/11/2012 Thats All Folks. River Pirates Beat Lakers
The UST pitcher was probably the player and main storyline of the game. He was dominant with exceptional control, hard fastball, sharp curve/slider etc that kept Laker bats mostly silent. Caleb Phillips started and threw well, however on this day and against this pitcher, he needed to be perfect and the defense needed to come up big and it was not able to. Couple of walks on some close pitches (more on this later) and mix in a few defensive miscues, the Tommies were able to come up with a clutch 0-2 hit with bases loaded to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Similar situations pushed the lead (or deficit from Laker POV) to 3 and then to 6.

Meanwhile the Lakers have to battle both the pitcher and the umpire the who continues to be all over the place with his ball/strike calls. UST makes some pitching changes and almost pays for it. With Lakers left for dead, UST makes another pitching change in bottom of ninth. The last pitcher struggles with his control. After a Blasy flyout, Dillon gets a hit, Chris bunts for a hit. Miller walks. Clark strikes out after another series of questionable calls. Merrill walks. Skjefte gets on with a sinking liner that the left fielder mis-plays. With lots of power in #3 and #4 up in Reichert and Bistro respectively, tying run at first with speed at first, could it be? Will there be a storybook ending to this? Nooooo..... The Lakers are denied as the umpire continues with his guessing game and puts an exclamation on his performance by emphaticallyl ringing up Reichert on an inside pitch that the catcher had to reach for that actually nips Reichert. Game over. Final score is 6-3 and Lakers are one and out in the new formatt.

Congrats to River Pirates on an excellently played game and also coming up with the clutch hits. It should be a very good game vs the Millers and if he Pirates can win that, they could go a long way the following weekend with their pitching. Otherwise, good luck to all remaining teams with some emphasis on Merchants and Angels of Park National.

For the Lakeshow, in a "mini rebuilding year", the Lakers perservere on their way to a strong finish and a state touney appearance. Lakers and GM want thank the many loyal fans that came out. It also wants to thank the support from wives, families, bosses, kids, dogs, , and such that allowed us players to get away and out onto the field. Thanks to Skip for another year of guiding this crew. Some of the college guys will appreciate the break from baseball before they hit it again in just a few weeks. For management, some decisions need to be made/finalized including likely retirement of Skip Soltvedt. Paul may try to talk him out of it but Matt says thats it. We'll see. Thanks again and see you next year.

8/8 2012, Lakers to Take on (St Thomas) River Pirates, Winner to Play Millers

Click Here For State Tourney Brackets

The Minneapolis Lakers return to the Class A state tourney for the second consecutive season and for the fourth time in club history. The Lakers 2012 season can be described as one of perserverance: The Lakers had to overcome loss of key veterans on the left side of the infield but more importantly, much of the Lakers pitching staff had sufferred injuires incurred during their college seasons. This turnover combined with a busy and challenging schedule left the 2012 Lakers hanging and treading water for much of the season. The Lakers were able to replenish 2011 losses with college freshmen (see preview) and the remaining veteran players (Skjefte, Miller, Reichert, Kuhlmann, Bunnett, Boyeson, Merrill, etc) were able to keep the club competitive where it finished third in Park National play while notching some key wins over top ranked teams. The pitching staff, while not as deep as 2011 was led by Grant Soderberg and Caleb Phillips and should be deep enough contend in the 2012 state tourney format. The Lakers are led offensively by Lucas Skjefte, Ben Kuhlmann, Nick Reichert, Sam Bunnett although the 2012 lineup is balanced top to bottom.

The Lakers will open state tourney single elimination round by facing the UST River Pirates, a team it had edged earllier this season 2-0. If the Lakers win that game, they will advance to face the top ranked Minnetonka Millers who they upset 8-2 in the 2011 state tourney behind the pitching of Sam Gotham. The Lakers feel good about their pitching starters Caleb Phillips, Grant Soderberg, Ted Kimble, and bullpen (Miller, Kuhlmann, Samanant, Frederick). In two meetings vs the Millers this year, the Lakers came up short but did take tie games into seventh and tenth innings respectively. The Minnetontka Millers are essentially the same veteran ballclub that steamrolled it's way to a 41-5 record in 2012. Their ace is and game 1 starter is likely Don Erdall and their now familiar lineup includes the big sticks of Rutledge, Shallenberger, Schimdt, Davis, and so on.

