Townball team falls one win short; ends season at 20-13
The Forest Lake Brewers were close enough to smell the state tournament, but were turned away in a loaded Super Sectional in Elko over the weekend.
The Class B townball team put itself in good shape with a win Friday night, but fell twice on Saturday in the four-team tournament.
The Brewers end the summer with a record of 20-13. The club’s first season in Class B marked its 10th consecutive winning season overall (191-113 in that span).
“This was definitely a successful season,” said manager Adam Gallatin. “We finished tied for second in our league, which was the most competitive, top to bottom, I have ever seen. Our team this summer proved it could play with anyone and we are hoping to reload and make another run next year.”
Brewers ace Mike Swenson was on his game Friday night and led Forest Lake to a 4-3 win over Dundas. The St. Scholastica hurler went the distance, scattering 13 hits. He struck out two, walked none and gave up three earned runs.
“Mike Swenson was really good, as he has been all year,” Gallatin said. “His control is just awesome.”
Dundas plated their runs early but the Brewers rallied late. Drew Cremisino drove in two runs in the sixth inning on a bases-loaded single. He also plated the go-ahead run in the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly.
Mike Schultz went 3-4 but sprained his ankle on a play at the plate and was lost for the remainder of the tournament.
Ty Cremisino had two hits and scored twice.
The Brewers faced defending Class B state champion Sauk Rapids Saturday afternoon with a ticket to state on the line.
Forest Lake put runners on base in each of the first six innings but failed to score. Sauk Rapids took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, then added another run in the sixth and two in the eighth for a 4-0 win.
“The game was really close, but we just couldn’t get a clutch hit,” Gallatin said. “Travis Evgen kept us in the game but we just couldn’t get him any runs.”
Brent Kolbow, Luke Schultz, Alex Johnson and Mark Miron combined for the team’s only four hits. Evgen pitched a complete game and allowed the four runs on eight hits. He struck out six and walked three.
The loss put the Brewers into a rematch with Dundas, which had stayed alive by beating Coon Rapids.
The Dukes came out firing and tagged the Brewers for 14 hits. Dundas scored five runs in the fourth inning and cruised to an 8-0 victory to claim the other state berth from the Elko sectional.
Forest Lake again managed only four hits. Two came from Drew Cremisino, one from Ty Cremisino and one from Justin Roeder.
“We had a runner thrown out at the plate in the first inning and we never really got close to scoring again,” Gallatin said.
Dave Gauerke took the loss. He pitched four innings and allowed five runs, though only two were earned. Matt Zidar pitched the final five innings and Dundas scored three more unearned runs off him.
“Despite not moving on, it was a really fun tournament,” Gallatin said. “The Elko field has a lot of character and history and it’s always fun to play high-quality teams.”