Pipers rally past Lakers
It took a couple of rallies for the Rosemount Pipers to finally overtake the Minnetonka Lakers Sunday night.
The Pipers spent six innings chipping their way back into the game after spotting Minnetonka four runs via four straight walks in the top of the second inning. Three runs in the bottom of the sixth gave Rosemount a brief 6-5 lead, but the Lakers answered back with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to pull back in front.
The Pipers were down to their last out before Bobby Downs and Craig Liebaert kept the game alive with a pair of walks. Ken Fry followed with a game-tying single and cleanup hitter Chris Schwab followed with a walk-off base hit to lift the Pipers to an 8-7 victory at Ames Field on the campus of Dakota County Technical College.
The first-year over-35 club now stands at 8-6 with six games remaining in the regular season.
"There is still some rust lingering here and there, but for a first-year team whose roster is filled with guys that haven't played hard ball in years, I can't complain," Fry said. "Everyone on the squad is enjoying being back at the diamond playing ball and many new friendships have been formed, which may be the best part of it all."
All nine spots in the batting order contributed at least one of the Pipers' 15 hits. Liebaert went 4 for 4 with two doubles, a triple and four RBI before earning an intentional walk with the tying run in scoring position in the seventh.
Downs, Fry and Schwab each had a pair of hits. Liebaert and Fry hit back-to-back triples to give the Pipers their first lead in the bottom of the sixth.
Jesse Riebel started on the mound and ran up his pitch count with eight walks and eight strikeouts oer the first five innings. Fry got the next five outs in relief and Grant Kuseske got the final out of the seventh to pick up the win.
A day earlier, the Pipers rode a complete-game shutout by Dan Hegberg to a 3-0 road win over the Becker Buzzards.
Hegberg held the Buzzards to six hits and walked three while striking out eight over seven innings.
"Hegberg seems to be getting stronger each week on the mound, with both consistency and endurance," Fry said.
Hegberg also helped himself at the plate with a pair of hits, including an RBI double in the sixth. Leadoff hitter Eric Creese broke a scoreless tie with a two-out RBI single in the sixth that scored Jason Moe.
Tony Heiman also picked up a pair of hits in his first game since his senior year at Eagan High School in 1993.
The Pipers are back in action on Sunday when they host the defending Class 2A state champion Burnsville Bulldogs on Family Day at DCTC. There will be concessions and prize giveaways with all proceeds going to the RAAA and DCTC baseball. Game times are 1 and 3 p.m.
1. Ken Fry, 22
2. Jason Schwab, 20
3. Craig Liebaert, 17
4. Bobby Downs, 16
5. Dan Hegberg, 14
1. Bobby Downs, 14
2. Ken Fry, 13
3. Dan Hegberg, 11
4. Craig Liebaert, 10
5. Greg Sell, 7
1. Ken Fry, 18
2. Dan Hegberg, 9
3. Greg Sell, 7
3. Craig Liebaert, 7
5. Bobby Downs, 6
1. Dan Hegberg, 35 1/3
2. Jesse Riebel, 21
3. Greg Sell, 14 1/3
1. Dan Hegberg, 1.58
2. Jesse Riebel, 4.67
3. Greg Sell, 6.35
1. Dan Hegberg, 36
2. Jesse Riebel, 23
3. Greg Sell, 8