The Forest Lake Brewers’ 2013 season came to a close in the Section 8B playoffs at home on Schumacher Field over the weekend.
Forest Lake opened the tournament with a 4-0 win on Friday night over the No. 6-seeded East Bethel Bandits behind pitcher Dave Gauerke, who recorded five strikeouts.
Ty Cremisino led the offense going 2-2 with a walk, while Jed Hanson went 2-4.
The Brewers next faced second-seeded Isanti on Saturday and let one slip away after a 7-1 lead going into the fifth inning. The squad struggled defensively and gave up seven runs to put the Redbirds up 8-7, a lead the visitors would hold on to.
“We were playing well, and I thought we were just going to cruise along,” manager Adam Gallatin said. “Then we had one bad inning where everything blew up — we had four errors, which essentially gave them seven outs, and that just can’t happen.”
Jeff Brooks went 4-5 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored. Kyle Young, Hanson and Trip Schultz followed with two hits apiece.
But the Forest Lake bats came to a standstill on Sunday when they faced Coon Rapids. They lost 11-0.
Blaine, Isanti and Coon Rapids are the three remaining teams competing for the section title in the Metro Minny League, and continue play Thursday, Aug. 8.
The Brewers closed their season at 20-10 overall with seven batters hitting above .300, led by Jeff Brooks at .395, Kyle Young (.373) and Drew Cremisino (.317).
On the mound, Bub Lovas and Mike Swenson led in statistics with ERAs of 1.93 and 1.66, respectively. Lovas pitched 42 innings for a record of 4-1, struck out 28 batters and walked just eight. Unfortunately for the Brewers, Lovas spent the weekend coaching the Forest Lake Legion team in Edina and was unable to pitch. Swenson also had a standout season and went 6-3 in 59.2 innings pitched while striking out 31 and walking just six of 252 batters this season.
This was the Brewer’s 11th winning season in a row with what Gallatin described as the “best team we’ve ever fielded.”
“Honestly, I thought we did really well,” Gallatin said. “We have four of the top teams in the section in our league, and even though we’ve gotten a lot better, so have they. It’s super competitive, and we ran into good teams this playoff. But we’re ready to gear up for next season.”