|7/2/2021 1:30:00 PM|
Bulldogs close to grinding out tight games
by CHUCK FITZEREast Bethel 3, Chisago Lakes 2
Tyler Stilp pitched well against the East Bethel Bandits, but the Wildcats only scored twice and lost to the Bandits 3-2 Wednesday, June 9 at Chisago Lakes. Stilp allowed three tuns – two earned – on eight hits, walked one, hit one and struck out five.
A key call by the umpire may have changed the course of the game in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs and runners on first and second, Hunter Lindstrom hit a swinging bunt down the first base line. He beat the throw to first by two steps, but was inexplicably called out, ending the inning. The umpire later admitted he was screened on the play because he was out of position. In the top of the fifth, a single, an error and another single led to the game’s first run. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, a double to the wall in left-center scored two runs to put the Bandits up 3-0. In the bottom of the inning, Miles Turk singled with one out and Tanner Marquardt walked. Turk stole third and, a couple of pitches later, Marquardt stole second. Derrick Kluge’s infield single drove in Turk to make it 3-1. But Tyler Stilp popped out and Logan Bjorkman grounded out, ending the rally. In the bottom of the sixth, Lindstrom reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on Jeremy Knutson’s two-out single up the middle. Knutson attempted to steal second and clearly beat the throw but was called out. The ump couldn’t blame being screened this time. The Wildcats sent nine up, nine down over the last three innings and lost 3-2.
Chisago Lakes 5, Rum River 4
Have you ever seen a game won by a walk-off hit by pitch? It is not as exciting as a grand slam, but it gets the job done. With the score tied 4-4, the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth against the Rum River Bandits, Hunter Lindstrom was hit by a pitch, driving in the winning run for a 5-4 Bulldog win. Lindstrom also pitched a complete game for the Bulldogs. He allowed four earned runs on 11 hits, walked four and struck out four.
With the Bulldogs trailing 1-0 going into the top of the third. Lindstrom walked opening batter Andy Julkowski. Julkowski tried to steal second, but catcher Nick Wasko gunned him down for the first out of the inning. In the top of the fourth, Bandit Tyler Kronstedt tried to go from first to third on a single to left, but a perfect throw by left fielder Riley Berner easily got Kronstedt at third, helping to snuff out a potential Rum River Rally.
Dylan Magnuson scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth to tie the score at 1-1. Leading 2-1 entering the top of the seventh, Rum River scored two runs and appeared poised to break the game open. They had two runs in with one out and a runner on second. The batter hit a ball to deep right center. The runner at second stopped halfway to third, as it looked like the ball might be caught. He took off when the ball hit the ground and it looked like he would score easily. Center fielder Logan Bjorkman picked up the ball near the wall and launched it toward home plate. The throw one-hopped into catcher Nick Wasko’s glove and he applied to the tag to the clearly surprised runner, who didn’t even bother to slide. A groundout ended the rally. In the bottom of the seventh, Magnuson walked, and Max McDonough singled to put runners on first and second with no outs. A passed ball moved the runners up to second and third. One out later, Tyler Stilp doubled off the wall in left center to score both runners. Stilp scored on a check swing groundout down the first base line by Bjorkman, tying the game at 4-4.
Wasko singled to lead off the bottom of the ninth and went to second on a passed ball. Stilp was intentionally walked. Bjorkman’s grounder forced Wasko at third and Dusty Rhodes popped out. Bandit manager Tom Koplitz came out to calm his pitcher down. Lindstrom stepped into the batter’s box and the pitcher hit Lindstrom with the first pitch, giving the Bulldogs their first win of the season.
North Branch 7, Chisago Lakes 3
North Branch Nighthawk Dylan Ramberg pitched a complete game, leading the Nighthawks to a 7-3 win over the Bulldogs Friday, June 18 at Chisago Lakes High School. Ramberg allowed three earned runs on nine hits, walked five and struck out ten. Tyler Stilp made the start for the Bulldogs and came out after allowing six runs in three innings. Jacob Mickelson pitched well in six innings in relief for the Bulldogs. He allowed one run on three hits, walked one and struck out five.
Trailing 7-2 entering the bottom of the ninth, Max McDonough led off with a single. He moved to third on two wild pitches. Hunter Lindstrom struck out. Derrick Kluge hit a fly ball to right that scored McDonough. A double by Collin Hackl and walks to Logan Bjorkman and Dusty Rhodes loaded the bases with two outs. On an 0-1 pitch, Miles Turk made a bid to tie the game. But his high fly ball to deep left center was caught on the warning track to end the game.
