony for the double play combo here in the 3rd place game.  Tony drew a walk and scored on a Williams RBI double.  The Marathon of baseball continues as the Lakers play the Rats Monday at 8:30 at Parade.

6/18 Lakers 8, ESox 0 and Vic 2, Lakers 1 in opening day of Vic tourney

Lakers rebound after collapse less than 18 hours prior by scoring 7 runs in the first 3 frames and cruise to 8-0 victory over the ESox.  Lucas Skjefte starts strong with single and run scored in first, double and run scored in second and RBI triple in the third.  The Lakers couldn't get him up to bat in the fourth for the attempt for the Natural Cycle and in the 6th he got under the ball a little and it was hit "Too High" and not "Too Hard".  Bennett threw a CG game for the Shutout and quite a few other Lakers got in on the offensive outburst.

In Game 2 Timmy Miller takes the ball and goes CG against the host Vics.  KPK shows up and is looking forward to coaching first base and ends up starting at first base hitting in the 9 hole.  Lakers are home team by way of coin flip and through 5 innings the game is scoreless.  With 1 out in the top of the 6th NWT fields a grounder tosses it a little wide of first.  KPK comes off the bag catches it and makes the tag.  The umpire may have blinked at that time and called the runner safe.  As is the trend lately that runner comes around to score.  Lakers tie it up in the bottom of the 7th on a Williams RBI single.  Lakers continue threat as Bistro walks, Goth Sac bunts the runners up and Clark is intentionally walked.  Miller comes up and hits a line drive/fly ball to left field and skip holds Williams at 3rd and the left fielders throw turns out to be just awful (hindsight is 20/20).  Vics score in top of 8th and Lakers cannot cross a run in the bottom of the frame.

6/17 Lakers cruise and then struggle Late against Hastings. Fall 10-9

In a WTF moment  despite playing shorthanded and with players out of position, the Lakers were in cruise control through seven.  As a matter of fact the Lakers had taken their foot off the gas pedal.   Erickson was in command, Lakers were hitting it all over the park.  Players were being told not to steal.  Hastings had even seemingly run up the white flag by running out a 35mph submarine efis thumber.  Then hell started to break loose as errors started coming hard and fast.  Some fast Hastings guy bloops a single to right and unsmartly tries to stretch it but the Lakers manage to award his bad baserunning by throwing it around and giving up  an inside-the-parker.  The strike zone then shrinks in the eight and the floodgates open.  In extra innings probably the same guy strikes out but pass balls his way on and the Lakers find a way to let him score.  Final score Hasting 10, Lakers 9 in 10 innings.

6/16 Lakers Fall to Bandits 8-2

Lakers only had 10 guys show up for the Non-League game in Bloomington and came up on the short end of the stick.  EZ started on the bumb and threw well but a couple of walks and a couple of errors behind him led to him picking up his first loss of the year.  Lakers scored their 2 runs in the top of the 4th to cut the Bandit lead to 3-2.  Reichert led off the inning with a single followed by a Will Chen single.  The runners advanced to 2nd and 3rd with a wild pitch and Rubio lines a 2 RBI single to left field to account for most of the Laker offense.  The fun continues with a trek to Hastings for a Friday night 7:30 game and then Sat and Sun the Lakers are in the Victoria tourney. (about 55 miles between the parks, Hastings to Victoria)

6/15 Gotham flirt with a No-No as Lakers blank Blue Sox 10-0

Lakers get back in the win column as Sam Gotham throws a complete game one hitter.  The hit came in the 7th inning with one out.  Goth was able to control the pace of the game with 8 K's over the 7 innings vs 2 walks.  The defense was solid behind Goth with only one error and the error was made up for by throwing the Blue Sox runner out at 2nd trying to stretch it into a 2 base error.  The offense was able to take advantage of some walks and got some timely hitting.  Both Kuhlmann's and Timmy got doubles and Bistro hit a ball well down the RF line but the Blue Sox OF had Bistro scouted and shifted that way with the Right Fielder playing about 15 feet off the RF line.  Good win for Laker Nation and we are back at it tomorrow night vs Bloomington at Red Haddox field (home of the Kent Hrbek water tower and the Dickie Simkins Port-a-John foul ball)

