A rock-steady performance on the pitching mound and in the field propelled the Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial baseball team to a 5-2 win over Blue Earth Area last Monday in Winnebago. It was the first game of the year for the BEA Buccaneers and the third game of the year for the LCWM Knights.
Blue Earth Area starter Brandyn Olsen issued two walks to start the game. The senior pitcher got out of the first inning jam by sandwiching two strikeouts around a grounder to the shortstop.
The Knights would get all of the runs they would need in the top of the second inning. Olsen opened the inning by hitting the leadoff hitter with a pitch.
Buc catcher Carter Hanson grabs a throw from a teammate and puts the tag on a LCWM Knight base runner for an out.
The Knights then executed a flawless hit-and-run play. Nick Kelly hit behind the runner for a single that got past the Buccaneer right fielder. The resulting error allowed the Knights to take a 1-0 lead with a runner on second.
A wild pitch advanced Kelly to third base. Kelly remained at third while the next Knight batter gained first base on a softly hit ball down the third base line.
Centerfielder Kolton Barker produced an RBI single to give the Knights a 2-0 lead. A double by Bryson Yackel down the right field line plated the third run of the inning, but the Bucs avoided further damage with a great relay throw to the plate that cut down Barker attempting to score from first base.
Meanwhile, LCWM played sparkling defense. The BEA batters hit a number of balls hard only to have the Knight outfielders track them down.
The Knights had increased their lead to 4-0 with unearned runs in the fourth and sixth innings before the Bucs got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Dallas Barslou opened the bottom of the sixth with his third hit of the game. Olsen followed with a smash to left-center field that the Knights couldn't track down, giving the Bucs runners on second and third.
A pop out to the shortstop got the Knights to within one out of getting out of the inning unscathed. Christian Haugh broke up the shutout with a single to the outfield that scored both Barslou and Olsen.
Olsen and Barslou split the pitching duties for BEA. Olsen pitched four innings and allowed four unearned runs on three hits while striking out six batters and giving up four walks. He also hit one batter.
Barslou hurled three innings and was charged with one unearned run on two hits. He walked one and struck out one.
Several of the Buccaneer first games of the year have been postponed to later in the season.
The April 1 game versus New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva is now set for April 19.
This week, weather permitting and the fields dry out, the Bucs are scheduled to host Granada-Huntley-East Chain on Monday and travel to New Ulm on Thursday.