First things first, and the Lakers will have to get by a young but always talented River Pirates squad that made a deep run in the NCAAs this year. The River Pirates are known for their all-around solidness and "playing the game the right way". Their pitching and defense rarely gives away outs and their hitters disciplined, and they always run the bases well. Game 1 vs River Pirates is 10:00AM Sat. Winner advances to play the Minnetonka Millers at 10:00 AM on Sunday. All games at Haddox

The top four teams from this weekends single elimination round will move on to a double elimination round the weekend of Aug 18. Tourney notes:

  • Players and fans should park on 91st Street behind right field. There is more room there and that area (or "the hill") is where teams will congregate and tailgate after the games.
  • Tourney prices are $6 for adults. $4 for kids and seniors. There is also $10 tourney passes for anyone who plays Class A basebll, and a $15 family pass for the tourney for players families.
  • Fans are welcome to sit anywhere but the Lakers and Class A baseball appreciate donation to the cause (as it is expensive to run the tournaments). Beer will be sold the first weekend.
  • Luke M. is rumored to be present and the Lakers look forward to seeing friends/alum past and present in support - get the word out!

 

8/5 "Ballgame" is 2-0 in Game 3 Snake Charming. Lakers Return to State

In 2008, Teddy "Ballgame" Kimble took the ball in game 3 en route to an 11-3 route of the Cobras as the Lakers advanced to state for the second time in club history. This 2012 series and game 3 was far from a laugher as both teams battled tooth and nail to the finish. None of the scores in any of the three games in the series reflected how close each game was.

Game three was equally close as the prevous two as Teddy took the mound again vs veteran lefty Matty Germar. Both teams scratched and clawed their way towards a 3-3 deadlock through seven. The Cobras defense and particularly their outfield, continued to stymie Laker hopes of breaking the game open. The crucial points in the game were in the top of seventh when Kimble was able to strike out a Cobra to get out of a bases loaded jam. In the bottom of the seventh, with Kevin Truax in relief of Germar, Jeff Miller delivered with a bases loaded double to score 2 runs. Nick Kuhlman followed up with a 2 run RBI single to tack on 2 more and break the game open. Ben Kuhlmann comes in relief and in between wild pitches is able to get the last 5 outs.

The Lakers tip their caps to the Cobras on a tough well played series. Lakers now move on to state. Commentary - Why is there single elimination in the state tourney? Stay tuned for details on schedule and opponent.
 

8/4 Lakers lose to Cobras 4-1. Game 3 Sunday at 6:00PM at Parade

Caleb Phillips pitches a very strong game and after 6 1/3 leaves the game with a 2-1 deficit. Dylan Frederick comes in to hold the Cobras close but the snakes were able to get the better end of 2 key plays - the first being a Skjefte diving stop of ball hit up the middle but runner called safe at first. Second was the Cobras scoring on a first and third rundown situation. Earlier, the Cobras also managed to win a very close multipitch 0-2 battle between Phillips and Quarberg which resulted in the go-ahead run. Meanwhile, the Lakers were not able to get the clutch hit on offense against Cobras pitcher JE Urseth. Lakers had opportunities including loading the bases three times but time and time again the Lakers lost all those little battles, leaving 12 runners on base, and the Cobra outfield playing a big part by making a diving catch or or great play. Final game of the series is on Sunday at 6:00PM.

8/1 Soderberg throws well and Lakers win 8-3 over the Cobras

Grant takes the mound in Game 1 for the Lakers and throws 8 strong innings. One unearned run given up in the first and one run in the 2nd and that is all she wrote for the Cobra offense until they got a meaningless run in the top of the 9th inning. Soda had 8 K's in the 8 innings and only gave up 2 walks. Defense was solid behind him with the infield making all the plays and turning 2 double plays. Offensively Nick Kulhman has 3 hits and Ben Kuhlman had an RBI triple. Merrill and Skjefte set it up at the top of the order and Bistro hit a grand slam to extend the lead to 8-2 in the bottom of the 8th. Game 2 will be Saturday evening at Parade at 7:30.

7/28 Lakers Take On Cobras in 2/3 Series, Winner to State

The Lakers earned a bye in he first round of the Park National playoffs by virtue of a third place finish. With this, the Lakers will take on the Cobras in a 2/3s series with the winner advancing to the state tourney. The schedule is as follows:

Game 1, Cobras vs Lakers. Wed Aug 1, 8:30PM, Parade Stadium
Game 2, Laker vs Cobras. Sat Aug 4, 7:30PM, Parade Stadium
Game 3: If Necessay Cobras vs Lakers, Sun Aug 5, Time TBA Parade Stadium

 

7/26 Lakers beat Stockmen's 7-4

Lakers jump out early taking a 7-0 lead and then the Irish battle back scoring 4 in the top of the 6th. The Lakers pitching staff hold the Irish down the rest of the game and the Lakers come away with the victory, Timmy picks up his 2nd save of the year. Lakers hit the ball well early scoring 4 of their initial 7 runs in the first inning, almost batting around in the bottom of the first. Skjefte and Hogan have multiple hit games and the Defense played well througout the game. Next up will be the 2 out of 3's against the Cobra's starting Aug 1st at 8:30 at Parade.

