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Lakers thump Bandits at home

The Albert Lea Lakers hosted the Bancroft Bandits in their final home game of the regular season.

Despite falling behind early, the Lakers climbed their way back, taking a lead in the fourth and cruising to victory, 9-5.

Bancroft opened the scoring by hitting a two-run shot that rattled off the scoreboard and gave a surge of momentum to the away team. However, Albert Lea cut that momentum off in just its second at bat.

Jack McCarthy led off with a single, and Joey Ponder smashed a ball over the left-center fence to tie the game and quiet the Bandit’s bench.

The Bandits took the lead again in the second inning by hitting a two-out single and double to bring across two more runs.

The Lakers slowly but surely battled their way back into the game. A close play at the plate with no outs in the second inning didn’t go the Lakers way and led to them not scoring any runs. They did score in the bottom of the third inning after Ponder reached base on a double and was hit in on a sacrifice hit by Keanu Van Kuren.

Noah Hemphill and Derek Burns also reached base, but were left stranded when a strikeout ended the inning.

Still trailing 4-3 at the start of the fourth inning, the Lakers found their stride and took a three-run lead by the end of the inning. Mitchell Keeran led off by getting hit by a pitch. He was hit in on an RBI single off the bat of McCarthy. There was another close play at the plate when Van Kuren hit a double to center field. This time the call went the Lakers way, scoring their fifth run of the game and taking their first lead.

Mitch Barrow then sent a ball what seemed like a mile over the right field fence for a two-run shot.

Bancroft added another home run to the total to lead off the fifth inning. Anther run threatened to come in, but the runner was left stranded after an easy groundout to the pitcher ended the inning.

Van Kuren hit in another two runs with an RBI-single that brought in Liam Spence and Keeran.

Michael Beaudoin started on the mound for the Lakers. Beaudoin pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits, striking out two batters and walking three.

Jesse Bloom came in for relief in the fourth inning. He pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits.

Robin Allen came in to finish off the game in the seventh inning. Allen sat down the first three batters of the inning, assuring the Lakers win.

The Lakers scored nine runs on 11 hits and recorded one error. The Bandits scored five runs on seven hits and recorded five errors.

Albert Lea climbs to 27-4 on the season and will play again on Friday when they take on the Bandits in Bancroft.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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