6/13 Lakers fall to Angels in close game 2-0

It was a tough night for the Lakers.  The offense couldn't adjust to the expanded (not many could) strike zone and the Angel pitcher used that to his advantage.  When the Lakers put the ball in play good things happened but they couldn't get the big hit when they were threatening with multiple base runners in the 3rd, 4th and 5th.  Bennett Johnson threw well in defeat collecting about 6 strikeouts and able to get through a couple jams.  In the 2nd inning the Angels got a walk, a bleeder and wild pitch to have runners at 2nd and 3rd with 1 out.  The Angels hitter  hits a grounder through the middle to score both runs and that was all they needed.  Next up is the Blue Sox at 8:30 on Wed at Parade which starts a stretch of 10 games in 9 day.

6/10 Lakers v Merchants - Rained out

6/8 Lakers beat Pub 5-1

Sam Gotham threw a complete game and besides a few walks controlled a strong Pub lineup.  The one run was after the wind took a ball to RF that wasn't caught and there were Pub runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out.  The Pub got an RBI single and then a fly ball to RF where Ben Kuhlmann caught it and gunned the runner down at the plate by about 15 feet, so Goth was able to get out of the Jam with minimal damage.  Offensively the Lakers were able to cross a run in each of the first 2 frames and then scored 3 in the 4th for all the runs they need.  The Lakers hit some balls hard with J Miller, Skjefte and WT all getting doubles.  The Lakers were also able to use some speed with Rubin and Timmy getting infield singles during the 3 run rally.  Lakers have a Thursday off tomorrow but discovered that the Ponies don't start running on Thursday at Cantebury until next week.  Next Game, Merchants Fri 8:30 Parade.

6/6 Lakers Survive Rocky Finish To Enter Win Column in League Play
Apparently, the Lakers and the Rocks had similar weekends as far as attendance and manager stress goes.   The Rocks fielded a lineup of 9 guys as they had a too-close-for-comfort game vs the BlueSox.  The weekend sounded good for the Lakers - a tourney game at storied Dundas Park vs Minetonka Millers and then Rochester.   Like the Rocks, the Lakers only had 10 guys. 

Fast forward to Monday the Lakers rebound with 16 or 17 in uniform.  Bennett informed Solty late that he could not pitch Wednesday and after a quick reshuffle, it was decided that Johnson would pitch on short rest with the rest of the lineup redone.  Bennett Johnson came out strong (much improved over his previous league stint).   When the author of this report showed up in the fifth the Lakers were up 5-0 apparently a result of some errors and bloop hits.  The sixth and seventh inning were interesting.  The Rocks got some hits and also took advantage of Laker miscues to put 2 up.  In the seventh,  the Rocks loaded the bases (partly aided by an interesting call at first base by the ump)  and then a 2RBI single by someone left the score 5-4 with the tying Rock only 90ft away.  There were quite a few pitchers in Laker blue but the options were limited as most of them had thrown a lot of pitches in games just a few days earlier.  It was decided that Johnson would finish the game.  Fortunately, Johnson induced a grounder up the middle fielded by BK for the force out at second.

