Frantic finishes mark end of SEC play

Rangers top Cretin, fall to Roseville in wild home games

Jack Schmidt tries to avoid a tag at home plate during a 4-3 loss to Roseville on Friday. (Photo by TLC Digital Images)

Clint Riese
Sports Editor

If admission was charged for Ranger baseball games, fans would still say they got their money’s worth in entertainment last week. Schumacher Field was host to a pair of wild Suburban East Conference games. When the dust settled, the Rangers had a split and a final SEC record of 10-8.

Roseville used a three-run sixth inning to earn a 4-3 win on Friday. The game ended in heartbreak for Forest Lake. With runners on first and second and one out, Jack Schmidt ripped a line drive toward first base. The Raider first baseman was holding the runner on rather that playing behind the runner as usual for that situation. Schmidt’s liner might have shot past the fielder in a normal case, but in this one it was caught and turned into a game-ending double play.

“CJ [Franklin] was on first, so if that ball goes down the line, he probably scores and it’s a walk-off win,” said coach Tal Gravelle.

The 4-3 final came after the Rangers led for much of the game. They went ahead 2-1 in the third inning off RBI doubles from Franklin and Schmidt. A sacrifice fly by Alek Zentzis made it 3-1 in the fourth.

Before the senior night game on Friday, members of the American Legion and VFW were on hand to honor a pair of Rangers seniors with military futures. Carter Burgoyne (catching first pitch in picture above) is going into the Marines, while Bryce Kinder will be in the ROTC program at Michigan Tech. (Photo by TLC Digital Images)

Starter Lucas Kohls ran into trouble in the sixth, and Trent Rabel took the loss in relief.

Gravelle estimates that a large crowd of 300 or so turned out for senior night.

“The staff and I would like to thank the Dugout Club and the fans for making Schumacher such a fun experience again this season,” he said.

Rangers 8, Raiders 7

The coin was flipped for last week’s showdown with No. 8 Cretin-Derham Hall. Some sloppy defense by the Raiders allowed Forest Lake to charge back for three runs in the final frame and walk off with an 8-7 win.

Dylan Dresel started the rally with an infield single. With two outs, Cretin had a chance to end it but misplayed a groundball and the error allowed Matt Jellum to reach base. Bryce Kinder then launched a shot to deep right-center field. The right fielder was able to get a glove on it but could not hold on for a running catch. The hit tied the game, and Schmidt followed with a single past the third baseman for the game-winner.

Matt Hultgren got the win in relief of Phil Sauer. The Rangers committed four errors in the first inning as the Raiders jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

Kinder got Forest Lake on the board in the second inning with an RBI single. Zentzis drove in two with a two-out single in the third and Jellum gave his team a 4-3 lead with a single later in that frame. Cretin regained the lead in the top of the fourth.

The Rangers used a double by Franklin to trim the deficit to 7-5 in the sixth.

The win gave Forest Lake a season sweep of Cretin-Derham Hall. The Raiders won the SEC title with a record of 14-4 in league play. The Rangers came in fifth.

They finish the regular season at Chisago Lakes Thursday, May 24. The game has big implications for the Section 7AAA tournament, as Forest Lake hopes to secure a top-four seed and a first-round bye.

The tournament opens next Tuesday and quarterfinal play is next Thursday. See for seeding information.