UPDATE: The Brewers claimed the Metro Minny championship by defeating the Blaine Fusion 3-0 on July 26. Mike Swenson pitched a complete game shutout as the team moved to 13-3 in league play, leapfrogging the Fusion to stand alone atop the standings.
By winning the league, the Brewers earned a first-round bye in the Class B, Section 4 playoffs, and will open play in round two on Aug. 4 against either Elk River or Coon Rapids.
The Brewers have added an extra away game to their schedule in lieu of the first round playoff series. They will visit the St. Anthony Hogs on Tuesday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Brewers play 2, win 2 against Andover
The following appeared in the July 27 print edition, which went to press before the Brewers played the Fusion for the Metro Minny championship.
The Forest Lake Brewers won both ends of a doubleheader at Schumacher Field against the Andover Aces July 22. The Brewers took the first of the seven-inning games 5-1, and the second 5-4.
Forest Lake acted as the home side in the first game. Right fielder Kyle Young hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning to open the scoring. The Brewers doubled their lead with two out in the third: Second baseman Jack Schmidt hit a double, then Young knocked him in.
The Aces pulled one run back in the top of the fourth when Tristan Saulsbury sneaked home from third while Ben Skolbekken was caught in a rundown between first and second.
The Brewers more than made up for that lapse by plating three runs in the bottom of the inning. Pitcher Dave Gauerke singled to start the rally, and catcher Brandon Rogers walked and left fielder Kyle Johnson bunted down the third base line to load the bases.
First baseman John Mollner smacked a bouncing ball up the middle; Andover pitcher Charles Roskowiak snagged it and looked to throw home, but then dropped the ball and only had time to get the out at first after he collected it again.
Rogers scored from third on a wild pitch, and center fielder Brent Kolbow hit a single to score Johnson.
Neither team added runs over the final three frames of the truncated game. Gauerke largely held the Aces in check, allowing just the one run on six hits.
After a short break, the teams returned to the field, with Forest Lake acting as the away side. The Aces struck with a run in the first, while the Brewers could only manage two hits in the first four innings.
Forest Lake made its breakthrough in the fifth, however. Rogers led off the inning with a double; Johnson walked and Mollner then bunted the baserunners to second and third.
Third baseman Mike Schultz hit a sharp grounder that skirted along the third base line to plate two runs, before singles by Kolbow and Young added two more.
An Ace run in the bottom of the fifth was canceled in the top of the sixth when Mollner singled to score Gauerke from second. The Aces picked up a pair of runs in the seventh to pull within one run but could not complete their rally.
Left-handed pitcher Bub Lovas picked up the win for five innings of work, allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out three. Matt Zidar closed out the remaining two innings.