  • Bennett Johnson still defiant of team uniform code.
  • Best Buy tip of the day: Do not clean your TV screen with water or window cleaner.   Instead us $30/fl oz Monster cleaning fluid
  • Cobra's uniforms are interesting.   Goose, what are you thinking?  Aren't skin tight camoflage Ts typically worn by those girls in WWE events?
  • The 5-4 win over the rocks marks the first of five league games in a row.
  • Lakers historical roster now published - click on "All Time" on left.
  • Pub next on Wednesday

6/4 Lakers shut out by Millers.  Unable to hold of Rochester
Lakers go 0-2 at the Dundas Invitational - first shut out by the Millers 13-0.  In game 2, the Lakers dig out of a 6-0 hole to force the game into extra innings but are unable to hold off Rochester in the 10th inning.     Lakers finally get a slight break in the schedule and Sunday off.  Up next is three league games vs the Rocks,  Pub, and Merchants.

6/3 WT vultures win as Lakers beat Air Freight 7-6

Nick Kuhlman starts and throws 4 strong innings leaving with a 5-2 lead. WT comes in and promptly starts his vulturing giving up 3 in the 5th and 1 in the 6th, but takes them down 1, 2, 3 in the 7th after the Lakers re-took the lead in the top of the 7th.  Defensively the Lakers played well with having only one error.  The Lakers bats were swinging well but some hard hit balls ended up as outs and some grounders rolled through the infield for hits.  The Lakers took advantage of some AFU errors early and some timely hitting with BK getting a 2 RBI double with the bases loaded after 2 errors by the AFU shortstop.  In the top of the 7th down 6-5 Reichert doubled to start the inning, moved to 3rd on a Bistro ground out and scored on a Timmy Miller single.  Timmy then stole 2nd with the throw getting to CF and went to 3rd where the throw sailed into the AFU dugout allowing Timmy to score the winning run.  Back at it this weekend in Dundas for 2 on Sat and possible game Sun.

6/2 Lakers shot down by patriots 7-3

It was an all around tough day in Laker Nation.  Earlier in the day Eden Prairie loses high school playoff game to Prior Lake, the Southwest HS team lost two playoff games and then later at Parade, the Lakers lose easily to Miss American Pie patriots.  Bennett Johnson started on the bump and squared off against Pie ace Matt McDonell but the pitching duel never materialized as the Lakers did not hold up on their end.  On the game Laker pitchers had 9 walks and 1 hit batsman, which the local 9 could not over come.  The Patriots made the Lakers pay for the walks with 6 runs in the first 3 innings.  Lakers used Will Chen and then Ben Kuhlman to try and stop the bleeding which they somewhat acomplished but the damage was done.  Lakers later score 3 runs on some hits strung together including a couple of doubles from Case and a shot from BK to the left field fence.

Not much time to stew over the loss as the Lakers play - you guessed it, the next day.  Absences and injuries have hit the Laker pitching staff but they will have to find a way to get through this busy stretch which inlcudes a game Friday night in St. Paul vs AFU and then 2 games in the Dundas Tourney on Sat, possible game sun and the return to league action monday against the rocks.

6/1 Lakers Score early and hang on to beat Berries 5-3

Lakers bat around in the first scoring 4 runs and the Berries answer with 3 in the bottom of the first after that the pitchers settled down and only 1 run was scored the rest of the game on a Reichert HR to straight away CF. EZ throws the first 4 and 2/3 to get his second win of the year and MC Sammer comes in to throw the last 2 and 1/3 to get the save.  Kyle Svoboda makes his Laker debut with 2 singles in the game and Ben Kuhlman and Boyesen join him with multiple hits on the day.  The defense played well behind the pitchers without having an error on the day and a couple nice plays by Ben Kuhlman at SS and Svoboda running down some balls while patroling CF.  Next up is the now league opener against the Homies who are now sponsored and are going by the American Pie Pizza Patriots, 8:30 at Parade on Thursday. 

