June 21, 2024 at 1:55 p.m.

Busy schedule producing experience, but not wins


Hinckley 8, Chisago Lakes 6

When Reed Marquardt slammed a solo home run in the top of the first inning, it gave the Bulldogs a leg up in their matchup with the Eastern Minny League’s other 2023 state tournament team, the Hinckley Knights. But a first inning error by the Bulldogs opened the floodgates for the Knights, and they led 6-1 after one.  The Bulldogs did their best to play catchup, pounding out 15 hits, but eventually fell to the Knights 8-6 at Brennan Field in Hinckley.

With two out in the top of the first, Marquardt drilled an 0-2 pitch high over the wall in right to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead.  Bailey Kasprowicz started for the Bulldogs, just his second appearance since returning from an injury.  Kasprowicz walked the first batter he faced.  One out later, a double drove in a run to tie the game at 1-1.  After a flyout, the next batter hit a grounder to short that looked like it would end the inning.  But shortstop Dusty Rhodes’ throw was in the dirt and skipped past first baseman Alex Wilkey, allowing a run to score.  The next two batters walked to load the bases.  On a 1-0 count,  Lane Von Rueden launched a ball high over the left field fence for a grand slam, and the Knights led 6-1.

Rhodes doubled to center in the top of the second and later scored on a double to right by Nick Brown.  But TJ Johnson hit a two-run homer for the Knights in the bottom of the third to push the Hinckley lead to 8-2.  One out singles by Marquardt, Wilkey and Brendan Hemr pushed across one run for the Bulldogs in the top of the fifth, but Rhodes and Kasprowicz struck out to end the inning.  Hemr drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh to cut the Hinckley lead to 8-4.  In the top of the eighth, Aaron Keeney reached on a two-out error.  Ryan Sanvik walked, and Keeney scored on a hard single to right by Marquardt, with Sanvik advancing to third.  Alex Wilkey singled to drive in Sanvik, cutting the Knights’ lead to 8-6.  But Hemr grounded out to end the rally.  Nick Brown singled with two outs in the top of the ninth, but Adam Brown struck out to end the game.

Marquardt played a stellar game at third base.  Over the course of the game, he used lightning quick reflexes to cut off two ground balls headed for the hole, snared a line drive headed for left and doubled the runner off second, and raced over to cut off a ball headed down the left field line, throwing the runner out from foul territory.

Kasprowicz went seven innings.  He allowed eight funs, but only three were earned.  He allowed just five hits, walked three and struck out ten.  Hunter Lindstrom pitched one inning of scoreless relief.  The difference in the game can be summed up in one stat:  The Bulldogs left 12 runners n base, and the Knights left just one.


Clear Lake/Clearwater Tournament

The Bulldogs played in a Father’s Day weekend tournament hosted by Clear Lake and Clearwater.  A number of players had prior commitments and several players just decided to not make the trip, so the Bulldogs had a thin lineup, including limited pitching.  But they played three competitive games on a rainy Saturday and a steamy Sunday.


Dilworth 5, Chisago Lakes 4

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 4-0 lead right out of the gate against the Dilworth Raildogs, but after that their bats went silent.  The Raildogs had tied it up by the bottom of the third and hit a walkoff homerun in the bottom of the seventh to squeak by the Bulldogs 5-4 in the opening game of the tournament on Saturday, June 15 at the ballpark in Clearwater.

In the top of the first, Aaron Keeney walked, and Adam Brown reached on an error.  After Beau Fandel struck out, Alex Wilkey lined a single to right to drive in Keeney with the first run of the game.  Brendan Hemr then singled to left to drive in Brown, with Wilkey moving to third.  With Dusty Rhodes at the plate, Hemr took off for second.  The catcher threw down to second and Wilkey took off from third, beating the throw home for a stolen base and putting the Bulldogs up 3-0.  Dusty Rhodes singled to left to drive in Hemr.  Reece Berner and Bailey Kasprowicz struck out to end the rally with the Bulldogs in front 4-0 after one.  The Raildogs chipped away at the lead, scoring single runs in the first and second innings and adding two more in the third to tie the game at 4-4.  The game was halted after the top of the sixth due to rain.

