Monday, June 6, 2011

Miscues abound as Rosemount outlasts Lakeville for five-run win

It was a beautiful, sun-soaked Saturday evening at Lakeville South High School.

For the Lakeville Athletics, however, its home field offered little advantage, as the team fumbled a few plays on defense, missed the plate on the mound and showed little punch at the plate in losing to Rosemount by a final score of 11-6.

The visiting Black Sox accomplished its double-digit score on nine hits. Rosemount batters posted only six RBI, as Lakeville errors and wild pitches accounted for its other runs.

The first three innings of the game went quickly and crisply.

Lakeville starter Jeff Farr allowed one hit and one walk while facing the minimum nine hitters. The Black Sox’ Michael Robohm yielded a single and a pair of walks in allowing no Athletics to touch home plate.

Then things became ugly.

In the top of the fourth inning, Rosemount’s Andy Schwantes led off with a single and Ben Lemke followed with a walk. Then a wild pitch allowed the each runner to advance. This set the stage for Corky Adams, who cashed in with a two-run single to left.

The Black Sox cleanup hitter, Jason Kirschman, followed Adams with a base knock to drive in a third run; a groundout produced a fourth run, then an error by Athletics shortstop Max Shower enabled a fifth Rosemount run to score.

Down 5-0 with only one out at this point, Farr mercifully struck out the next two batters to mitigate any further damage.

In the bottom of the fourth, Lakeville fought back with two runs of its own.

Robohm retired the first two Athletics batters, before Derek Hahn drew a walk to keep the inning alive. Robohm then plunked John Degerness and walked Brent Johnson to load up the bases.

Next up was left fielder Eric Watts, who had hit into a fielder’s choice with a runner in scoring position and two outs his first time up. This time Watts delivered. The fourth-year Athletics veteran found a pitch to his liking and drilled it down the third base line to drive in two runs.

Robohm was able get Shower on a ground out to end the rally, but the Athletics showed some spark in cutting Rosemount’s lead to three.

Unfortunately, for Lakeville, its two runs were nullified almost immediately, as another error and two wild pitches led to two Black Sox run in the top of the fifth inning.

Schwantes started the inning with a sharp grounder to Lakeville’s Collin Baker at third. Baker was unable to get in front of the ball as it ricocheted off his body and trickled away to his left, allowing Schwantes to reach base on the error. The next Black Sox batter, Ben Lemke, followed with a grounder to second that ate up Lakeville’s Nick Daniels. Instead of charging the ball, Daniels chose to sit back on it. The ball then took an awkward bounce and deflected off his wrist and chin as Lemke was awarded an infield single.

After suffering some poor luck with a pair of seemingly routine ground ball outs, things only became worse for Farr. He allowed a walk to his next batter and was suddenly forced to face Kirschman with the bases loaded and nobody out.

Farr flung a wild pitch to allow Schwantes to score and the other two runners to advance. The righthander then regained his composure as he was able get Kirschman to hit a ground ball. The he ball was hit directly at Baker, who once again had difficulties gloving the ball; but this time Baker kept the ball in front of him and was able to make a strong throw home in an attempt to prevent another run from scoring. His throw was off to the right of the plate, but catcher Kevin George made an outstanding grab, swipe and tag to retire Lemke.

The team was saved from a run, temporarily, but Farr soon unleashed another wild pitch that allowed Adams to score. Farr retired the following two hitters to get out of the inning, but the Black Sox regained its five-run lead at 7-2.

Farr’s day was complete as Andrew Yetzer replaced him to begin the sixth inning. However, the lefty did not fare much better, as he lost control of a few pitches as well.

Yetzer pitched a scoreless sixth inning, but he was not so fortunate in the seventh. He surrendered a lead-off double to Adams, issued a walk to Kirschman and would later allow both Black Sox to come home on wild pitches.

Down 9-2, the downtrodden Athletics fought back again, scoring a pair of runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. Lakeville was aided by Rosemount errors for two of the runs, while Mark Berger and Justin Hahn collected RBI for the other two.

The home team had crept back to within three, but it was too little, too late. The Black Sox countered with two runs in the ninth and sealed up a five-run victory.

For Rosemount, the win was the team’s first of the season - improving its record to 1-6.

Lakeville (0-5) dropped its fifth straight decision, as the team remains in search of its first win of the young season.

**I was the PA for this game and the writer of this game recap story
**Tim Watts provided the photographs. Descriptions of the photos from top-to-bottom are as follows: (Within story) Lakeville starting pitcher Jeff Farr delivering a pitch, Lakeville leftfielder Eric Watts digging in at the plate before delivering a double in the fourth, Andrew Yetzer delivering a pitch, (Below story) Lakeville catcher Kyle George connects for a double in the seventh inning, the home plate umpire rules Lakeville first baseman Josh Storm out as Rosemount catcher Matt Foley springs up after his tag on Storm.

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