5/31 Lakers end it early beating Sport and Spine 10-0 in 5.;   Phillips out indefinately.
Sam Gotham throws the Lakers 2nd complete game in the young season and only had to throw 5 innings to do it.  He didn't give up a run and had 5 K's in the 5 innings.  Gotham was able to get out of 2 bases loaded jams, in the 2nd getting the 9 hitter to ground out and in the 4th striking out the the 8 and 9 hitters. Defensively the OF had only one ball reach them on a single to RF, and the IF did a good job of covering ground and making the throws.  The Lakers offensively got on the board early with the first four hitters reaching base and scoring.  Clark went 1 for 2 with a sac fly and 2 RBI, while Skjefte had a hit and scored 2 runs.  WT and Reichert had 2 hits on the day.  The Lakers were able to take advantage of some walks as they scored their 10 runs on only 7 hits.  Lakers return to action vs Hopkins Berries at Big Willow Wednesday night.

5/26 Lakers 11, Stockman's Irish 1 in 7 innings
Skjefte help awaken the Laker bats in their 4th game in 4 days.  The newest Laker Nick Kuhlman couldn't read Skip's handwriting and heard how Skjefte's name was pronounced and wrote in the book "Sheffty" then only gave Skjefte 3 RBI on a grand slam, later corrected.  He made up for it by coming in in the 7th and preserving the Lakers 10 run lead so the game could end in 7 innings.  On the day Skjefte had 3 hits and 6 RBI from the Leadoff spot in the line up.  Jeff Miller also had a good day going 4-5.  Reichart got in on the action with a solo HR to lead off the 6th inning and the Lakers crossed 2 more runs that inning to give them the 10 run cushin then needed.  Timmy Miller started the game for the Lakers and went 6 strong innings only allowing the 1 earned run and striking out 4 of the Irish.  The Lakers have 4 days off for the holiday weekend and then begin a stretch of 8 games in 7 days and on the schedule there are 24 games, with the Cobra reschedule, between 5/31 and 6/27.

 5/25 EZ and Gotham get combined shutout over the Hogs 5-0
The Lakers got another good pitching performance and their 2nd win on the young season.  Laker Veteran Eric "EZ" Nelson starts the game and goes 4 scoreless innings and is relieved by Sam Gotham who gets the 3 inning save.  The Laker lineup continues to trickle in as Luca Skjefte makes his 2011 Laker debut and Timmy Miller makes his Laker Debut.  Solid defense behind the pitchers as there was only one error on the St. Anthony scoreboard for the Lakers at the end of the game.  Offensively Timmy gets 2 hits, including an RBI double, on the evening and scored 2 runs while manning CF.  The hitters are starting to find the barrell of the bat with their swings as Robert Williams had a couple of deep fly balls to the warning track, Ben Kuhlman and NWT hit shots to the OF (BK's for a double and WT's caught at the fence) while Jeff Miller and Nate Rubin continue to swing a good bat.  In the I haven't see that since little league moment from the game: Hog relief pitcher, after giving up a double to Ben Kuhlman, runs off the field to the dugout and brings back a firstbase glove and pitches with this.  Is this legal? NO.  Did the ump allow it? Yes.  We return to action tomorrow night in South Saint Paul against the Irish an then have, what will be rare this summer, a couple days off in a row due to the memorial day weekend.  

 5/24 Lakers Edge Saint Louis Park
The Lakeshow enters the win column with a 2-0 victory over perrenial Class A power Saint Louis Park.   The headline story was a strong debut by newcomer Caleb Phillips who cruised through a solid 7 innings in securing the win.  Phillips was in command throughout with 1 walk, about 5Ks and 4 hits given up.    Offensively, Clark Boyesen and Nate Rubin had multi-hit games and Sam Gotham scored the first run of the game on a Luke Muellerlleile single after stealing second.  In the top of the 9th Robert Williams doubled, MC Sammer pinch ran and scored on a RBI single from Clark.  Bennett Johnson pitched the last 2 innings of scoreless relief for the combined shutout and his first save of the year.  The Kangaroo court was not convened but Bennett Johnson and Rubin will recieve retroactive fines for uniform violations.   Next up.... yes tomorrow (Wed) night vs St Anthony Hogs and their new nice field.