North Branch 7, Chisago Lakes 0
A 7- 0 score doesn’t usually result from a pitcher’s duel. But that’s exactly what it was for the third annual Pizza Pub Classic, played Saturday, June 19 at North Branch High School.
Nighthawk starter Jimmy Skroch and Bulldog starter Hunter Lindstrom went toe-to-toe for seven and a half scoreless innings. Clint Mattson led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and Skroch sacrificed him to second. Nick Pilz followed with a double to left center to drive in Mattson with the only run the Vikings would need, and Nick Solberg followed with a run-scoring single. After that, a combination of hits, errors and bad hops on the rock-hard infield led to five more Viking runs.
Skroch finished the game with a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth, sealing the 7-0 Nighthawk win. In his nine-inning complete game, the hard-throwing Skroch was dominant. He allowed no runs on two infield hits, walked one, hit one and struck out 19 in a complete-game masterpiece. Lindstrom, who shut out the Vikings for seven innings, gave up all seven runs in the eighth.
After the game, the Vikings retained The Mug, which is the traveling trophy for the Pizza Pub Classic. The Nighthawks headed over to the Pizza Pub in North Branch to fill the giant mug with beer and celebrate the win.
Hinckley 11, Chisago Lakes 5
Leading 6-5, the Hinckley Knights erupted for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and went on to beat the Bulldogs 11-5 on Wednesday June 23 at Hinckley.
Jacob Mickelson started and took the loss for the Bulldogs, allowing five runs in three innings. Hunter Lindstrom relieved him, giving up six runs in three innings of work against the potent Hinckley lineup. Miles Turk made his first pitching appearance of the season and pitched well. In two innings of work, he allowed no runs on two hits, walked one and struck out two.
Turk, Collin Hackl, and Dusty Rhodes had two hits apiece for the Bulldogs. In the third inning, Rhodes drove in two runs with a double and Turk had a run scoring single to give the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead.
But Hinckley scored four times in the fourth to go up 6-4. Turk tripled off the wall in left center in the top of the sixth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Dylan Magnuson. Tommy Fitzer walked, but the next two batters struck out to end the rally and Hinckley put the game out of reach in the bottom of the inning.
Rum River 4, Chisago Lakes 2
A three-run double by Travis Evgen in the bottom of the sixth inning was the difference as the Rum River Bandits beat the Wildcats 4-2 this past Sunday at Larson Field in Cambridge. Tyler Stilp pitched his second complete game of the season. He allowed four earned runs on just four hits, walked four, hit one and struck out seven.
The Bulldogs had multiple chances to score but left ten men on base.
In the top of the second, Miles Turk doubled to right center with two outs. Jeremy Knutson followed with a double to left center to drive in Turk. He went to third on a wild pitch but was stranded there when Dylan Magnuson grounded out back to the pitcher. Tanner Marquardt led off the top of the third with a bunt base hit. He went to second on a wild pickoff attempt and went to third on a balk. Reed Marquardt singled up the middle to drive in a run and make the score 2-0. A single by Dusty Rhodes and a walk to Adam Brown loaded the bases with two outs, but Turk struck out to end the rally. Rum River scored once in the bottom of the fourth to cut the Wildcat lead to 2-1. The Wildcats’ biggest wasted opportunity came in the fifth. Stilp led off the inning with a double off the left field wall. Bjorkman lined a single over the third baseman’s hard to move Stilp to third and promptly stole second. But the Bulldogs weren’t able to get either of those runs in. Rhodes popped out, Brown grounded out to first and Turk struck out, keeping the score at 2-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, two walks put runners on first and second with one out. The next batter singled down the line in left. Left fielder Knutson raced over to pick up the ball as the runner rounded third and headed for home. It looked like the runner would score easily, but Knutson wound up and fired a strike to catcher Bjorkman, nailing the surprised runner for the second out of the inning. Stilp hit the next batter to load the bases. On a 1-2 pitch to Evgen, Stilp threw what looked like strike right at the batter’s knees. But the umpire called the pitch low for ball two. Another ball made the count 3-2. The runners took off as Stilp delivered the pitch to the plate. Evgen ripped a sinking liner to center field.
Two runs would have scored easily if the ball dropped in front of center fielder Brown. Racing in hard, Brown dove for the ball and just missed it. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and three runs scored to give the Bandits a 4-2 lead that they would never relinquish.
The Bulldogs head into the 4th of July break with a league record of 1-8.
Next up, the Bulldogs will host the Ramsey Renegades at home on Wednesday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. You can follow the Bulldogs on Facebook (Chisago Lakes Bulldogs) and on Twitter (@chisagobulldogs).