Lakeland boils Gogebic Rangers
BESSEMER — The Lakeland Outlaws swept the Gogebic Rangers 7-1 and 7-2 in sultry 90-degree weather and high humidity on Tuesday.
Game 1 — Lakeland 7, Gogebic 1
The Gogebic Rangers’ inability to string together hits and score runs was their nemesis again at Massie Field on Tuesday night as they fell to the Lakeland Outlaws 7-1 in the first game of the doubleheader.
“It’s the same old, same old,” Gogebic manager Eric Peterson said. “We ran into the same thing last year. We scatter hits and you have to put them together to score runs. We had four hits, but we went against one of the best pitchers and hardest thrower we’ve seen. We were way behind on the fastball and hit one ball to the left side of the infield.”
Lakeland manager, Greg Walker, agreed that his big, right-handed starting pitcher made a big difference in the game.
“I thought overall both teams played well,” Walker said. “Gunner Dunbar is our best pitcher and he threw great. He had a great fastball and knuckle-curve going tonight. We haven’t played for awhile, so I was happy we played well.”
Dunbar went the distance giving up only one run, while whiffing 13 Rangers and walking three.
The contest was similar to last Friday’s Tomahawk game. The Outlaws started fast when lead-off hitter Matt Hartziem ripped a double to left-center. He stole third and when the catcher’s throw went in the dirt, he sprinted home for a 1-0 lead.
And like the Tomahawk game, the score remained 1-0 through three innings as Gogebic pitcher Brad Peterson cruised along. But in the fourth inning, Minocqua loaded the bases with two outs. Josh Bartett launched a triple over the right-fielder’s head that almost rolled into the trees. Three runs crossed the plate as Lakeland went up 4-0 after four innings.
“Bartlett’s triple was the big hit of the game,” Walker said. “It blew up the game. We didn’t think they could come back and score five runs.”
The Outlaws scored again in the top of the fifth and the Rangers broke through in the bottom of the inning. Kevin Lane walked and went to second on a passed ball. Andrew Peterson laced a single that plated Lane and narrowed Lakeland’s lead to 5-1.
Minocqua scored two more times in the sixth inning to end the scoring.
The game was a mixed bag as far as Peterson was concerned, but he came back to his team’s hitting.
“Our defense was OK,” Peterson said. “Brad Peterson pitched a nice game, but he ran out of gas. Three of the seven runs were on errors, but the lack of hitting is frustrating for the coaches and players.”
Brad Peterson took the loss, going five innings and giving up six runs (four earned) and surrendering nine hits and notching 3 Ks. Ryan Hemming and Andrew Peterson relieved Brad Peterson.
Mike Fossen and Hartziem led Minocqua’s hitting attack, going 2 for 4.
Andrew and Brad Peterson, Eric Lane and Pat Libertoski all singled for the Rangers.
Minocqua 1 0 0 3 1 2 0 — 7 9 2
Gogebic 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 — 1 4 2
Game 2 — Lakeland 7, Gogebic 2 (6 innings)
Lakeland scored six runs in the second inning to pull away from the Gogebic for a 7-2 win on Tuesday night.
“We had two outs in the second inning, but our shortstop made a throwing error and they went on to score five runs after that,” Peterson said.
Peterson said Pat Libertoski went 2 for 3 in his final game as a Ranger and also pitched a “fine game,” striking out seven batters and walking two.
Eric Lane doubled in his last game, and it was the season finale for the Gogebic team.
The Rangers had four hits in the shortened game.
Lakeland 0 6 0 0 0 1 — 7
Gogebic 0 0 1 0 0 1 — 2