Raiche is All-Star home run king

In their only game of the week due to the Fourth of July holiday, the Lakers took a tough 6-3 North Star League loss against Dassel-Cokato on Wednesday, July 2. Then on Sunday, two Lakers suited up again for the annual North Star League All-Star game.

Maple Lake vs. D-C

In their second match-up of the season, Maple Lake lost the first 1-0, D-C and Maple Lake squared off in what was a much anticipated game, as both are in the top half of the West division.

Ben Jungers took the mound to start the game for the Lakers and he threw seven innings of work, giving up four runs on four hits, three errors, and four walks.

The Saints got off to a quick start as they scored two runs in the top of the first inning. A lead-off walk, a sacrifice bunt, another base-on-balls, and then a two-run single did the damage.

Both teams went three-up and three-down until the bottom of the third when Tony Smith ripped a lead-off single into left center. Dave Hansen then sacrifice-bunted him over to second, and Smith later advanced to third, but he would be stranded there.

In the fourth inning both the Saints and the Lakers got one-out singles, but neither capitalized on the hits. Keith Jerpseth connected for the single for Maple Lake.

The next hit from either team came in the bottom of the sixth when Chad Raiche ripped a two-out single. Once again, though, Maple Lake couldn’t string any hits together.

D-C broke the game open some in the top of the seventh as they scored two more runs to put their run total at four. However, in the bottom of the seventh, Maple Lake got one of those runs back. Cody Decker ripped a double, and his brother, Riley Decker, came in to pinch run. He eventually came around to score on a Saints’ error.

With the score at 4-1, Sam Marsnik came in to relieve Jungers from the pitching duties in the eighth inning. Unfortunately, a lead-off single followed by a home run put the Saints’ run total at six.

Maple Lake responded with just one run in the bottom of the eighth as Raiche came around to score on a Mic Johnson single. Also, the Lakers left the bases loaded to end the inning.

The Lakers’ pitching and defense came through in the top of the ninth as Marsnik, who recorded two strikeouts in the inning, held the Saints scoreless.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Lakers had their last chance and it was looking promising until two strikeouts ended the game. Tyler Decker started the rally off with a one-out single, and then Nate Johnson and Marcus Zahn reached on back-to-back walks to load the bases up. D-C, after a pitching change, picked up a strikeout for the second out. With two outs, Jerpseth drew a walk that scored T. Decker from third. Unfortunately, the Lakers’ rally would end there as a called third strike gave the home team the 6-3 loss.

More information appears in this week’s issue of the Messenger.