Forest Lake unloads lumber at Oakdale’s expense

It was an ideal evening for a baseball game. Someone should have mentioned that fact to the Oakdale Mavericks.

On July 5, the Mavericks hosted the Forest Lake Lancers in a District III American Legion baseball contest.

The visitors put the game away early. Ten runs on 11 hits in the first inning turned the contest into a long evening for Oakdale and just another venture for the Lancers.

With the victory, Forest Lake advanced its season mark to 7-3 overall and 4-3 in District III action.

The game left Oakdale coach Charlie Godbout near speechless. “I’m sorry,” he offered. “I’m not doing very well after this one. But thanks for coming.”

Godbout’s piqued posture was understandable. Following the first inning onslaught by the Lancers, the Oakdale nine played with little enthusiasm.

“We’ve been swinging the bats well lately,” offered Forest Lake coach Kale Henry. “We’ve been getting hits out of everyone in our lineup. That really helps when you can jump out early, like we did tonight, and then play defense. We played well in the field and got good pitching with a few — six in five innings — strikeouts. It was a good game for us.”

All but one of the Lancers garnered a hit in the first inning. Three players had two, as Forest Lake sent 14 batters to the box.

Trip Schultz led off with a single up the middle. Jed Hanson singled. Bobby Hager slashed a double down the left field line and it was 2-0.

Jeff Brooks singled home Hager with what would turn out to be the winning run. Matt Kreitlow and Zach Guttormson singled. Andrew Pouch grounded out, but picked up a RBI.

Nick Carrol and Jake Lipp singled. Schultz then belted a run-scoring double in front of a double off the bat of Hanson. The tally became 10-0 before the Mavericks had touched a bat.

Finally, the locals would get the feel of a bat and they started strong.

Nate Hammes led off with a one-hop double off the left centerfield fence. Bryan Villar followed by getting nicked by a pitch. In stepped Bryan Jost who slammed a long double off the right centerfield fence for a RBI.

An infield out moved Jost to third and he came home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jake Schmidt to cut the lead to 10-2.

It appeared the Maverick’s were on their way back by nibbling at the lead. But from then on, Guttormson — on the mound for Forest Lake — closed the door on Oakdale.

From the second to the fifth inning, Guttormson allowed only four hits — six in all — struck out six and the Lancers played shutout defense behind him.

As the game moved toward an early end — the Lancers closed down the Mavericks in just five innings — Forest Lake began to substitute freely in an attempt to get everyone on their bench into the contest.

They succeeded. But in the bottom of the fifth, Forest Lake catcher Carroll stopped a foul tip in the neck. He went down. When he got back up, he moved to the bench. Left fielder Pouch came in to catch.

The Lancers had used all their players and finished the game — and the final three outs — with just eight players.

In the third, Forest Lake garnered another run when Schultz knocked his third consecutive single. He went to second on a throwing error at first, moved to third on a one-three putout and came home on a passed ball.

In the fourth inning, the Lancers’ Pouch led off and worked a walk. He moved to third on a single by Lipp.

Lipp was erased on a force at second, as Schultz was safe on a fielder’s choice. Hanson stepped in and slammed a double into the right field corner.

On the shot, Hanson picked up his third hit — two doubles and a single — and his fourth RBI as both Pouch and Schultz scored what turned out to be the final runs in a 13-2 rout of the Mavericks.

Oakdale will next visit Kuenkel Field and the North St. Paul 39ers on July 13 for a 6 p.m. game. The contest will feature the dedication ceremonies for a new scoreboard at Kuenkel Field and a large turnout of fans are expected for the contest featuring the rivals.

Following the game against the 39ers, Oakdale will take to the road to play a 6:15 p.m. game July 14 against St. Paul Park at Park High School. The Mavericks travel to Chaska for a double header July 16, beginning at 11 a.m., before closing the regular season on the road against Eden Prairie.

The District III playoffs will be played July 22-31 at sites yet to be announced.

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