News and Announcements
The 2017 playoff season is upon us as today kicks off a wild week of playoff action.
Later this afternoon, the 5th seed Albert Lea Lakers will take on the 4th seed Bancroft Bandits in a one-game winner take all contest. The winning team will take on the the 1st seed Carroll Merchants in a best-two-out-of-three series that will begin tomorrow in Carroll.
On the other side of the bracket, the 3rd seed Sioux Falls Gold will take on the 2nd seed Storm Lake Whitecaps in their own best-two-out-of-three series that will begin on Monday.
The two teams that win their best-two-out-of-three series will play in another two-out-of-three series for the league title. That series will begin on Thursday and run through Saturday.
(5) Albert Lea at (4) Bancroft – 4:00PM
(Winner of AL/BAN) at (1) Carroll – 7:05PM – Game 1
(3) Sioux Falls vs (2) Storm Lake – 7:05PM – Game 1 – Location TBD
(Winner of AL/BAN) vs (1) Carroll – 7:05PM – Game 2 – Location TBD
(3) Sioux Falls vs (2) Storm Lake – 7:05PM – Game 2 – Location TBD
(Winner of AL/BAN) vs (1) Carroll – 7:05PM – Game 3 – Location TBD *if necessary
(3) Sioux Falls vs (2) Storm Lake – 7:05PM – Game 3 – Location TBD *if necessary
League Finals – Game 1 – Location TBD
League Finals – Game 2 – Location TBD
League Finals – Game 3 – Location TBD *if necessary
Sioux Falls 1 Bancroft 0
On most nights, scoring just one run won’t be enough to get a team in the win column, on Tuesday night, it was all the Sioux Falls Gold needed to defeat the Bancroft Bandits.
Just two days after putting up 25 runs on the Albert Lea Lakers, the Bandits were shut down by the Sioux Falls Gold pitching staff.
Tyler Mitzel and Brody Hagel-Pitt combined to hold Bancroft to just 2 hits. Because Mitzel didn’t complete five innings, Hagel-Pitt ended up picking up the win, throwing five shutout innings, allowing just one hit and facing the minimum number of batters.
Mitzel only allowed a pair of baserunners, one reaching on a base hit and one reaching on an error. Mitzel struck out six while Hagel-Pitt sat down four hitters.
Cole Jensen scored the game’s only run, scoring on a Bancroft error in the 7th inning.
The Gold only had three hits of their own, Lucas Barry, Trent Herman and Matt Morgan picking them up. Sioux Falls had multiple chances to break the game open but ended up stranding 12 runners on the evening.
Colin Brophy and Joey Machuga had the only hits for the Bandits in a losing effort.
The Gold improve to 5-7 with the win while the Bandits drop to 6-6. These two teams will meet again tomorrow night to wrap up their two game set.
Carroll 8 Albert Lea 2
CARROLL, Iowa – A six run inning for the Carroll Merchants was more than enough breathing room as they took down the Albert Lea Lakers 8-2 on Thursday night.
Ben Kiefer and Michael Davila each went 2 for 3 on the night, leading the Carroll offense in the victory. Davila had a double and scored twice while Kiefer scored once and drove in a run.
Jeremy Thorson got the win in relief, remarkably its his fourth win of the season as the Merchants just won their fourth game of the season. He shut down the Lakers in his two innings of work allowing just a single hit, striking out one batter as well.
Patrick Morrow threw yet another gem for Carroll, throwing seven strong innings and striking out a season high 11 batters. He allowed two runs, only one earned, on five hits and three walks.
Jack Hemsath did all the heavy lifting for the Lakers on offense, he went 3 for 4 on the night, with a double and drove in both Laker runs.* Jamell Newson* notched a hit, scored a run and stole two bases. Evan Kayser and Parker Mullenbach also had hits in the loss.
Ryan Boelk took the loss for Albert Lea, he allowed seven runs in 1 2/3 innings but only two of those runs were earned.
The Merchants improve to 4-3 while the Lakers drop to 2-3. Both teams return to the field tomorrow when the Lakers visit Bancroft and the Merchants travel to face the Whitecaps.
Albert Lea 3 Bancroft 2
ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Two big flies was all the offense the Albert Lea Lakers would need to hold off the Bancroft Bandits in another tightly contested game at Hayek Field.
A two-run home run from Darek Sargent and a solo shot from Jamell Newson was enough to beat the Bandits as Oracio DeLeon threw a gem on Wednesday night.
In just 107 pitches, DeLeon spread out seven Bancroft hits over the course of the entire game, allowing just two runs and striking out a season high nine batters. The key for the pitcher was getting ahead in the count. He started with a strike to 25 of the 34 batters he faced, thats a 74% first-strike percentage.
Sargent’s only hit of the game came in the third inning as his home run broke the scoreless tie.
Bancroft responded with a RBI single from Alex Remy, his hit scored Colin Brophy who led off the fourth with a triple.
One inning later, Delta State’s Jamell Newson launched a solo home run to give the Lakers their two-run lead back again, 3-1.
Once again, the Bandits had an immediate answer. Brophy’s second extra base hit of the night found him on second with one out.* Joey Machuga* belted the offering from DeLeon and scored Brophy to make the game 3-2.
That would be as close as the Bandits would get as DeLeon appeared to get better as the game went on. He only allowed two baserunners in the final two innings and struck out the 1-2-3 hitters in the top of the 8th.
The right-hander gets his first win as a Laker and takes home the honor of throwing the first complete game in franchise history.
Six different players each registered a hit for both teams. Albert Lea continues their busy week as they head to Carroll tomorrow for a date with the Merchants. The Bandits will head back to Bancroft and patiently wait for the Lakers to visit them on Friday night.
Sioux Falls 14 Storm Lake 4
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – They said one inning can lose you a ballgame, well for the Sioux Falls Gold, one inning won them their game tonight against the Storm Lake Whitecaps.
An 11 run second inning propelled the Gold to a dominant 14-4 win against the Whitecaps on Wednesday night.
Lucas Berry led the offensive attack for the Gold, he went 3 for 5 with a double and two RBI. He also scored three runs. Patrick O’Donnell had a pair of hits of his own, including a double, two runs scored, and two RBI. Cole Jensen reached base four times as he had two hits, a walk and was also hit by a pitch.
Ben Moran got the start and the win for the Gold, he threw five innings, gave up five hits, walked two, struck out four while allowing just a single run.
Casey Berg and Andrew Kasperbauer led the Storm Lake offense as they each logged a pair of hits. Berg added a pair of walks to his stat line while Kasperbauer knocked in a run.
Cade Moring took the loss on the hill as he allowed 11 runs, only 5 earned, over the course of three innings. He gave up five hits and relinquished six free passes.
The Whitecaps will be off until Friday, thats when they host the Carroll Merchants at Memorial Park. The Gold will have to wait until Saturday when the travel to Carroll for a battle with the Merchants.
On this edition of the Pioneer League Podcast, we chat with the coach of the Storm Lake Whitecaps, Nic Seaman. We talk about his time growing up in Storm Lake and what it’s like to lead the rebirth of Whitecaps baseball.
You can listen to the whole episode here: