Lakers sting Yellow Jackets
Iowa Lakes 8, Rochester 1
The first game was a pitching duel until the third inning of the game.
Drew Grubb pitched two innings with four strikeouts and one walk. Mitch Sparks came in for relief in the third inning and threw two innings of scoreless baseball striking out three.
The Laker bats came alive in the bottom half of the third. Spenser Larson started it off with a triple to dead center and was driven in the next at bat with a sacrifice fly out from BJ Johnson. Tavan Shahidi stepped up later in the inning and deposited his second home run of the season giving the Lakers a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, a two-out rally was sparked by the Lakers following a Connor Mitchell walk. Chad Hinkle stroked an RBI double down the right field line and advanced to third on a passed ball. Larson walked. Hinkle scored off Johnson’s single to left field. Marcus Wohl cleared the bases clearing with a two RBI double to right center. The final run crossed the plate once Mikey Adams hit a single to right center giving the Lakers a 7-0 lead.
In the fifth inning, Marcel d’Avoine took the mound for the Lakers allowing the Yellow Jackets to score their only run of the game in the top of the fifth inning after the shortstop committed an error and a single up the middle later in the inning.
Shahidi later scored the last run for the Lakers in the fifth once he walked and advanced bases on passed balls and a Larson fielder’s choice.
Bransen Petersen threw the final two innings for the Lakers allowing two hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
Iowa Lakes 6, Rochester 5
Game two started with a bang for the Lakers, as they put up three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Johnson got the Lakers going with a leadoff single and a stolen base. Alex Bline drew a walk and advanced to second on an error by the shortstop that also allowed Johnson to score. With two outs, Shahidi hit his second home run of the day knocking in Bline and giving the Lakers their 3-0 lead.
The Yellow Jackets answered back in the second inning scoring a run after a leadoff walk by starter Devon Munter and later scoring on a passed ball.
In the third, the Laker lead was cut to one after a leadoff single and an RBI double for the Yellow Jackets making it 3-2. The Yellow Jackets tied up the game after another leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt, an error on the first baseman, and a single to right field.
Devon Munter finished after that inning, pitching four innings allowing two earned runs, two strikeouts, and two walks.
Iowa Lakes coach Joey Pavlovich called on Beau Britton in the fifth inning where he threw a scoreless inning and sat the Yellow Jackets down in order.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Lakers took the lead back with a walk to Mitchell, an RBI double to left center from Hinkle, and an RBI single up the middle from Larson making it 5-3 Lakers.
Mitch Ebben was next out of the pen for the Lakers throwing one inning retiring the side and striking out two.
In the top of the seventh, Joe Fitka entered the game for the save, but after retiring the first two hitters, Fitka struck out the third hitter on a ball in the dirt and Shahidi threw it to first baseman Jordan Deadwyler, who dropped the ball allowing the runner to reach base safely. The next batter hit an RBI double cutting the Lakers lead to 5-4. The Yellow Jackets stayed in the game after hitting a routine ground ball to third, but a costly error allowed the visitors to tie the game at five. Fitka stayed on the mound and struck the final batter out of the inning.
The Lakers were due up in the bottom of the seventh and with two-out a rally started. Chad Hinkle hit a bloop single over the third baseman’s head, a pitch hit Ashtin Moxey, Larson drew a walk, and a pitch hit Johnson sending the game-winning run across the plate.
The Lakers improved to 6-9 on the year and are looking ahead to their next series against the Reivers from Iowa Western in Council Bluffs on Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26.