Arcade-Phalen ‘walks’ past 39ers

The weather of June 14 went from hot and humid to cold and miserable. Just after the start of the baseball contest between North St. Paul Post 39 and Arcade-Phalen Post 577, the clouds that were threatening rain to the north of Kuenkel Field moved in.

Through three rain delays, the players and umpires persisted. But from the 39ers standpoint, the game became as surly as the weather.

In the end, a throwing error on a pickoff play in the top of the seventh inning allowed the A-P Maroons to score the winning run in an 8-7 District IV victory over the doleful 39ers.

The run by the Maroons in the seventh, however, was just the indignity they needed to win the game.

The real inequity enjoyed by Arcade-Phalen, came on top of a 4-run sixth inning that was keyed by three walks, a RBI single and a 3-run double.

"What can we do? It wasn’t the throwing error that did us in. It was the walks. Then we made some base running errors earlier. We had some guys thrown out when they shouldn’t have been stealing," said North St. Paul manager Ron Adams of the contest which moved the 39ers to 0-3 in the early going of the season. "We’ll just have to regroup and go on from here."

Arcade-Phalen got things going in the top of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Kyle Ryan reached on an infield error. Mike Emms sent a rope to left.

Tony Sanchez pushed a ball to the fence in center and Ryan tagged and went to third following the catch.

Clean-up hitter Andy Fitzgerald lived up to his billing when he bounced a one-hop double off the left centerfield fence for a RBI. A good relay from Scott Horner to C.J. Wilms to catcher Dusty Adams cut down Emms at the plate.

Scott Hoium followed with a single into right center to plate Fitzgerald to make it 2-0, "Visitors."

In their half of the second, the 39ers’ bats came alive. Charles Muellner led off and slashed a double into the right field corner.

A strikeout later Michael Richter was nailed with a pitch. B.J. Thompson knocked a single up the middle and Muellner raced home.

Brian Cotroneo worked a walk to load the bases. Horner stepped in an delivered a two-run shot to right centerfield and the 39ers moved to a 3-2 edge.

In the top of the fourth, the Maroons knotted the count when Joe Collier reached on an infield error. A pair of walks pushed him to third and he came home on a wild pitch and the score was level at three.

In the bottom of the fourth, the 39ers again moved in front. A leadoff double off the bat of Thompson was followed by a single by Horner — he was 2-for-3 with three RBI — that plated Thompson as the 39ers eased to a 4-3 margin.

In the last of the fifth — following a 20-minute rain delay — the 39ers increased their lead. Wilms led off with a double off the left centerfield fence and went to third on an error. A strikeout later, Ryan Sepion walked and stole second. Richter stepped to the plate and delivered a two-run single up the middle.

A pair of wild pitches moved Richter to third and he came home on an infield out to push the 39ers to a 7-3 lead.

That would be the last of the sunshine the 39ers would see. In the top of the sixth, with the rain falling steadily once more, the Maroons sandwiched three walks around a pair of outs.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Ryan looped a single to center to put Hoium across the plate. Emms then delivered a huge blow.

With the runners moving with the "clank" of the bat, Emms crashed a shot off the left centerfield fence and Joe Collier, Rich Frahm and Ryan flew home. Suddenly the score was level at seven each.

As the 39ers stepped to the plate in their half of the sixth, the rain — driven by an increasingly cool north wind — began pelting down. The game was delayed for a third time.

When play resumed the 39ers went down in order and that set the stage for the fateful seventh.

Fitzgerald led off the Maroon’s seventh and picked up a single. He was clearly picked off the base, but the ball was thrown down the right field line. When it was not quickly retrieved, Fitzgerald raced all the way home to score the winning run.

The 39ers next move to an extended number of games on the road. They were at a tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D., on June 17-19. They were scheduled to play the Tri-City Reds at Irondale High School on June 21. The 39ers square off against the Hamline Hylanders at 6 p.m. June 23 at Arlington Field, before participating in a tournament at Osseo/Maple Grove, June 24-26.

On June 27, there is an 8 p.m. game scheduled against Rosetown at Municipal Stadium, and on June 29, they will take on North End at 6 p.m. at Municipal Stadium.

The 39ers are scheduled to participate in the annual July 2-4 tournament at Alexandria, before playing road games against Rosetown at 6 p.m. July 6 and White Bear Lake at 6. p.m. July 7.

The 39ers next home game at Kuenkel Field will take place July 8 at 9 a.m., when they are scheduled to meet Bloomington in the opening round of the Gopher Classic Tournament. The tournament will run through July 10 and the 39ers will host teams from Burnsville, Kenosha, Wisc., Omaha, Neb., and Cheyenne, Wyo.

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