7/25 Lakers get the win vs Shamrocks 10-6

Teddy started on the mound and went into the 6th inning giving up 2 earned runs and 4 total, but he was able to pick up the win as he left with a 2 run lead. Dylan and BK finished off the rest of the 9 inning affair. Lakers hit the ball well and took advantage of some Shamrocks errors, but in scoring 10 runs they still left about 12 runners on base. Defense was solid as there were only 1 defensive miscue that actually was counted as an error in the scorebook. Game thursday night as the Lakers host the Irish.

7/22 Lakers Start Sunday Funday Early. Finish Park National in third place

The Lakeshow had an outside shot at finishing in second place but to do that, they would have had to beat the Patriots by 12 or more runs. That result far from materialized as the Lakers failed to generate any offense on Sunday Funday. Since the beginning of time, early Sunday games have occasionally been tough on the Lakers, as was this year. But last year the Lakers picked up a win vs the Patriots and post game festivities that lasted into Sunday evening. Paddy never made it to the game and for Reichert and JMill, well they did make it to Parade. On to baseball, Caleb Phillips threw well and pitched a scoreless into the 7th. Caleb left the game in the seventh with 2 outs and an unearned run when the defense failed to make a routine play after the umpire missed an easy call at first when Caleb picked off a Patriot at first by about a foot. Blasy get's a fine for failing to run out a grounder. With the third place finish, the Lakers will face the fourth place Cobras in the Park National 2/3 series. This upcoming week, the Lakers play a pair of tuneup games at Round Lake Stadium in Eden Prairie vs the Shamrocks and Stockmans.

7/20 Lakers Battle Back but fall to the Angels 11-10

Angels jump all over Laker starter Grant Soderberg basically hitting it all over the park and put up a crooked four (it felt like a lot more) spot in the first inning. Lakers answer back with three of their own in the bottom of the first against Angels Tyler Ockuly highlighted by Jeff Miller's base-loaded clearing double. Angels tack on some more in the second chasing Soda out of the game. Dylan comes in and in between plunking Angels, he kept the Halos in range. Angels score some more runs but the Lakers battle back led by BKs double off the ivy in bottom of six. At the end of the day, the Angels prevail 11-10 and clinch first place. Of note, was the evolving strike zone from tight to all over the place highlighted by in interesting "no-call" on a Merrill check swing. Onwards to Sunday bout vs Patriots. Lakers have clinched at least third and have a shot at second.

7/18 Rained out in Miesville

Next up Angels Friday night.

7/17 Lakers defeat BlueSox 12-1 in 6 innings

Timmy Miller starts on the bump for the Lakers and picks up the victory going 4 strong innings. BK comes in and throws the last couple not giving up a run, but did have a few walks thrown in there. Offense was good early on jumping out to an 8-0 lead early in the game and then pushing 4 runs accross in the top of the 6th for the final run count. The 4 runs in the 6th included a Skjefte 3 run HR that went into the Ivy stuck a little, then the OF threw up his hands and dug for the ball dislodging it and keeping the ball live so Skjefte crossed the plate for his 3rd HR in the last 4 league games. Lakers had about 12 hits and 4 or so walks to help their offensive attack. Additional notes:

  • In the forementioned ivy play, the umpires initially ruled a ground rule double as BlueSoxGuy stuck his hands into the Ivy. Is there any clearer rule than the "don't put your hands in the Ivy" rule?

  • The game ended with another BlueSoxGuy performing a perfect full form tackle on Skjefte as he was fielding a grounder.

  • Bennett Johnson got a pinch hit AB and dribbled a cheap hit by the pitcher which will likely result in a 1000 batting average and put him at BA champ 2 of 3 years in a row.

  • On the subsequent play, Bennett received a double fine by committing a major baserunning gaffe while wearing his striped pants.

  • 30 minutes later, Bennett gets tacked on an additional fine by calling Parade post-game beer on his cellphone to claim forgotten equipment.

  • Sorry BK, Best Buy brand HDMI cable does NOT give any special AV quality advantage over the HDMI cable that Comcast gives you for free. You can maybe repay Merrill back in the form of a couple beer-brings.

  • Lakers play in Miesville on Wednesday night at Jack Ruhr field (recently voted as #1 amateur baseball park) at 8:00PM. In case of weather, be sure to follow lakersbaseball on twitter to avoid being Bennett Johnson and driving down Hwy 52 for nothing.

