Lakers battle against Bearcats, fall short in 4-3 loss
Not getting discouraged after losing their first game of the 2023 NDHSAA Class B Baseball State Tournament, the Des Lacs-Burlington Lakers picked up a 10-5 win over the Shiloh Christian Skyhawks on Friday, giving them a chance to match up with the North Star Bearcats in the fifth-place game on Saturday.
Despite battling back after finding themselves down early, the Lakers’ comeback attempt would fall just short, as they fell to the North Star Bearcats by a final of 4-3. With the loss, the Lakers wrapped up their state tournament play with a sixth-place finish.
Ryan Ralph took the mound for the Lakers and was met with a handful of errors that gave the Bearcats an early advantage. In the bottom of the first, Garrett Westlind was hit by a pitch then scored on an error to give North Star a quick 1-0 lead.
One inning later, that lead continued to grow. Brody Svir and Westlind added an RBI single each, and Zachary Jorde had a sacrifice fly to give the Bearcats a 4-0 lead at the end of the second inning. Shortly after, Ralph of DLB was taken out of the game.
Ralph’s removal from the bump brought Carson Yale to the mound, and Yale was dominant in keeping the Bearcats off the board by generating a ton of swings and misses. Through 3.2 innings of relief, Yale allowed no runs on no hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts.
By keeping the Bearcats off the board the rest of the way, the Lakers hoped to mount a comeback. In the top of the fifth, they started seeing some of that hope come to fruition.
Braylon Fisher doubled and scored on a passed ball to give the Lakers their first run of the contest. From there, Rylan Olson and Paxton Ystaas contributed with an RBI single each to trim the Lakers’ deficit to 4-3.
With six outs to go, the Lakers got a single from Ralph and that was it, as they fell to the Bearcats by a final of 4-3 on Saturday.
Olson and Ralph led the way for the Lakers at the plate by having two hits each, followed by Ystaas who went 1-for-3 with an RBI, Drew Roedocker who went 1-for-3, and B. Fisher who went 1-for-3 with a double.
After dealing with an early loss in the state tournament, the Lakers kept fighting and were able to work their way up to the final round of the consolation bracket. The team refused to quit and played hard until the end of the tournament.