The Small Town Baseball World Series was back in Minocqua for the second straight year with many teams competing and several Lakeland teams looking to do some damage.
The Lakeland 10U, 12U and 14U teams were all in action, looking to win as many games as possible.
The first game for the Lakeland 10U team came on Friday when they took on Pardeeville. It was not Lakeland’s day as Pardeeville won 12-0 in three innings.
Lakeland’s next game came on Saturday when they took on Spooner. They were determined to at least score a couple runs this time out. In the end, Spooner won 17-5.
The first inning went scoreless. Then, the bottom of the second saw Spooner score three runs to give them a 3-0 lead after two innings.
But Lakeland wouldn’t go down easy. In the top of the third, Sylvester Allen and Jeff Bolton put runners on second and third. A wild pitch scored a run and it was 3-1. An error in the infield put another run across to make it 3-2.
After a walk by Ian Dwyer, another run scored on a wild pitch and it was 3-3. Lakeland had tied up the game. Four more walks led to another run, this time by Lincoln Freidley. Then Brayden Meade hit an RBI single to make it 5-3 Lakeland.
Spooner came up next to the plate, looking to tie it up or take the lead. With the bases loaded, it was a big bases clearing triple that gave Spooner the lead back 6-5. They scored one more run before lightning caused a delay. It was 7-5 Spooner’s lead at the delay.
After the delay Spooner put up 10 more runs and won the game 17-5.
The 10U team had one more game Saturday, seeing Marinette beat them 10-0.
The 12U team started with a tough loss to Edgar in a close game, 9-7, on Friday. Later that day, Lakeland found themselves in a similar situation, losing 9-8 to Mount Horeb.
Because of two losses, Lakeland found themselves the 12-seed for the 12U tournament that began on Saturday. That was where they played 5-seed Eagle River and took a tough 6-0 loss.
Lakeland started the game off with a lead-off hit by Ashton Bremer, but afterwards they found it hard to put a rally together. In the second inning Noah Bruckner walked, but none scored after a groundout by Brent Olson ended the inning.
Meanwhile, Eagle River was putting pressure on right away. They scored two runs in the first, one run in the second and three runs in the third. It was a quick 6-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, two runners made the base paths when Ethan Erickson and Mitch Fulton walked, but again no runs.
No runners reached base for Lakeland in the fifth and sixth innings, making for a frustrating game offensively. Lakeland’s pitching did settle down and gave up no runs after the third inning. The final score was 6-0, putting an end to Lakeland’s run.
First game up on Friday came against Edgar. Finding their footing late in the game, Lakeland won 10-6.
Not much was happening for Lakeland as they came up in the top of the fifth down 4-1, but with the bases loaded, Max Nowak hit a sacrifice fly and the score was 4-2. Danny Gahler drew a walk and the bases were loaded again.
Next batter Zach Seehafer hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3 and Edgar still had the lead. A wild pitch tied the game at 4-4. Will Fortier then reached on an error and scored. Follow that up with two more wild pitches and the score was 7-4 Lakeland.
In the bottom of the fifth, Fortier was determined to hold down the lead. A couple singles and a wild pitch brought home two runs and it was 7-6 Lakeland’s lead. Edgar was right in the game.
The sixth inning was an explosive one for Lakeland. Garret Tobias led it off with a triple. Then Logan Strasburg reached on an error and scored Tobias to make it 8-6.
Another sacrifice fly, this time by Nowak, made it 9-6 Lakeland. Seehafer followed that up with an RBI single himself and it was 10-6.
Now it was time for Lakeland to close it out. With one out and a runner on first, a ground ball to the infield was nearly turned for the game-ending double play. But the runner was safe at first. The next batter grounded out and Lakeland won 10-6.
Later that afternoon, Lakeland took on Preshtigo. They won the game 4-2 for a perfect record in pool play.
The Lakeland teams saw some ups and downs. With so much baseball talent from all the various teams, wins are not guaranteed as each team shows what they can do.
Lakeland 10U played Hayward in the seventh place game Sunday morning and the Lakeland 14U team played Independence/Gilmanton with the winner playing in the championship game Sunday afternoon. Coverage of all those games will be in the July 26 edition of The Times
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]