Lakers 10 Merchants 8
CARROLL, Iowa – After not scoring in their opening game, the Albert Lea Lakers had some extended time to work on their swings… and it paid off.
The Lakers picked up their first win in franchise history as they took down the Carroll Merchants by a score of 10-8 at Merchants Park.
It didn’t take long for Albert Lea to break the goose egg as they plated their first run of the game in the top of the first, as a Carroll error allowed Derek Johnson to score and give the Lakers the early lead.
The Merchants would come right back in the bottom half of the opening frame, Sean Moore scored on a Ben McConnell sacrifice fly to tie the game followed by a two-run home run by Mitchell McCallister that put Carroll ahead 3-1.
The Albert Lea offense would not let up, scoring another run in the second and third innings which tied the game. Then they gained the lead in the fourth as Johnson’s single brought home Evan Wick and Jamell Newson.
Carroll would tie the game at five in the fifth, McCallister’s deep fly to center had enough distance to score Moore from third.
The game would remain tied until the eighth inning, a combination of walks, errors and hits allowed the Lakers to put up five runs to take a commanding 10-5 lead.
Three hits and a walk would get Carroll back into the game, they got three runs in the bottom half of the inning to put the pressure on the Lakers heading to the ninth.
Yeisel Valdez, who was brought in for the seventh inning, stayed calm under pressure, he was able to retire pinch hitter Zach Berry to end the game and seal the win.
Johnson, Jack Hemsath, and Evan Wick all picked up two hits in the win for the Lakers. Valdez gets the win on the hill.
Moore was the catalyst for the Carroll offense as he went 4 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Bradley Sanford had a heck of a night, albeit short-lived, coming off the bench he went 2 for 2 with a pair of doubles. Michael Davila also had two hits in the loss.
Jacob Rosales takes the loss for Carroll, he gave up three hits, four walks and four runs over four innings pitched.
The Lakers are off until Friday, when they host the Storm Lake Whitecaps in their home opener. The Carroll Merchants will get Thursday off as well before a two day trip to Sioux Falls for a battle with the Gold.
Bandits 9 Whitecaps 7
BANCROFT, Iowa – The Bancroft Bandits once again got on a roller coaster of emotions in Wednesday’s game but fortunately for them, this time around they came out on top.
The Bandits knocked off the Storm Lake Whitecaps by a score of 9-7 despite allowing six runs in the fifth inning. That was because of hot start from the home squad. Joey Machuga got the party started with a solo home run in the first. That was followed up by Bo Fricks’ bases clearing double in the second inning, the Bandits led 5-0 after two innings.
The Whitecaps got one in the third before their monster fifth inning. Christian Pena and Anthony Stewart both knocked in runs with their respective doubles. Tony Nichols also had an RBI single in the inning.
Bancroft was able to tie the game in the 6th as Jace Komminsk belted a run scoring single and Machuga drove in another run as well.
We went to eighth inning knotted up at seven and that’s when the bottom of the Bancroft lineup came through again. Brandon Dodd and Greg Brown worked a pair of walks to start the inning. After they were bunting over into scoring position, it was Colin Brophy who drove them in with a triple.
The ’Caps had no answer going down 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Fricks led all Bandit hitters with two hits of his own and three runs batted in. The seven and eight hitters Dodd and Brown combined to score six runs on the night.
For the Whitecaps, Nichols went 2 for 3 with a run batted in, Andew Kasperbauer, Jason Galleano, Pena and Stewart all logged hits and scored a run in a losing effort.
The Bandits will look to keep their winning ways going on Saturday when they once again host these Whitecaps.
Storm Lake will return home to take on the Sioux Falls Gold, who will be playing in their first game of the 2017 season.