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home : sports : sports
August 3, 2020

7/16/2020 3:01:00 PM
SPORTS, AT LAST: Bulldogs and Nighthawks return in town ball

The Bulldogs are back!  Recently, the state allowed outdoor sports activities to resume, so the Chisago Lakes Bulldogs town team will play a COVID-19 -shortened regular season that will last from July 6 to July 26, with playoffs extending through the first half of August.

The Bulldogs are 1-3 in their first three games.  The pitching has been pretty good so far, but poor defense and a lack of clutch hitting have plagued the Bulldogs in the early going.
St. Francis 7, Chisago Lakes 4
In the season opener, the Bulldogs had cut the St. Francis Silverbacks lead to 4-3 after the eighth, setting themselves up for a potential walk-off win.  But walks led to Silverback runs in the top of the ninth to extend the Silverback lead to 7-3.  The Bulldogs rallied for one run in the bottom of the ninth, but the rally fell short and the Bulldogs lost 7-4.  The game was played at Quamba Tuesday, July 7 because the Bulldogs’ home field was not available that evening.

Tyler Stilp started for the Bulldogs and allowed two runs in five innings.  Trevor Johnson relieved and allowed two runs before leaving with two on and no out in the top of the eighth.  Reliever Dusty Rhodes picked off the runner on second, catcher Dylan Magnuson threw out the runner trying to steal third and Rhodes struck out the batter to quickly end the inning.  But Rhodes struggled with his control in the top of the ninth, and the Silverbacks expanded their lead to 7-4.
Chisago Lakes 9, Rum River 8
Jeremy Knutson lined a single over a drawn-in outfield with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Bulldogs a 9-8 win over the Rum River Bandits Wednesday, July 8 at Chisago Lakes.  Dylan Magnuson picked up the win without officially facing a batter.
Tyler Stilp gave the Bulldogs a solid start.  In six innings, he allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits, walked one and struck out four.  Miles Turk relieved Stilp and allowed two runs in the seventh as the Bandits built a 5-0 lead after seven.  Jeremy Knutson drove in the first Bulldog run with a seventh-inning single to cut the Bandit lead to 5-1.  Turk followed  that by pitching a scoreless eighth.  Things looked a bit bleak for the Bulldogs after the Bandits brought longtime nemesis Tyler Kronstedt in to pitch in the bottom of the eighth.

But the Bulldog bats came alive.  Turk, Magnuson, and Hunter Lindstrom started the innings with singles, cutting the lead to 5-2.  Tanner Marquardt reached on an error to load the bases.  Derrick Kluge then lined a double to deep left center to drive in two more and Kronstedt was done for the night.  The new Bandit pitcher immediately threw a wild pitch, and Marquardt scored to tie the game at 5-5.  Logan Bjorkman walked, but was picked off first for the first out of the inning.  Rhodes blooped a single to right to score Kluge and give the Bulldogs a 6-5 lead.  Knutson reached on an error, and Rhodes and Knutson eventually scored on wild pitches to expand the Bulldog lead to 8-5.

Aidan Tollefson relieved Turk in the top of the ninth and struggled with his control.  He gave up four walks and a hit.  Magnuson cam into the game with the game tied 8-8, with two outs and runners on first and third.  With the count 2-1 on the Bandit batter, Magnuson fired a strike as the runner on first tried to steal second.  Catcher Bjorkman fired the ball to second and just nipped the runner to end the inning.  The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth before Knutson’s line single ended the game.          
North Branch 5, Chisago Lakes 0
In the second annual Pizza Pub Classic game, Jimmy Skroch, the hardest-throwing pitcher in the Eastern Minny League, struck out 12 in six innings to lead the North Branch Nighthawks to a 5-0 shutout win over the Bulldogs Friday, July 10 at Chisago Lakes.  The win allows the Nighthawks to retain “The Mug” – a travelling trophy that is a giant beer mug – after winning it in the inaugural Pizza Pub Classic last year.  The trophy will be displayed at the Pizza Pub in North Branch.  Hunter Lindstrom went the distance for the Bulldogs and took the loss.

The Nighthawks slowly built their lead throughout the game.  Nick Solberg singled in a run in the second inning.  Skroch drove in a run with a groundout in the fourth to make the lead 2-0.  The Vikings added some insurance in the fifth.  Clint Mattson drove in a run when he reached on an error and Tony Dahlberg followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.  Skroch drove in the final run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.  The Bulldogs made a little noise in the bottom of the ninth.  Anders Brown and Jeremy Knutson hit back-to-back singles with one out and move up a base on an error by the left fielder.  But Dusty Rhodes struck out and Tyler Stilp flew out to end the potential rally.

Skroch allowed just one hit, walked one and hit one to pick up the win.  Dylan Ramberg allowed just three hits, struck out three and hit one in three innings to pick up the save.  Lindstrom allowed ten hits, hit three batters, didn’t walk anyone, and struck out 11 in his complete game performance.
North Branch 5, Chisago Lakes 2
The Nighthawks scored three times in the bottom of the first and withstood a rally by the Bulldogs, winning 5-2 to sweep the season series with the Bulldogs. The game was played at North Branch High School Saturday, July 11.

After allowing a two-run double to Dawson Linkert and a run-scoring single to Matt Robinson, Bulldog starter Dylan Magnuson settled down and allowed just two unearned runs over the next five innings.  Tyler Stilp finished up with two scoreless innings for the Bulldogs.  Meanwhile, Charlie Linder started and went six innings for the Nighthawks and allowed three hits, struck out nine and didn’t walk anyone in picking up the win.  Matt Robinson went the final three innings to pick up the second straight three-inning save for the Nighthawks.

With the Bulldogs trailing 5-0 in the top of the seventh,  Logan Bjorkman, Jeremy Knutson, and Dusty Rhodes each singled to load the bases with one out.  But Robinson struck out Tyler Stilp and Nick Wasko to end the rally.  
Bulldog Banter
Tomorrow night, the Bulldogs will travel to Isanti to take on the Isanti Redbirds at 7:30 p.m.  On Monday, July 20, they will host those same  Redbirds at Pat Collins Field at Chisago Lakes High School at 7:30 p.m.  And next Wednesday, July 22, the Bulldogs will travel to Brennan Field in Hinckley – one of the best amateur ballparks in the state –  to play the Hinckley Knights, also at 7:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs are looking for sponsors for next season.  If your business is interested, please contact us at chuckfitzer@yahoo.com or call or text 612-419-8006.

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