|7/30/2021 11:03:00 AM|
Bulldogs crush Cubs in finale
by CHUCK FITZERBraham 13, Chisago Lakes 10
The Bulldogs lost a wild one to the Braham Snappers 13-10 at home on Friday, July 16. The strange game included three four-strikeout innings, four Bulldogs hit by pitches – including the same player three times – five Bulldogs reaching first on dropped third strikes, a bad call that led to two Snapper runs and a bizarre play that stopped a Bulldog rally.
The Bulldogs manufactured the first run of the game in the bottom of the second. Cole Hentges walked, was sacrificed to second, moved to third on a dropped third strike and scored on a wild pitch. In the top of the third, Bulldog starter Hunter Lindstrom struck out four batters. But a hit batter, a double, Lindstrom’s own throwing error on a ground ball and batter reaching on a dropped third strike with two outs led to three Braham runs. In the bottom of the third, Jack Boeck was hit by a pitch, went to second on a dropped third strike and scored on two consecutive wild pitches to cut the Snapper lead to 3-2. Braham added another unearned run in the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the fourth, Jeremy Knutson and Lindstrom were hit by pitches. With one out, Zane Brophy lined a two-run double to the wall in right center, scoring both runners. It was the Bulldogs’ first hit of the game and tied the score at 4-4. Brophy moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball. After Tanner Marquardt struck out for the second out, Jack Boeck walked, and Tommy Fitzer and Adam Brown reached on dropped third strikes. But Dusty Rhodes struck out – the fourth strikeout of the inning – to end the Bulldog rally.
Braham tied the game in the top of the fifth, but the Bulldogs added three more runs in the bottom of the inning. Jeremy Knutson walked, and Lindstrom was again hit by a pitch. Derrick Kluge, subbing for Brophy, ripped a one-out double to right center to drive in Knutson – just the Bulldogs’ second hit of the game. Lindstrom scored on a wild pitch. The next three batters struck out – making it eight Bulldog strikeouts in two innings – but Kluge scored when Boeck reached on a dropped third strike that should have been the third out, and the Bulldogs led 8-5.
With two outs and no one on in the top of the sixth, a Snapper batter grounded to third. Third baseman Cole Hentges’ throw pulled first baseman Derrick Kluge off the base toward the plate. Kluge leapt to grab the throw, spun, and tagged the runner out in one motion. But the umpire called the runner safe, apparently not seeing or hearing the obvious tag. Braham went on to score two runs after the blown call and cut the score to 8-7. Jacob Mickelson replaced Lindstrom in the seventh and gave up three runs in the seventh and one in the eighth. Lindstrom was hit by a pitch for the third time in the game in the seventh. Now trailing 11-7, the Bulldogs rallied in the bottom of the eighth. Rhodes singled with one out. Knutson grounded to short to force Rhodes at second for the second out but beat the throw to first to keep the inning alive. Hentges walked. Lindstrom singled to drive in Knutson. Kluge then hit a fly ball to deep right center. The right fielder dropped the ball and Hentges scored. Lindstrom, off with the hit, should have scored, too. But he thought he heard someone yelling at him to go back. Forgetting there were two outs, he headed back to first and was called out as he passed Kluge, ending the rally. The Snappers added two more in the top of the ninth, and the Bulldogs went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, losing 13-10.
Nowthen 11, Chisago Lakes 8
The Nowthen Knights broke open a close game with four runs in the top of the seventh and went on to beat the Bulldogs 11-8 Monday, July 19 at Chisago Lakes. The Bulldogs had plenty of chances to score more runs but left 18 runners on base in nine innings – setting a team record.
Trailing 3-0 entering the bottom of the second, the Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out. Three straight batters drove in runs – Dylan Magnuson and Tommy Fitzer with singles and Max Kelly with a walk. Tyler Stilp then ripped a ball that appeared headed into the left field corner. But the Nowthen third baseman made a great play to stop the ball, stepped on third and fired to first for an inning-ending double play, keeping the score at 3-3. In the bottom of the fourth, with the Knights leading 6-3, the Bulldogs had runners on first and second with one out. Kelly hit a soft liner that dropped into short right center. The outfielders seemed to be in no hurry to get to the ball, so Kelly kept going and slid in ahead of the throw for a double, driving in one run. Stilp followed with a run-scoring single, moving Kelly to third. But Logan Bjorkman and Dusty Rhodes both flew out, ending the rally with the Bulldogs trailing 6-5.
Nowthen scored four times in the top of the seventh on five singles to go up 10-5. In the bottom of the inning, the Bulldogs loaded the bases on a hit batter and two walks. Tanner Marquardt was hit by a pitch to drive in one run. One out later, Bjorkman hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a run and cut the lead to 10-7. Collin Hackl singled to load the bases, but Jeremy Knutson flew out to center to end the rally. In the bottom of the ninth, Hackl’s double to left center drove in Rhodes with one out, cutting the Nowthen lead to 11-8. But Knutson and Brophy grounded out to end the game.
Andover 15, Chisago Lakes 5 (7 innings)
Shoddy defense did the Bulldogs in against the Andover Aces. Eight errors led to nine unearned runs, and the Aces beat the Bulldogs 15-5 Wednesday, July 21 at Chisago Lakes. The game was shortened to seven innings due to the ten-run rule.
The Aces led 11-0 after three innings. Steve Budke singled in runs in the second and fourth innings, and Dylan Magnuson and Max McDonough each drove in a run in the fifth. But all the errors gave the Bulldogs too high of a hill to climb.
Chisago Lakes 10, Quamba 0 (7 innings)
Tyler Stilp threw a four-hit shutout and the Bulldogs erupted for eight runs in the third inning as they beat the Quamba Cubs 10-0 in the final game of the regular season. The game was played at Quamba Friday, July 23, and was shortened to seven innings because of the ten-run rule.
Max McDonough drove in the game’s first run with a second inning single to left. In the third, the Bulldogs had just three hits, but took advantage of two walks, two hit batters, an error and catcher’s interference. Zane Brophy drove in a run when he reached on an error. McDonough singled to right to drive in his second run of the game, and Collin Hackl walked to push across a run. Logan Bjorkman capped off the inning with a three-run double to left center and the Bulldogs led 9-0. Derrick Kluge tripled to right center to drive in the final Bulldog run in the sixth. Stilp was dominant on the mound, striking out 12 and not walking anybody.
The Bulldog family grew by one as pitcher Hunter Lindstrom and his wife Hannah welcomed son Beau into the world last week.
The Eastern Minny League Central playoffs will be held this Saturday, July 31 at Chisago Lakes High School. The Bulldogs will play Rum River at 1 p.m. The winner of that game will play North Branch at 4 p.m., with the winner of that game advancing to next weekend’s regional playoffs. The losers of the first two games will meet at 7 p.m., with the winner of that game advancing to the regional playoffs. Admission is free and concessions will be available. The Bulldogs hope to see you there.