Grant Carlson drove in 2 of the 3 Outlaw runs with a 2nd inning double...
Outlaws-3 / Searles -5
It's not often that the Outlaws get to play under the lights, but that was the case this past Friday as they traveled to Searles to take on their division rival Bullheads.
Sam Baumgartner led off the top of the first by getting plunked by the Bullheads starting pitcher Aaron Wilfahrt. (Sammy getting hit by a pitch? Now way...) Robb Larson quickly moved him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. One out later, clean up hitter Mike Roth did what a clean up hitter does....drove in Baumgartner with a single and gave the Outlaws a 1-0 advantage. Jeff Miller made his 2016 debut and followed Roth's base knock with one of his own. Roth was nabbed trying to advance to third base on the play and the inning was over.
Jeff Miller was the pitcher of choice for the Outlaws. The Bullheads sprang out of the gate with the speedy Troy Kamm opening the home half of the inning with a single. Kamm then used his speed to swipe second base. It appeared Spanky would work out of the jam as he set the next two Bullhead hitters down in order. Jon Ahern gave Searles just what they were looking for by driving in Kamm with a base hit. Miller would then end the inning with his second strike out and the score locked at 1-1.
Jason Beckett led of the 2nd inning with a single and Jeff Appel followed with a base on balls. Tom Hady then juiced the bases with his own single, setting the table for a hungry Grant Carlson. Grant didn't waste any time, lacing a line drive to the left center field gap. Beckett and Appel scored on the play as Carlson strolled into second base with a 2 RBI double. It had the makings for a big inning with both Hady and Carlson in scoring position with still nobody out. There would be no more scoring in the top of the 2nd as the next three Outlaw hitters would go down in order. Wilfahrt pitched out of the jam limiting the damage to 2 runs and the Outlaws leading with a 3-1 score.
Jeff Miller made quick work of the bullheads in the bottom of the 2nd, pitching around a lead off double from Brian Sieve while adding two more strikeouts.
Sam Baumgartner opened the third inning by reaching on a base on balls. A few pitches later Sammy was caught leaning towards second base with Wilfahrt's snap throw catching him off the bag for the first out. Robb Larson then reached with a walk but was quickly erased on a fielders choice off the bat of Jesse Teerink. Teerink flashed his speed and stole his way into scoring position with Mike Roth at the plate. Roth would battle Wilfahrt and eventually also work a base on balls. Wilfahrt once again buckled down and coaxed a ground out to end the rally and keep the score at 3-1.
The Bullheads used some fundamental baseball in the bottom of the 3rd to chip away at the lead. With one out speedster Kamm once again singled. He was bunted over to 2nd base by Craig Schmitz. Third baseman Mike Roth made a fine defensive play to get Schmitz by a half step at first base. Just like it was drawn up...Corey Schaefer then singled driving in Kamm and narrowing the Outlaws lead to 3-2. Miller would limit the damage to one run. Jeffrey's first outing of 2016 would be limited to three innings to save wear and tear on his arm. He finished his mound work going 3 innings and striking out 4 Bullhead hitters.
It is rumored that the Bullheads starting pitcher Aaron Wilfahrt hadn't pitched since he was 18 years old. He also recently returned from deployment in service to our country. (Thank you sir!) After shaking off the rust for 3 innings he found his groove. Over the next three innings of work he allowed only 3 base runners. Jason Beckett reached on an error in the 4th, Jeremy Krumweide walked in the 5th, and Robb Larson also walked in the 6th. All didn't make it any further than first base. Tip of the hat to Wilfahrt for a fine outing. Hopefully his arm didn't fall off the next day. No pitch count for that guy!
The Bullheads added another run in the 4th knotting the score at 3 to 3. I really have no clue how it happened as nobody in the Outlaw dugout kept the book. I do know that Tom Hady came on in relief of Miller for his second outing of the young 2016 season.
It was rally time for the Bullheads in the home half of the 5th. Schafer opened the inning with a walk and Ahern was plunked. Two outs later Brian Sieve would reach on a fielding error and the bases were juiced. Pat Portner then singled to drive in one or two (the book doesn't say). Either way...before Hady ended the inning one batter later, the Bullheads had plated two unearned runs and jumped out to a 5 to 3 lead.
Hady would bounce back with a scoreless 6th inning, but once again nobody kept the book...so I don't know how he did it.
The Outlaws weren't giving up just yet. Jeff Miller opened the seventh with a walk. Outlaws newcomer Doug Sheppard then entered the game as a pinch hitter and also drew a walk. It looked like the Outlaws would be in business with the tying run on 1st base and nobody out. Once again...not the case. Wilfahrt's day was over with Corey Schafer coming on in relief. A few pitches into the next hitter, Bullhead catcher Pat Portner put a damper on the rally firing a ball to second base and picking off Miller. Schafer then made quick work of the next two Outlaw hitters to lock down the save and victory for the Bullheads.
Grant Carlson led the Outlaw offensive effort going 1 for 2 with a 2 RBI double. Mike Roth was also 1 for 2 with and RBI single and a walk, Jason Beckett was 1 for 2 with a run scored before injuring his ankle, Jeff Miller was 1 for 2 with a single and a walk, and Tom Hady was 1 for 3 with a single. Sam Baumgartner reached twice being plunked and walking while scoring a run, Robb Larson finished 0 for 0 with the sacrifice bunt and two walks, Jeff Appel walked and scored, and Jeremy Krumweide and Doug Sheppard both waked once.
With the loss the Outlaws fell to 1-1. They will be back in action on Sunday May 15th for a high noon matchup with Rosemount. The game will be at the DCTC college field off of county road 42.