7/16 Offense leads the way in Laker victory, 9-4 over the Cobras

Lakers score some runs early to lead to a 9-4 victory. They get 1 run in the first, 3 in the 3rd and 5 runs in the 4th inning. That was all they needed. Kimble started on the mound getting into and out of a little trouble but settled down, picking up the win with the Lakers leading 9-3 when he came out of the game. Bennett Johnson threw the 5th and Dylan came in and threw the 6th and 7th. Offensively Reichert goes deep fly for a Grand Slam in the top of the 4th and it kinda deflated the Cobra nation, allowing the Lakers to cruise to the victory. Reich also had another RBI single and Benny Kuhl had 2 hits on the day. J-Mill had an RBI single and Timmy and Skjefte stole some bases. Next game vs BlueSox tues night at Parade.

7/15 Lakers outhit but fall short against Berries 6-5

Timmy has 4 hits and Chris Samanant has 2 hits but the Lakers comeback falls short againts the Berries. The hits on the scoreboard were 12-9 in favor of the Lakers but the Lakers had 3 defensive errors and the Berries were able to get some clutch 2-out hits. Solt got his first action of the year, besides being at every game but one. Return to League action Monday night vs the Cobras.

7/14 Park National beats Skyline 8-6 in all-star game

Reichert and Skjefte start and get base knocks. J-Mill, Clarkos and Merrill come off the bench and J-Mill gets an RBI single.

7/13 Lakers cant complete comeback and fall 5-3 to Merchants

Sodeberg throws a complete game and didn't give up an earned run vs the Merchants. Only a couple defensive miscues for the Lakers but they led to a couple big innings. Trailing 5-0 going in to the top of the 9th, after a blown call cost the Lakers a run in the top of the 6th, Nicky Kuhl led off with a hit and Chris followed up with a walk. After an out Skjefte comes up and crushes a 3 run shot over the ivy in left field. Lakers cant get another run and fall in another league matchup.

7/12 Lakers get win over HitDawg 5-3

Timmy scores 2 runs and picks up the save in the 5-3 win. EZ started on the mound and went six strong innings only giving up 2 runs in the top of the 2nd and using his offspeed to enduce a lot of ground balls. The Laker offense was stagnant through the first 4 innings getting people on base but only managing 1 run. Trailing 2-1 the Lakers put together some hits and score 2 runs in the bottom of the 5th and the 6th innings. Skjefte had 2 hits and a RBI, with J-Mill and Reichert picking up the other RBI. Paul Samanant got his first 2 ABs of the year in front of the hometown EP crowd. Lakers have the Merchants friday night at Parade at 7:00.

7/10 Lakers lose to Cobras in 10 innings 6-4

Back and forth game goes on for over 2 and a half hours and the Cobras pull it out in the end. Caleb started on the mound after about 13 days of rest due to the 9 day break. He was a little erratic but kept the lakers in the game. Benny Kuhl threw 2 innings and Dylan took the loss throwing the last 3 innings. Walks hurt the Lakers today, but there were plenty of opportunities for the Lakers offensively they didn't cash in on. Skjefte went yard to tie the game at 1 in the 3rd and then back to back to back hits in the 6th tied the game at 3. Each team scored 1 run in the 8th and then the Cobras score 2 in the top of the 10th and the Lakers cant get any runs even with Bistro leading off the inning with a double, his second double of the game. Day off wed then game against HitDawg on thurs.

7/9 Lakers beat St Thomas 2-0

Teddy Ballgame takes to the mound for his 15th carreer appearance against the St Thomas summer team. He gives up 3 hits and one HBP through 6 innings and held the Tommie Pirates offense at bay. Tommies pitcher also threw well but the middle of the order was able to produce 2 runs in the top of the 5th and that was all the Laker pitching needed. J-Mill led off the 5th with a single, Nickie Kuhl hit a triple to right to score Jeff and then Clark doubled down the left field line to score Nick. Benny Kuhl came in and gave up a baserunner but then helped himself out starting a 1-6-3 double play, and picking up the save. The Lakers D turned 3 double plays and had only 1 defensive error. League matchup vs Cobras next.

6/29 Victoria 10, Lakers 9
Little win streak comes to an end as Lakers"Iron 10" fall 10-9 to Victoria. Nickie Kuhlman goes yard. Otherwise, few details available. The busy schedule comes to a temporary screeching hals\t as the Minneapolis Lakers now head off into a long break for the Fourth of July. No games for 9 days! When play resumes however, Lakers hit 2 very busy weeks before the playoff run. This setback notwithstanding, lots of baseball to be played while the Lakers have surged back to the top of the Park National league standings. The race will be tight to the finish as there are lots of quality teams with some good pitchig in the league. Play resumes with an exhibition game vs St. Thomas River Pirates on July 9 at their field.

