Muskies wallop Lumberjacks 13-4 in first HOF game

Dave DeMarsFeatured News, Sports0 Comments

by Dave DeMars

news@thenewsleaders.com

June 20 was a perfect night for baseball and the Sartell Muskies took advantage of that fact by crushing the Foley Lumberjacks 13-4 in the first Hall of Fame game.

Prior to the beginning of the game, the Muskies honored five couples because the spouses of former players had as much to do with the success of the Muskies as the players themselves. Thus, they were all honored by inducting them into the Sartell Muskie Hall of Fame.

Founded in 1979, these five couples, Larry (Rip) and Millie Rassier, Urban and Dorothy Frank, Larry and Aggie Traut, Lu and Dave Guggenberger Sr., and Jim and Marge Ohotto were instrumental in starting the original Muskie team and seeing to it the team continued to thrive and be successful.

Millie Rassier, Aggie Traut and Dave Guggenberger Sr. are deceased. For that dedication, the Muskies inducted their founders into the HOF and then, in fitting fashion, trounced the Foley Lumberjacks.

The Muskies jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning with Ethan Carlson planting a long double off the fence and then scoring on a bone-jarring play at the plate. The Muskies scored two more in the first and it stood at 3-0. Austin Gohl was on the hill for the Muskies against a thin Foley lineup.

“Austin battled through a couple of rough spots,” said manager Randy Beckstrom, “but he finished strong in his final inning, which is what I wanted him to do. He’s become a solid pitcher and a big part of the team.”

Foley scored one run in the second, then knotted the game 3-3 in the fourth inning. It looked to be a cat fight the rest of the night, but the Muskies, with the help of a Lumberjack error and some strategic hitting, rang up five runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth inning giving them an 8-3 lead.

From there on the Muskies never looked back as Gohl turned in six solid innings of pitching. He was relieved in the sixth by Max Koprek.

Jake Sweeter, who had been swinging the sweet stick for the Muskies, seemed to be stymied. Most of the night saw Sweeter give Lumberjack fielders eyestrain with high-floating pop-ups. But in the bottom of the sixth, Sweeter found the sweet spot on the bat and drove the ball over 350 feet into the grove of trees beyond the left field fence making it 9-3.

“He’s really been tearing it up this year,” Beckstrom said. “He’s having a great season.”

It looked like Koprek was in a little trouble in the seventh inning, but the Muskies turned a crucial double play and stifled the Foley challenge. Always looking to score more runs, the Muskies managed to put up four more in the bottom of the seventh inning making the score 12-3.

Foley managed to score one more run in the eighth and the Muskies managed another run to match it. Final score was 13-4 Muskies with Austin Gohl notching up a win in the first annual HOF game.

“This was a really fun game,” Beckstrom said, “especially with this being the Hall of Fame game. It was a great honor for those being inducted into the Hall of Fame and obviously we played well last night and hit the ball great and it was a nice victory.”

photo by Dave DeMars
Larry “Rip” Rassier (right) chats it up with Brian Schellinger (5) and Tom Burns before the start of the first Muskie Hall of Fame game. Rassier was one of the founders of the Muskies. The Muskies defeated the Foley Lumberjacks, 13-4, making for another fond baseball memory for Rassier.

photo by Dave DeMars
Larry Traut took the lead and showed the hustle that helped him when he played for the Muskies.

photo by Dave DeMars
Urban and Dorothy Frank lead a large family contingent on to Champion Field to receive induction honors in the first Muskie Hall of Fame game.

photo by Dave DeMars
Lu Guggenberger shows excellent form in throwing out the first pitch at the Hall of Fame game. Lu threw the first pitch on behalf of her husband Dave Sr., who is deceased. Lu really is in a “League of her Own.”

photo by Dave DeMars
Jim Ohotto shows he hasn’t lost much of the stuff that helped him play ball for the Muskies. From just left of the pitcher’s mound and with Manager Randy Beckstrom looking on, Ohotto fired a perfect strike to the catcher.

photo by Dave DeMars
Austin Gohl shows the form and focus that have helped to make him an integral part of the Muskie mound staff.

photo by Dave DeMars
Ethan Carlson slides into home plate as the Lumberjack catcher blocks his way. The catcher bobbled the ball and Carlson scored the first run.

photo by Dave DeMars
It’s not football, but you might not know it from this photo. After getting caught between home plate and third base, Cody Partch was tagged and tackled for the out by the Foley catcher.

 

Author: Dave DeMars

Born and raised in Wisconsin – a “Happy Days” high school experience. Attended UW-River Falls and followed their motto – “Where the free spirit prevails.” Four years in the Army Security Agency (Spies), 31 years teaching English and directing plays. Other jobs – gandy dancer, counselor at mental institution, snowmaker, apple picker, concrete finishing, janitor, furniture mover, appliance sales, insurance sales, media sales, real estate, and writer. I am skeptical to a fault and like all human being I am more oxymoron than I am anything else. I blog at http://www.curmudgeonstwist.net/

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