Brute’s Bleat August 31, 2016

Maple Lake’s Lakers took another step closer to the finals in the state tournament with an 8-1 win over Waseca Sunday afternoon. Now they are one of 16 Class C teams left and they will meet Region 7A champion Waconia next Saturday, 7:30 p.m., again at the Dassel/Cokato stadium. The Lakers set the tone of the game early when first-sacker Chad Raiche sent a towering home run over the left-field fence with Graham Brown on base via a walk to give them a 2-0 first inning lead. They continued to build their lead to 8-1 at the end of seven innings. The Lakers got another stellar performance out of their right-hander, Jeremy Schmidt, who allowed only one run. He allowed two hits, struck out eight and gave up one walk in the seven innings he pitched. He was relieved by D/C draftee Eric Hanson who struck out three, allowing no hits. The Lakers are playing some of their best baseball of the year, combining great pitching and hitting with a solid defense, and believe me, the Laker fans are thoroughly enjoying the games and are responding in record numbers to cheer them on. . . Our group, Ken and Marge Hennen, Daryl Hennen and myself, also watched the Watkins vs. Foley game prior to ML’s. Watkins pitcher Matt Geislinger was throwing with precision and struck out 19 batters while pitching the entire nine innings. He allowed one run on three hits in the Clippers’ 5-1 win. The Geislinger name is synonymous with baseball in Watkins, and Ken figured Matt is the third or fourth generations of Geislinger’s who have played baseball for Watkins. They meet Winsted Saturday at 11 a.m. in Dassel. Hutchinson defeated Fort Ripley 8-2 in their first game as Region 12A champ and will play Milroy Saturday at 5 p.m. at Hutchinson. . . We ran into Dale Welter, a perennial at state tournaments and former Chaska Cubs slugger, who taught school and coached baseball and basketball before he left ML for the bright lights of Bloomington. He remains involved in baseball even though retired in Chaska and commented on ML high school’s baseball catcher and slugger Jack Siebert who played in an all-star game at Chaska after the high school state tournament. Welter was coaching at ML when David and Stan Fuller were part of the Irish team. . . The longest game Sunday was 13 innings with Lastrup defeating Hampton 8-5 at Hutchinson. . . The scuttle-but at the tournament is Plato is the team to be feared because of their hitting power. They defeated Fergus Falls 12-1 in 7 innings. . .
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I managed to get out on the lakes three times the past week, but the wind and rain were definitely a dampener. Mike Muller and I tried Maple Lake Thursday in the morning, but couldn’t find any sunfish on the rock pile. We thought the fish had relocated, but found out differently Sunday when a fishing friend said he’d caught his limit in the same spot on Friday! I was on Sugar Lake Friday with my setter, Vanna, and we sorted out 15-16 before the sun drove us off the lake. They were decent, but not any record-breakers. On Saturday George Palmer came out from Plymouth to fish, but it was raining and we decided to post-pone it for better weather. By noon the skies were looking better and Mike and I thought we’d give Sugar Lake a try. Lloyd Dahlin was coming off the lake with a lack-luster report, but they were fishing for bigger fish. We stuck it out for about 2-3 hours fishing different spots which had been okay the day before. It may have been the time of day, the weather or whatever else affects the bite, but we didn’t have much success. We ended up filleting 10 sunnies and one bass with hopes for a better outing before school starts. . . Steve Loch told me Sunday the seniors had great fishing on Maple Lake Saturday during the Lions annual outing. Maybe that’s who I should be fishing with! As soon as September rolls around I plan on heading for some different lakes and fish for walleyes who sometimes turn on as we head into fall. It’s also time to shoot some trap in preparation for the fall grouse and pheasant seasons. Where did the summer go!