6/28 Lakers beat Angels 11-3

Caleb Phillips threw a complete game for the Lakers and was able to keep the Angel offense from putting togther any serious threats. Defensively the Lakers played well with a couple errors, but they didn't really affect the outcome of the game. Offensively there were a lot of stars as the Lakers had double digit hits by the end of the 3rd inning. The scoring got started in the top of the 2nd when J-Mill and Clark started a string of 7 straight hits that led to 5 runs, including a 2 rbi double to right center off the bat of Nicky Kuhl. From that point on the Lakers were in control of the game. Game friday at victoria followed by a break to celebrate the 4th of July.

6/27 Lakers only give up 1 hit and win 3-0 over the Rats

Tyler and Teddy split the game on the mound and both threw well giving up a combined one hit. They also combined to strike out 8 or 9 rats in their 7 innings on the mound. When the ball was put into play the Laker D did its job, not committing any errors and a couple nice catches by the corner outfielders, Reichert and Timmy. Offensively the Lakers hit the ball hard most of the night but with the hot and humid weather there wasn't much carry on the ball. Bistro hit the ball well all day and Benny Kuhl and J-Mill had combined to knock in the Laker runs. League meeting against the Angels tomorrow 6:15 at Parade.

6/25 Lakers drop league meeting against the Pub 2-0

In what turned out to be a pitchers dual the Pub beat the Lakers 2-0. Grant takes the ball for the Lakers and pitches well only making 2 mistakes all evening. One was a balk call where everyone stopped playing but the ball was live so the Pub scored, and the other was a hanging slider to Hollywood for a solo HR. The Pub pitcher was equally effective, even though the Lakers out hit the Pub 7-4, being able to get out of every jam he put himself in. The D played well for both teams. Off day on Tuesday and then return with 2 more league matchups Wed and Thurs against the Rat and Angels respectively.

6/24 Lakers win Slugfest vs Shakopee 13-11

In a game that combined for 31 hits (19 by the Lakers), over a dozen walks and 24 runs scored it was a solid 4 innings of relief pitching that secured the win for the Lakers. Timmy Miller came in with the Lakers down 9-5 in the bottom of the 6th. He kept the Indians at 9 runs while the Lakers kept scoring, tied it up and then took a 13-9lead. The only runs Timmy gave up were 2 meaningless runs in the bottom of the 9th. Offensively each Laker got at least 6 plate appearances. Reichert led the attack going 4 for 5 with a HR and a triple. Clark, Nick Kuhlman and Dylan were among other Lakers that had multiple hits. Back at it tomorrow night vs the Pub at 6:15.

6/22 Lakers beat Merchants 4-3

Caleb Phillips starts on the mound and gets a complete game victory. Offensively the Lakers score 2 in the first and 2 in the second to take an early 4-0 lead. Merchants battle, scoring 2 in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit in half. In the sixth Merchants get a runner on 3rd with one out and a fly ball hit to shallow left they try and tag and score. Clark hits Ben on the fly and Ben has a quick transfer and hits J-Mill with a strike to get the runner by a step at home. Turns out to be a big play as the Merchants get a runner on 3rd with no one out and score in the top of the 7th, but then Caleb had enough and got the rest of the Merchants out with ease. OFF DAY? Its true, the Lakers are off on Sat before resuming play on Sun in Shakopee.

6/21 Lakers fall to SLP 4-3

Lakers non-conference woes continue as the drop a game to SLP. Early 6 pm start time led to the 9th guy showing up 10 min to game time and being in the starting line up. By the end of the game the Lakers had 14 guys in uniform. Dylan starts on the mound and throws 6 strong innings scattering 3 hits and giving up one run. Teddy and Chris throw the 7th and 8th for the Lakers. Offensively the Lakers take an early lead scoring 1 in the first and 1 in the 2nd, with Dylan hitting his 2nd HR of the season. Then the bats stall as the Lakers get a few hits but cant score any runs until they cross one in the 8th on a Blasy RBI single after Nick Kuhlman doubled and Clark moved him to 3rd. Lakers were up 2-1 in the 7th and then take advantage of a couple bloop hits and Laker errors to score 3 in the inning which turns out to be enough for the victory. A few Lakers stayed for drinks in the parking lot and easily took the parking lot win with the SLP players leaving early. The battle continues tomorrow night at 7 pm back at Parade against the Merchants. FYI there is a festival in town so parking might be a hassle.

