7/11/2019 1:53:00 PM Bulldogs still trying to find rhythm ahead of town ball playoffs
by CHUCK FITZER
Isanti 6, Chisago Lakes 1 Isanti 7, Chisago Lakes 1 The Bulldogs were swept in a doubleheader by the Isanti Redbirds at Isanti this past Sunday, July 7. Isanti held the Bulldogs to just two runs and five hits in the two seven inning games.
The first game was a makeup from a rainout earlier this season. The Bulldogs went nine up, nine down in the first three innings. Derrick Kluge broke up the perfect game when he drilled the first pitch in the bottom of the fourth over the center fielder’s head and all the way to the wall for a stand-up triple. He later scored on an error for the only Bulldog run of the game.
The Redbirds took advantage of some uncharacteristic wildness by Bulldog starter Tyler Stilp in the top of the third inning, turning three walks and three singles into four runs to increase their lead to 5-0. Trailing 6-1 in the bottom of the sixth, a one-out single by Kluge and a two-out double by Stilp put runners at second and third. But Dylan Magnuson hit a soft liner to second to end the threat. Jacob Mickelson pitched a scoreless seventh for the Bulldogs, but the Bulldogs went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh and the game was over.
In the second game, the Bulldogs spotted Isanti a five-run lead after two innings and that was more than enough for the largely silent Bulldog hitting lineup. Dylan Magnuson’s second inning single and Billy Knaak’s run-scoring single in the sixth were the only two hits for the Bulldogs, who lost 7-1. Starting pitcher Hunter Lindstrom went the distance. After allowing five runs in the first two innings, Lindstrom settled down and allowed just two runs the rest of the way. Braham 9, Chisago Lakes 6 In their final home game of the season, the Bulldogs matched the Braham Snappers hit-for-hit. Each team had 14 hits, but the Bulldogs went just 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position and left 16 runners on base. It all added up to a frustrating 9-6 loss for the Bulldogs this past Monday, July 8. Starting pitcher Jacob Mickelson did his part to keep the Bulldogs in the game. In six innings of work, he allowed five runs – only one earned, due to a couple of key errors by the Bulldogs – on eight hits and walked just one batter. Mickelson had three strikeouts – he struck out the Snapper leadoff hitter the first three times he faced him. Tyler Stilp and Kellen Reed had four hits apiece for the Bulldogs.
With one out in the bottom of the first, Dusty Rhodes singled, and Stilp doubled. Reed singled to left to scored Rhodes. After Dylan Magnuson flew out to right for the second out, three straight Bulldogs – Adam Hanson, Miles Turk and Hunter Lindstrom – walked to push across two more runs. Jake Wallraff struck out to end the inning and the Bulldogs led 3-1. The Bulldogs missed several scoring opportunities. They loaded the bases in the fourth but failed to score. In the seventh, Magnuson led off with a walk. Hanson singled and, when the right fielder booted the ball, both runners moved up. But the next three batters struck out, wasting a great scoring opportunity for the Bulldogs.
Meanwhile, Braham scored three in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth to take an 8-3 lead. With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Rhodes walked and Stilp singled to put runners on first and second. Reed drilled a double into the left field corner to drive in one run. Magnuson walked to load the bases. Hanson hit a grounder to second that looked like a potential double play. Magnuson was forced at second, but Hanson beat the relay to first and another run scored to cut the Snapper lead to 8-5. Turk struck out to end the rally. Braham tacked on one more run in the top of the ninth. Lindstrom walked to lead off the bottom of the ninth, stole second and scored on a sharp single to right by Mitch Barrett to cut the lead to 9-6. But Jeremy Knutson grounded into a double play and there were quickly two outs. Rhodes reached on an error and Stilp singled. Reed strode to the plate with a chance to tie the game. He took a might swing at the first pitch and hit a high popup to short left field. The shortstop made the catch, sending the Bulldogs down to defeat.
Baseball Banter In the third inning, Reed hit a popup near the third base bag that was so high it may have hit the roof in the Metrodome, just like Dave Kingman’s popup in 1984. The third baseman did a good job tracking it, but it ticked off his glove and landed about two feet inside fair territory for the highest single in Pat Collins Field history.
The Bulldogs (3-12-0) are showing some signs of putting it together with the playoffs just a couple of weeks away. Tonight, they will head to Princeton to take on the Panthers at 7:30 p.m. And this Sunday, July 14 they will travel to Nowthen to take on the Knights at 4 p.m