The game resumed at the Clear Lake ballpark on Sunday morning at 9:00.   After Jacob Mickelson pitched a scoreless bottom of the sixth, Tommy Fitzer reached on an error to lead off the top of the seventh.  Jack Boeck laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Fitzer to second   Alex Wilkey struck out and Hemr walked.  Steve  Budke lined a single to right to load the bases.  Jacob Mickelson ripped a hard ground ball down the first base line, but the Dilworth first baseman made a nice play, stabbing the ball and flipping it to the pitcher for the third out.  Grant Anderson led off the bottom of the seventh for the Raildogs.  On a 2-2 count, he took a pitch for what appeared to be strike three, but the umpire called It a ball.  On the 3-2 count, Anderson launched a long home run to right field to give Dilworth a walkoff 5-4 win.


Clear Lake 7, Chisago Lakes 5

The Bulldogs led 5-1 after five innings against the Clear Lake Lakers and appeared to be headed toward a win, but the Lakers scored three runs each in the sixth and seventh innings to beat the Bulldogs 7-5 at Clear Lake.

With the Bulldogs trailing 1-0, Tommy Fitzer walked with one out in the bottom of the second.  He went to second on a groundout by Jeremy Knutson.  Jack Boeck lined a double to right to score Fitzer,  Boeck went to third on a passed ball and later scored on a wild pitch to put the Bulldogs up 2-1.  Brendan Hemr laid a beautiful bunt down the third base line for a single to lead off the bottom of the third.  Adam Brown doubled to center to move Hemr to third.  After Alex Wilkey struck out, Bailey Kasprowicz hit a high fly ball to short left center field.  The left fielder, center fielder, and shortstop all got there, looked at each other and the ball dropped between the three of them.  Hemr scored to increase the Bulldog lead to 3-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Wilkey doubled to the wall in right center with one out.  Kasprowicz followed with a double to deep left center to score Wilkey.   Fitzer singled to left to move Kasprowicz to third, and Jeremy Knutson singled to left to score Kasprowicz, increasing the bulldog lead to 5-1.  The Lakers scored three runs in the top of the sixth, capped off by a two-run double that cut the Bulldog lead to 5-4.  In the top of the seventh, a single and a hit batter put Clear Lake runners on first and second with no outs.  Knutson came in to relieve starter Steve Budke and stuck out the first batter he faced.  But he walked the next two to push across one run, tying the game at 5-5.  A single and a sacrifice fly scored to more runs, and the Lakers led 7-5.  Fitzer led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to left.  But Knutson grounded into a double play.  Boeck grounded out to short, and the Lakers had a 7-5 comeback win.


Midway 4, Chisago Lakes 0

The Bulldog bats were largely silent in their final game of the tournament, and they were shut out by the Midway Snurdbirds 4-0 at the field in Clear Lake.  A two-out throwing error by third baseman Alex Wilkey led to the first two Snurdbird runs in the top of the fourth.  Midway scored another unearned run in the top of the sixth and added another run in the top of the seventh to increase their lead to 4-0.  Tommy Fitzer led off the bottom of the seventh with an infield hit, but was erased on a double pay grounder hit by Jeremy Knutson.  Jack Boeck struck out swinging to end the game.

Bailey Kasprowicz started and went four innings.  He allowed two unearned runs on two hits, walked one and struck out five.  Adam Brown pitched the final three innings.  He allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits, walked one and struck out five.


Bulldog Banter

The Bulldogs, 1-1 in Eastern Minny League play, will head to Quamba to play the Quamba Cubs tomorrow night in Eastern Minny League action.  On Saturday, the Bulldogs will host a mini-tournament at Pat Collins Field at Chisago Lakes High school.  The Bulldogs will play the Twin Ports Timbers at noon; Twin Ports will take on the Metro Knights at 2:30 p.m.; and the Bulldogs and Metro Knights will tangle at 5:30 p.m.  The host Bulldogs will provide a picnic for the teams and fans after the second game of the day.

On Sunday, the Bulldogs will head to Redbirds Field in Isanti to take on the Isanti Redbirds at 4 p.m.  And the Bulldogs will host the Ramsey Renegades on Wednesday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m.


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