Sam Baumgartner earned the victory in relief Sunday as the Outlaws defeated the Prior Lake Pacers 8 to 6.
Outlaws-8 / Pacers-6
It ended up being a beautiful day for baseball in Prior Lake on Sunday. It wasn't so beautiful in the southern portion of the state and specifically Welcome. An all day soaker on Saturday forced the game to be moved to Prior Lake and much dryer conditions. Either way, it was a day of shaking off the rust and rejoining the fellas to kick off the 2016 regular season.
Plaisted was the pitcher of choice for the Pacers and he put the Outlaws down quietly in the 1st. John Maslow represented the only runner reaching on a walk. Maslow stole his way into scoring position but was left stranded there.
Tom Hady got the opening day nod for the good guys. The Pacers took an early 1-0 lead after a runner reached on an error and was then doubled home by Lanscheid.
It would take a few innings for the Outlaws bats to awaken, going scoreless in the 2nd.
Hady made quick work of the Pacers in the bottom of the second to keep the score at 1-0 Pacers. Tom ended his day on the mound with two innings of work, striking out 3, giving up two hits and no earned runs.
Tom Hady led off the 3rd reaching base with a base on balls and 2 outs later, Outlaw rookie Jeremiah Fitzgerald would also reach on an error. Fitzy and Hady eventually ended up in scoring position at 2nd and 3rd base, but both runners were left stranded.
Paul Oelrich came on in relief in the 3rd. A lead off walk by Schweigert followed by back to back singles from Curtis Romano and Barnett loaded the bases. Lanscheid would plate the first run on the inning after leaning into an inside curveball from Oelrich and getting plunked. The Pacers clean up hitter Buelow then singled driving in Romano. It appeared Oelrich would work out of the jam by striking out the next hitter, and then pitching what appeared to be a double play ground ball to third. The twist started out smooth but the runner was safe at first after a low throw couldn't be dug out. Two runs scored on the play as the ball found the fence along the first base line. Oelrich ended the inning by adding his second strike out. When the dust settled the Pacers had jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
Sam Baumgartner led of the top of the 4th with a walk. Two ground outs later, Mike Roth drove Sammy in with an RBI single to left field. The one run would be it for the Outlaws in the 4th. Oelrich settled in nicely in the bottom half of the inning, blanking the Pacers and keeping the deficit at 4 runs. Oelrich's day on the mound would be done with 2 innings of work, striking out three Pacer hitters.
It looked like the Outlaws would be in business in the 5th as Robb Larson led things off with a single. Jeff Appel then worked a base on balls. The rally ended there though as the next three Outlaws were retired in order.
Sam Baumgartner was next up on the mound for the Southwest crew. Barnett welcomed him to the game by blasting a triple to open the inning. It looked like Sammy would leave Barnett on third base after coaxing the next two Pacer hitters to pop out harmlessly in the infield. Sam would then make a good pitch to Morrow, shattering his bat and sending a bat barrel spear tumbling through the air towards third base. The ball was also trickling towards third base as Mike Roth ran for his life in an attempt to avoid being impaled. Morrow would be safe and first and Barnett would score on the play. The run would cost Morrow over $100 for a new bat though! Sammy retired the next hitter and the inning ended with the Pacers holding a 6-1 lead.
The first two Outlaws hitters in the 6th went down on strikes. Sam Baumgartner then started another 2 out rally by getting plunked. (I think he's right up there with the Carlson boys when it comes to leading the team in being hit by pitches.) Maslow would then send a sharp roller up the middle that the second baseman knocked down but couldn't make a play. After Maslow's single, Paul Oelrich drove in Sammy with a base hit to left. Mike Roth would then load the bases up with a walk, but the remaining three runners were once again stranded.
Sammy cruised through the home half of the 6th putting the Pacers down in order. If I remember right he did it while only throwing about 4 or 5 pitches.
The top of the seventh was kind to the Outlaws. Robb Larson opened up the inning with his second single of the day. Jeff Appel once again followed Larson's hit with his second free pass of the day. One out later the wheels fell off for the Pacers. Paul Ebeling loaded the bases after a free pass of his own. Frank Mackell then picked up an RBI by securing a bases loaded walk. Jeremiah Fitzgerald then drove in Appel with the second run of the inning, lacing a single to left. The scoring continued as Gabe Kerkaert, Sam Baumgartner, and John Maslow each pushed runs across with free passes. Paul Oelerich would drive in the final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly ball to center. 7 walks and two hits later the Outlaws had stormed into the lead at 8 to 6.
Sammy would slam the door shut on the Pacers in the home half, putting them down in order to secure the victory. The inning was highlighted by a couple fine defensive plays involving Baumgartner and Ebeling at 1st base and John Maslow behind the plate. Schweigert led off the inning putting a nice bunt down the third base line. Baumgartner sprung off the mound and fired to a stretching Ebeling at first base. (By stretching I mean Ebeling did the splits like a 14 year old female gymnast.) Schweigert was nabbed by a half step and the rest is history. Not to be defensively outdone by his new teammate, John Maslow secured the final out of the inning on a foul pop behind the plate. Not an extremely high foul ball, Maslow sprung out of his crouch and finished the game with a nifty over the shoulder grab.
Sammy earned the victory in relief going 3 innings while striking out one and giving up two hits. '
Robb Larson led all Outlaw hitters going 2 for 3 with a run scored. Mike Roth was 1 for 2 with an RBI and two walks, John Maslow was 1 for 2 with 2 walks and an RBI, Paul Oelrich was 1 for 3 with 2 RBI's, and Jeremiah Fitzgerald was 1 for 3 with an RBI to round out the hitting. Sam Baumgartner reached base 3 times being plunked and walking twice while scoring twice, Jeff Appel walked twice and scored once, Tom Hady, Paul Ebeling, Gabe Kerkaert and Frank Mackell all added walks of their own. The later three also scored.
*Three new Outlaws made their debut on Sunday with great success. Welcome to the team Gabe Kerkaert, Jeremiah Fitzgerald and Paul Ebeling.
*Paul Ebeling will now be known as "Sir Splits A'lot". (Ok maybe not.)
*Next up the Outlaws travel to Searles for a Friday night lights matchup with the Bullheads. 7:30pm is first pitch! See you there!