6/20 Lakers and Cobras get rained out in the 3rd with the Lakers up 6-4

Rain pre-game, rain during the game and rain in the forecast for the rest of the night, lead to the umps calling the game in the top of the third. Lakers did turn a triple play in the bottom of the first and were up 6-1 when the game was rain delayed for about 20 min. The teams tried to go back out there and play. Cobras get 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd and then when the Lakers are up the Cobra's pitcher cant get his footing and the umps call the game. Back at it tomorrow at SLP.

6/19 Lakers take out BlueSox 10-0 in 5

Lakers return to action and play well in a relaxed game at Parade. Grant pitches well allowing just 1 hit and strikes out about 6 in 5 innings of work. The lakers hit the ball well, scoring 5 in the first, 2 in the 2nd, 1 in the 4th and 2 in the 5th to end the game via the 10-run rule. The first 4 hitters for the Lakers all reached and scored in the 1st inning and Reichert hit a 2-run HR in the 2nd inning. With Grant working quickly the Lakers D played well behind him with no errors. Hogan made a great diving catch in Right Center and Timmy was able to make a sliding catch on a blooper to short right field. Lakers continue league matchups vs the Cobras on Wed, start time pushed back to 6:30 at Parade.

6/13 Lakers outhit but fall to FanHQ

Another struggle to get the clutch hit and Lakers fall. Five day break and then the Lakers return to League action against the BlueSox on 6/19.

6/11 Crushed

Hats off to a tough opponent but the Lakers made what, seven or more errors? Bottom line is this was one of the worst defensive perrformances in a long time from a club that has prided itself on D. There is obviously some work to be done to right the ship. Next up is FanHQ fantoms.

6/10 Lakers Drown the River Rat Bat Attack

As the Lakers transition from May to June, one thing has been certain: The pitching depth hasn't quite held up yet, at least not for the exhibition schedule set forth. As the Lakers slowly develop and rebuild their pitching staff, they have had enough to throw quality pitcihng at league and that trend continued as Grant Soderberg and Tyler Ruemmele combined to stymie the River Rat bats. On a toasty Sunday afternoon at Parade, the duo combined to throw a one hit shutout over the RiverRats with the lone hit coming by way of a ball that hit a rut two feet from the plate and bounced high over third basemen Dylan Frederic's head. First Ruemmele, then Soderberg made quick work of the Riverrat lineup en route to a 13-0 route in five innings. Meanwhile, the Laker offense wakes up and jumps all over Rat starter Matt Mahmoodi. Every Laker in the lineup had a hit - a few had multiple hits. Bistro, JMiller, Jack Hogan, and Nick Reichert doubled. The Lakers are now 2-0 in Park National play. Up next, the Lakers look forward to a key matchup Monday against a streaking American Pie Patriot team.

6/8 Prior Lake 9, Lakers 5

Lakers drop another exhibition game, this time to Prior Lake. Lakers outhit Prior Lake 13-11 but aren't able to get the clutch hit. Highlights are Bistro and Reichert opposite field bombs. Lakers brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the 9th but couldn't get the hit to extend the game.

6/6 Lakers outhit Blaine but fall 6-5

Lakers had 12 hits on the day, vs only 5 hits for Blaine, but were able to only score 5 runs as there were over10 Laker baserunners left on base. Danny, Reichert and both Kuhlmans had multi-hit days. Dylan started on the bump for the Lakers and was throwing well through the first 3 innings, but ran into some trouple in the 4th with a few walks and an error behind him. Chris came in with 2 outs in the 4th with the score tied 4-4 and pitched well through the remainder of the game. Lakers score a run in the top of the 7th to take a 5-4 lead. A walk gets Blaine's leadoff hitter on base and with 1 out a pitch in the dirt allows the runner to get to second. Chris gets the 2nd out and then a ball hit to left allows the tying run to score. The next batter singles to right for the walkoff win for Blaine. Tough loss but the Lakers will be back at it on Friday in Prior Lake at 7:30.

6/4 Lakers Bounce Back With 4-3 Win Over Irish

The scheduling gauntlet continues for the Lakers: Millers, Pub, Bloomington, Millers, Rochester, and now another 9 innings of baseball against a tough opponent, this time the Lakers travel to South St. Paul to take on Stockmen's Irish. Stockmen's doesn't appear any weaker than the team that won state last year. The Lakers jump out to leads of 2-0, and then 3-1 for much of the game behind the pitching of Caleb Phillips. Bistro hit a massive homer in the top of the eight and as it turns out, the Lakers would need that run. BK comes in to close but with this move, Solty is forced to put Timmy in at second base. A walk, an error, another misplayed ball and a wild pitch leaves the tying run only 90 feet away. As the Lakeshow holds it's breath, BK does finally bear down and manages to strike out the last Irish to end the game. Game notes: Jack Hogan flashed some leather and speed in right field coming up with some big plays to keep the Lakers on top. GM owner levies self fine for forgetting pants. Solty is fined for sending JMills and getting him thrown out at home by 20 feet. Ted Kimble was present and there was much talk of how much time it would take for him to get back to speed. Ted's self assessment: "I'll be ready to throw 25 pitches next week". Easy stretches out, runs around, warms up in the bullpen but doesn't pitch. Lucas Skjefte is back from North Carolina. The run continues on Wednesday when the Lakers go up north to square off vs. a tough Blaine team.

