Lakers begin playoffs at home
After finishing the regular season on top of the Pioneer League, the Albert Lea Lakers hosted the Bancroft Bandits Monday night in the first round of the playoffs.
Just before the game was scheduled to start, lightning struck near the field causing a 30-minute weather delay.
The Bandits struck first in the top of the first inning. After a walk to start the game, the Lakers strung together two outs before that runner came in on a two-out double that struck the center field fence.
A second weather delay after the first half inning forced the teams back to the dugouts for another 20 minutes. However, it didn’t seem to slow the Lakers down any.
Liam Spence led off the half inning with a line drive triple that went over the centerfielder’s glove. Jack McCarthy then crushed a ball that hit midway up the right field fence and brought in Spence.
The Lakers added another run in the second inning. Derek Burns got aboard with a walk, and two batters later he was hit in by a double off the bat of Noah Hemphill.
McCarthy continued his streak of big hits in the third inning with a big shot that was feet away from going over the fence in center field. Instead, he had to settle for a double and was later batted in on a double by Mitch Barrow.
Meanwhile, the Albert Lea defense was shutting down Bancroft, only allowing one base runner in the second through fourth innings.
The Lakers took a firm grasp of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Spence reached on an error and was followed by a single from McCarthy and a walk from Josh Dudden. With the bases loaded, a passed ball brought Spence in for the fourth Laker run of the game. Keanu Van Kuren then brought in one run with a single and Barrow brought in another with a groundout.
Cole Edgens started on the mound for the Lakers. Through four innings, Edgens had allowed one run on one hit and struck out five batters.
As of press time, the Lakers led the Bandits 6-1 after four complete innings of play. Check back to the Tribune for final results as they become available.