Slick-fielding Ramos shines in Lakers’ win over Fairmont
HERON LAKE -- Effectively patrolling center field Sunday, Heron Lake's Rolando Ramos came up with eight putouts, including a spectacular diving catch in the top of the ninth inning, sparking the Lakers in a 3-2 First Night League victory over Fai...
HERON LAKE - Effectively patrolling center field Sunday, Heron Lake’s Rolando Ramos came up with eight putouts, including a spectacular diving catch in the top of the ninth inning, sparking the Lakers in a 3-2 First Night League victory over Fairmont.
Ramos, who also ripped three hits, had just made his seventh catch of the game earlier in the ninth with Heron Lake holding a 3-1 lead. Then with one out and two Martins on base (first and second), Ramos made the play of the day when he dove for a ball hit off the bat of Parker Monsen heading for an apparent extra-base hit into the left-center field gap. A stretched-out Ramos came up with the catch and the runners retreated as the inning’s second out was recorded.
After Lance Becker’s RBI single drove in Levi Becker from second base for Fairmont’s second run, Heron Lake reliever Alex Meyer (two innings) notched his second strikeout as the Lakers clinched their 10th victory of the season.
Ramos (3-for-5) delivered an RBI triple for the Lakers (10-15 overall, 8-11 in league action) in Heron Lake’s two-run fifth inning and scored later on an RBI double by Laker catcher Erik Jass.
Ramos crossed the plate again in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by Meyer. Lon Eichenberger scored Heron Lake’s first run - after getting hit by a pitch - on the triple by the fleet-footed Ramos.
Third baseman Lucas Knutson, who also made several fine plays in the field, had a fourth-inning double and a sixth-inning single for the Lakers. Heron Lake had a total of nine hits in the game, including singles by Joey Kinley (seventh inning) and Eric Milbrath (ninth).
With his twin brother, Erik, doing a stellar job behind the plate, Justin Jass pitched seven strong innings for the Lakers, notching his second victory in the past week. He struck out two Martins (second out in the first and third out in the seventh), while relying on his defense - highlighted by the eight catches of Ramos - to limit Fairmont to just a solo run, that coming with two outs in the fourth inning.
Jass gave up only three hits, while walking just two. He retired Fairmont in order in the second, third and sixth innings, before Meyer did the same in the eighth.
Lance Becker had two hits for the league-leading Martins (13-5), who edged the Lakers in a high-scoring 11-10 game at Fairmont back on May 31.
Heron Lake, seeded fifth in the First Night League, opens playoff action (best two-of-three series) against the Milroy Irish - the fourth-seeded from the Gopher League - at the Irish Yard, near Vesta, Wednesday evening.
Fairmont, the First-Night League’s top-seed, has a first-round bye, as do the Hadley Buttermakers, the top-seed in the Gopher League.
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