6/2 Ruemmele and Soderberg Pitch Well In Laker Debut but Lakers Drop a Pair at Dundas

Both Grant Soderberg and Tyler Ruemmele made their Laker debuts at the Dundas tourney vs the Millers and Rochester respectively. Both pitched very well, however the bats were silent and the relief pitching was not able to hold either team from opening the flood gates the result being 6-2 and 10-0 losses. Lakers have a week to regroup with games this week at Stockmen's, Blaine, and Prior Lake before return to league play next weekend.

6/1 - Lakers fall to Bandits 7-4

Bandits score 5 runs in the bottom of the 3rd and the Lakers 7th inning rally falls a little short. Jeff Miller and BK had 2 hits each and Danny added a 2 RBI double in the 7th. Dundas tourney this weekend.

5/30 - Lakers start Park National play beating the Pub 2-1

Two of the top teams out of the Park National a year ago opened up conference play against one another. Both through their ace, Meister for Pub and Gotham for the Lakers. This being said, the game not surprisingly was a pitchers dual. Gotham threw well for the Lakers going 6 innings and getting 7 K's. BK came in to close the game in the 7th for his first save of the year. Defensively the Lakers played well not having a single error. Offensively the Pub score their run in the top of the 4th, manufacturing a run with a double, ground out moving the runner to 3rd and a sac fly. The Lakers answer with 2 runs in the bottom of the 5th with a RBI single by Dylan and a Sac fly by BK. Busy weekend for the Lakers as they play at 7 pm in Bloomington Fri night, Sat Morn and Afternoon in the Dundas tourney and potentially a game Sun afternoon in Dundas.

Other team news:

  • Paddy Carrol (currently on DL) was in attendance.
  • Nick Reichert was also in attendance fresh back from DIII championship where UST made an strong run to a third place finish. Reichert and incoming Laker Jack Hogan both played well in the series and the Lakers look forward having both join the team starting this weekend.
  • Lucas Skjefte is still in North Carolna as MNSU is dying hard in it's own run for DII championship. The Mavs were last seen in playing one of the championship games.
  • As referenced in the previous article, former EPHS player and current UND Frosh/sophomore Tyler Ruemmele (P/IF) joins the Lakers to round out the roster.
  • Theodore Kimble has contacted Laker management and is expected so show up in the near future - however his status as a returnee is still categorized as a "rumor"
  • Game time for next Bloomington Bandits game Fri night is changed to 7:00PM

5/29 - Millers beat Lakers 3-2 in 10 innings

Caleb took the mound for his 2nd start of the season and went 7 strong innings vs a traditionally strong Miller Lineup. The Millers scored 2 runs in the 3rd taking advantage of a Laker error and got some timely hitting. The Lakers came back in the top of the 4th and scored 2 of their own. J-Mill started the 4th by being called out as the Miller first baseman dropped the ball 3 or 4 times and the ball lying on the ground when Jeff touches first. Somehow the ump saw this as an out (wasn't good either way). With one out Clark singles to right center, Goth gets an infield hit, then Tyler comes up and battles for an 11 pitch at bat drawing a walk in the end. This loads the bases and Danny singles in Clark, then Chris draws an RBI walk to end the scoring as the Lakers leave the bases loaded. The rest of the game is played well defensively and both teams received good pitching. In the bottom of the 10th the Millers have runners on first and third with two outs and receive a walk off single with a soft single up the middle from their three hitter. These two teams will face each other in the Dundas tourney this weekend, but first the Lakers square off with Pub Wed night for their first conference game.

5/24 - Lakers vs St Anthony Rained out

5/23 - Lakers vs St Louis Park Rained out. Rescheduled to June 21

5/22 - Lakers beat Rosetown 9-1

Lakers score 5 runs in the 3rd and that is all they need with Gotham on the mound. Gotham throws 5 strong innings and Chris Samanant comes in and throws the last 2 innings. Dylan gets the start at 3B, plays well defensively and got the scoring going with a 3 run HR in the top of the 3rd. Next pitch is a curve that hits Merrill in the foot and up comes Nick Kuhlman who proceeds to go yard. Lakers defense plays well behind Goth and Chris and Bistro had a big day at the plate going 3-4. Opening week continues with a game at St. Louis Park Wednesday night at 8:15.