5/23 MC Sammer goes complete game in 4-1 loss to Shamrocks

It was good to get back on the diamond for the first time in 2011.  Many of the collegiate Lakers are returning from their various NCAA Regional tournaments.  With the influx of new talent the Lakers put out a veteran lineup against the 2010 State Runner-up Shamrocks.  The ageless Alex Case was 1-2 with a walk and scored the only Laker run.  The Lakers had some chances leaving the bases loaded in the 2nd and hitting into 2 double plays to end potential rallies.  MC Sammer threw well in the opener keeping the ball down against a good hitting Shamrock team.  For the most part the defense played well in the opener. As will be the theme this summer next game is tomorrow, 7:30 in at Dakota Field vs Saint Louis Park.

  5/20 Lakers Cobras Rained Out
Lakers opener rained out.  Next up, Shamrocks at Dunning.

5/16 Season Preview
The Lakeshow charges into 2011 with a rejuvenated roster and a continued push towards the youth movement.  Another vet bites the dust as Billy Diaz heads over to the Cobras.  Billy's departure really highlights an end of an era as one by one, the old guard departs.  Case returns from Europe and transitions to a part time role as he joins Mountain and the GM as those devoting more time to kid sports.  The Laker veteran cupboard is not completely bare with Solty, Clarkos,  Bistro, Reichert,  Erickson,  Luke Muellerlleile being joined by the now relatively old Nate Wilson Traismen returning from the Cali winter league.

This group is joined by returning collegians Lucas Skjefte (MNSU), Sam Gotham and Bennett Johnson (both Augustana) Jeff Miller (UW Superiror) and a lenghty list of newcomers in Kyle Svoboda (MNSU), Edina native Paddy Carroll (Augustana), and two additional EP guys in Timmy Miller (Gustavus) and Caleb Phillips (Indian Hills CC), and Macalester catcher Robert Williams. 

By position, on the bump, the Lakers staff consists of Sam Erickson, Sam Gotham, Caleb Phillips, Timmy Miller, Will Chen,  Paddy Carroll,  Bennett Johnson, Easy Nelson, and yes - Chris Samanant will help burn innings in busiest schedule in club history.  (As this preview goes to press, the Lakers learn that Mitch Glasser got a job in Chicago and will not be back).

The outfield will be fast - very fast.  For four other center fielders on the team.  Gotham is joined by Clark Boyeson, Nate Rubin, Will Chen, Kyle Svoboda, Timmy Miller, Chris Samanant, and UST turncoat Nick Reichert.  Yes - Reichert played for the Tommies this past year.  Reichert and Gotham will double time at infield as well where Lucas Skjefte returns along with a talented returning core of veterans NWT,  Luke M and the Bistro.  Home plate has both experience and youth with Solty, Clark, Robert Williams, and Jeff Miller.

The question then becomes if the Lakers can make it back to the big show for the second time in 2 years and in club history.   Question marks include if the veterans on the team can balance the inexperience factor due to youth.  The Lakers would like to think that their pitching depth can carry them through the 2/3s.  Unfortunately, this depth may not provide a decided advantage because Park National has structured the 2011 playoffs as to allow a team with a single dominant ace to get to State.  2/3s are spread out over a seven day span!!  It remains to be seen if such (Fleetham type of) pitcher emerges from the competition.  It is recognized that Park National is deep and competitive and any team is capable of making a run.  A survey of other websites highlights equal optimism from the Lakers' rivals.

 As the season kicks off on May 20, the Lakers face the challenge of fielding a squad because many of their players are on teams that are still playing in NCAA regionals.  The team should hit it's stride in June and July - incidentally for mention sake - that is about the time KPK may show up for a weekend.   At the end of the road, the Lakeshow hopes to be able to celebrate a return state with a party wrapping up the year at the Target Field skybox. 

 1/07 Lakers 2011 Season is here

To schedule a game, please email paul.samanant@honeywell.com . 




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