Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Shawn Bode
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

U12 BMW baseball team finishes strong

 

August 8, 2019

Courtesy Shawn Bode

Pictured: front: Owen Peterson, Eli Youngs, Joey Steen. Back: Coaches Aaron Oetterer, Jeff Gilbertson, Shawn Bode, and players Brody Vernon, PJ Frisch, Eli Gilbertson (top), Landen Oetterer, Elliott Wasche, Reese Bode, Levi Mikrot, Bryce Ferguson.

The Barnum/Moose Lake/Willow River U12 nine hit the diamonds at Braun Park in Cloquet for an end of the season tournament, winning 3 games, losing 1, and tying once to finish in 5th place out of a 10-team field.

BMW started with a game against the host and eventual champion Cloquet Lumberjacks getting off to a 1-0 lead in the opening frame after Levi Mikrot singled in Reese Bode who had doubled. Brody Vernon and Bryce Ferguson each pitched 2 innings when unfortunately balls were finding holes off the Lumberjacks bats as they scored the next 11 runs unanswered. PJ Frisch came in to pitch a scoreless 5th. The Beamers mounted a late comeback that included Mikrot and Joey Steen doubles and a long homer to center by Bode, but the lead was too much to overcome and BMW fell short by a score of 11-5. Mikrot led BMW with 3 hits, all hit so hard that the left fielder dived out of the way of the final one hopper Mikrot hit his way.

Game two pitted the locals against Virginia. BMW jumped out to a 5-1 lead getting 2 hits each from Mikrot and Frisch. Defensively, Landon Oetterer made a run-saving throw from centerfield as he gunned down a runner trying to score from second on a single, and catcher Owen Peterson picked a short hop throw to make the tag at home. Eli Gilbertson was on the bump for BMW holding the Blue Devils to 4 runs in 3 2/3 innings. Joey Steen pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings and the Beamers led 5-4 going into the final, bottom of the 6th inning. Closer Reese Bode was brought in but unable to get the save as the Devils tied it with a hard hit double and then a one out bloop single to right, making it 5-5, which is where the game finished.

The final 3 games saw BMW put their hitting shoes on, starting with a 12-1 rout of Hibbing. Joey Steen pitched a complete game that ended after 4 innings by the 10 run mercy rule. Hitting was highlighted by both Mikrot and Bode swatting balls that Braun Park could not contain, righty Mikrot's clout a line drive well over the centerfield fence and lefty Bode's thump a high drive over the right field fence. These 2-3 hitters in the line up each had 2 hits, Brody Vernon went 3-3 with a double, Eli Gilbertson scored 2 runs and stole 2 bases, Elliott Wasche scored and later drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Eli Youngs was 1-1 with a walk and stole 3 bases.

BMW started strong in their fourth game with 4 first inning runs against Hibbing, led by an RBI Owen Peterson single to center and a one hop 2 RBI double to the right field fence by Landon Oetterer. In the second Eli Youngs walked and again used his smarts and speed to steal both second and third. After the Blue Jackets retired 2 straight, Reese Bode hit a liner to right that exited the park for his third round tripper of the tourney. The Beamers tacked on 2 more two-out runs in the third helped by a Brody Vernon double and a Joey Steen 2 RBI line single to right. In the fourth, Eli Youngs walked, stole 2 more bases, Bryce Ferguson was hit by a pitch and then Eli Gilbertson and Bode each singled in runs giving BMW a 10-0 win by the 10 run rule. Levi Mikrot started on the hill and was strong in his 2 innings with 2K's, just 1 hit, and no runs allowed to get the victory. Oetterer and Peterson each pitched a perfect inning in relief.

This put BMW 2-1-1 in pool play, giving them a 3 seed and slotted them against the other pool's 3 seed, Thief River Falls, to battle for 5th place. Again the Beamers had the lumber working as they won 14-2, scoring 9 runs in the top of the fourth to gain their third consecutive 10 run mercy rule win in 4 innings. Everyone contributed including lead off spark plug Gilbertson scoring 3 runs on 2 hits and 3 steals, Bode a single and 2 RBI's, Mikrot a single and a run, Frisch 2 hits and 2 RBI's, Peterson 2 runs and 2 hits, Vernon a double and 2 singles driving in 2, Oetterer a double, Steen 2 singles and 2 runs, Youngs a run and RBI, Wasche an RBI single, and Ferguson a big 2 out, 2 RBI single. Bode hurled the first 3 innings fanning 4 while walking 1 and allowing just one run, while Oetterer threw the final inning giving up 1 run on 1 hit. This local U12 team showed how well these communities could work together, forming many friendships and excelling on the diamond, as they finished their season with a 14-4-1 record.

 

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