Lakers split weekend games, lead Pioneer League

Published 9:38 pm Monday, June 11, 2018

The Albert Lea Lakers baseball team split its two games over the weekend, dropping a game to Storm Lake on Saturday and picking up a win against Ames on Sunday.

The 1-1 weekend brings their overall record to 6-2 and their Pioneer League record to 5-2.

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Head coach Michael Keeran is pleased with the team’s start so far, but said they have potential to be even better.

“It feels great to be 6-2 and be in first place right now,”Keeran said. “But we’re actually a way better team than we have been playing.”

Keeran said he feels the team hasn’t been hitting well and the fielding has been a little inconsistent, but the pitching has been a dig factor of their success so far.

The loss in Storm Lake was an extra inning 5-4 heartbreaker. Cesar Capellan started started on the mound for the Lakers, pitching 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and striking out three batters. Noah Hemphill was 3-4 from the plate with a double and one RBI, Keanu Van Kuren was 2-4 with two singles and an RBI and Liam Spence was 1-3 with a double and an RBI.

In their game on Sunday, the both Albert Lea and Ames went into the eighth inning scoreless until a two-run RBI single from Hemphill. Spence and Van Kuren were the runs that came across for the Lakers.

Pithcing was also a huge factor in the game as Cole Edgens went eight innings without allowing a run while only giving up five hits and striking out six. Robin Allen recorded the save, allowing one walk and striking out the final batter of the game.

“Can’t say enough about how well Cole Edgens pitched in Sunday’s game,” Keeran said. “As well as how much Robin Allen means to us coming out of the pen. I think Cole (Edgens), Reid (Feeley), Cesar (Capellan) and Luke (Hastings) will all be huge contributors again this week on the mound. I’m excited to see what some other guys can do this week out of the pen with playing five times in five days.”

So far this season the Lakers pitchers have a team ERA of 2.70 and have recorded 93 strikeouts in 70 innings of work. They have hit a total of 67 hits, including nine doubles, four triples and two home runs.

“We need another great week to continue to build a lead in league play,” Keeran said. “We’ve had six hitters who have really figured it out and are hitting over .280, and we have others who haven’t been playing to their potential yet.”

The Lakers start their five-game series with a home game against the Peak of Ames on Wednesday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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