5/21 -Lakers fall to Sport and Spine in Opener

Caleb Philips took the mound for the Lakers and threw well for 5 innings, striking out about 6 and only giving up 4 runs after a defensive miscue led to the bases loaded and 1 out. If you were at the ball park you could tell it was an early season game for both teams. Errors on both sides led to extensions of rallies. Offensively the Lakers scored the first 3 runs of the game in the 2nd without a hit taking advantage of 3 errors and 4 walks by the Sport and Spine defense and pitcher. Even with taking advantage of the other teams miscues the Lakers could not capitalize fully as the bases were loaded with 1 out and the Lakers had back to back K's. The other half of the Lakers runs came when Jeff Miller and Bistro went back to back jacks in the 6th inning. Sport and Spine Rallied in the bottom of the 7th scoring 3 runs to make the final score 7-6. Lakers are back at it at Dunning at 6pm on Tues.

5/20 Season Preview

Losses:
Alex Case (retirement)
Robert Williams (other interests)
Nate Rubin (Job out of state - not online poker)
Luke Muellerliele (hippie band)
Nate Wilson Traisman (becoming duck -grad school in Oregon)
Kyle Svoboda (Internship with IBM in Rochester)
Will Chen (Chinatown)

Additions:
Chris Samanant OF, P (full time addition)
Mike Merrill (return from Stewart's American Pie Gator Homes)
Grant Soderberg P, OF, 1B (Gustavus, EP)
Dillon Frederick P (Winona State, EP)
Danny Blasy C (Crowder, yes another EP)
Jack Hogan OF (UST, Holy Angels)
Nick Kuhlmann IF, P (full time addition - Whitewater)

DL
Bennett Johnson
PaDDy Carrol

The list above pretty much tells the whole story. Coming off a high of one of the most talented teams ever and a strong push in 2011 postseason play, the Lakers' odds of return to the big show in 2012 is in question. While Laker have bright futures for 2013 and again in 2015 with major talent in the pipline, a major question mark looms for 2012. If the Lakers were young in 2011 , they become even younger with the new additions. Additionally, the vaunted Laker pitching depth has been dented by injuries incurred by Bennett Johnson and Paddy Carrol. While the Augustana duo is not out for the season, the timetable for their return is in question. Other key 2011 cogs in LakerNation - NWDubT, Luke Muellerleille, and Kyle Svoboda have moved on.

The proverbial cupboard however is not bare. The Lakers get a huge boost in the return of perrenial Park National all-star Mike Merrill back to center field. He will rejoin Clark Boyeson Timmy Miller, Chris Samanant as part of a strong outfield corps. Another key newcomer - outfielder Jack Hogan from UST is expected to offset some of the 2011 losses. At middle infield, the Lakers remain strong with Ben Kuhlmann, Nick Kuhlman, and Lucas Skjefte. Nick Reichert (currently in his eight year of college) and the Bistro will man first and third. At catcher, Jeff Miller returns and is backed up by yet another EP grad Danny Blasy.

While the Lakers suffer significant losses in the pitching department, there might be enough talent and depth keep the Lakers near the top. Caleb Phillips is now expected to lead the staff in 2012. The big question mark will be if the rest of the pitchers including a plethora of young newcomers can hold up. MIAC ROY Grant Soderberg will be counted on heavily to backfill the void. Other younger pitching newcomers include Chris Samanant and Dylan Frederic. They will join Timmy Miller, Ben Kuhlmann, Nick Kuhlmann, Sam Erickson, Eric Nelson to help pitch the Lakers through another busy and tough schedule. At the time this article went to press, the Laker front office was last seen fervishly working to shore up more depth at pitching and middle infield. Update: After a long stint with grad school and stray-dog-hosting, Teddy "Ballgame" Kimble rejoins the club.

Despite the big question mark, one thing remains for certain: The Lakers will continue to play a busy and compact schedule with lots of games packed into the short summer. In addition to league and the "usual suspects" (Prior Lake, Hopkins, Millers, Bandits, Pirates, so on, so on.....) the Lakers return to Miesville as well as a reunion with Brannon Weigel and the Shakopee Indians at Schleper. The Lakers also add a trio of games in Eden Prairie as a showcase for upcoming talent.

One final note: Laker HOF player Alex Case quietly retired in 2011 and the Lakers do take a big bow to the great one. He will spend the summer 2012 in Sweden.

Time to play ball - see you at the fields.



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