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home : sports : sports
August 18, 2022

7/22/2022 1:08:00 PM
Bulldogs fall to Rum River then to Mora, but still improving

Rum River 5, CL 1
Bulldog starting pitcher Augie Brown gave the Bulldogs six solid innings against the Rum River Bandits Wednesday, July 13.  But the Bulldogs failed to take advantage of a couple of good scoring opportunities, and the result was a 5-1 loss to the Bandits.  The game was played at Larson Field in Cambridge.

With the Bulldogs trailing 1-0, Collin Hackl singled to lead off the top of the third.  Adam Brown followed with a double to the wall in right center.  Hackl tried to score all the way from first.  As the relay throw came to the plate, Hackl made a brilliant headfirst dive to the right side, swiping his hand across the plate in this reporter’s opinion, just ahead of the tag.  But the umpire called him out, and the score stayed 1-0.

The Bulldogs trailed 3-0 entering the top of the seventh.  Logan Reynolds led off with a walk and went to second on Tanner Marquardt’s single to left.  Steve Budke laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the baserunners to second and third.  Dusty Rhodes singled to center to score Reynolds.  Marquardt had held, to make sure the line drive wasn’t caught.  The speedy Marquardt sprinted toward third.  If he had slid, Marquardt would have been safe, but he went in standing up and was tagged for the second out of the inning.  Jeremy Knutson singled up the middle to move Rhodes to third, but Hackl grounded out to end the inning.
Despite giving up 10 and hitting two batters, Brown pitched his way out of some jams and gave the Bulldogs a chance to win in his six-inning stint.  He allowed three runs, didn’t walk anyone and struck out three.

In the bottom of the eighth, with runners on second and third and two outs, reliever Budke had a 3-2 count on the batter.  As his pitch sailed toward the plate, Budke’s foot caught the hole on the mound and he twisted and fell onto his back, not seeing the batter swing and miss for the strikeout.  Budke appeared to have a significant ankle injury for the minute or so he lay on the field, but he got up and walked off under his own power.

Mora 11, Chisago Lakes 1
Last Sunday afternoon, the Bulldogs faced the Mora Mustangs.  Mustang starter Derek Graves has been one of the top starters in the Eastern Minny League for the past 10 years, and he showed why again last Sunday.  After allowing a single to Tyler Stilp on the first pitch of the game, Graves went on to pitch seven scoreless innings.  He allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out 10.  Mora took advantage of some Bulldog errors early in the game to take a three-run lead and went on to beat the Bulldogs 11-1.  The game was played at the Chisago Lakes High School JV field.

The Mustangs led 3-0 in the top of the fifth.  With the bases loaded and two outs, Mustang Brett Johnson cleared the bases with a three run double to the wall in left center, doubling the Mora lead to 6-0.  With the Bulldogs trailing 11-0 entering the bottom of the ninth, Dusty Rhodes led off with a double.  Two outs later, Tanner Marquardt bounced a single through the left side of the infield. To spoil the shutout and make the final score 11-1.

With one out and runners on first and second in the bottom of the eighth, right fielder Hunter Lindstrom made a phenomenal play.  The batter hit a fly ball to short right field, and nobody in the park – including Lindstrom himself – thought he could get to it.  As the speedy Lindstrom sprinted toward the ball, the runners took off.  The runner on first held up halfway to second, but the runner on second went all out.  Lindstrom dove flat out and caught the ball in the tip of his glove.  He stood up with his teammates yelling for him to throw the ball to second.  Lindstrom was confused because there was no runner near second.  That’s because the runner was just then crossing home plate.  Lindstrom finally saw the runner and lobbed the ball to second to complete the double play and end the inning.

Bulldog Banter
The Rum River Bandits were forced to forfeit five games for playing an ineligible player in those games, making the Bandits ineligible for the Eastern Minny League Central playoffs.  This puts the Bulldogs into the Region 1C playoffs that start the first weekend in August.  The Bulldogs will play in the league playoffs July 30 and 31 to determine seeding into the regional playoffs.

Despite their 3-11 record, the Bulldogs have improved significantly since last season.  Their ERA has dropped from 6.05 to 3.39, and their error rate has been cut in half.  The Bulldogs have added some talented young hitters this season, and several hitters have recently shown signs of breaking out of slumps.  If that happens as the Bulldogs move into the playoffs, the Bulldogs will be the proverbial team that nobody wants to play.





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