Lakers claim season title by sweeping Whitecaps

Published 3:21 pm Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Albert Lea Lakers capped off their season Friday night by sweeping the Storm Lake Whitecaps to grab their first-ever Pioneer Collegiate Baseball League championship in just their second year.

After winning a low-scoring game one, Albert Lea needed just one more win to claim the title for themselves.

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In a game that saw 23 combined runs, the Lakers took a lead early and never gave it up, beating the Whitecaps 12-11.

The Lakers came out to a hot start Friday night in Storm Lake by scoring six runs in the first inning, gaining all the momentum right out of the gate.

After the Whitecaps cut the lead in half through the next few innings, the Lakers widened the gap once again with an RBI single from Josh Dudden and an RBI double from Keanu Van Kuren.

Mitch Barrow picked up an RBI in the top of the fourth inning to put the Lakers firmly in control again, 10-4 heading into the bottom of the inning.

A few defensive errors by Albert Lea in the sixth  allowed Storm Lake to get back in the game, cutting the lead to just two runs.

However, the Lakers would jump back in the driver’s seat with another RBI from Barrow and a run scored on a wild pitch. Heading into the bottom half of the ninth, the Lakers led 12-8.

Storm Lake came back swinging, however, making the game interesting by hitting a three-run home run to bring them within one.

Albert Lea closer Robin Allen was then brought in to stop the rally, recording the final two outs and securing the championship for the Lakers.

The Lakers finished the 2018 season with a 34-6 record, a winning percentage of 85. The record is a vast improvement from last season, which saw the team finish 11-19 and in last place in the league.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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