It was a day of firsts at the Pelican Rapids ballpark Aug. 3.
For starters, the grueling 16 inning showdown between Dent and Vergas in the 16C tournament is believed to be the longest game every played at Chauncy Martin Field.
Then, hometown Pelican Lakers took the field veteran Adam Johnson on the mound. After throwing five scoreless innings; whiffing five Fergus Falls batters; and allowing only one hit–he gave up the ball.
It was the first time he ever pulled himself due to an arm strain, over about 15 years of amateur baseball.
“Something popped, and my arm was really tight,” said Johnson, who threw a couple warm-up pitches before handing the ball over to Jan-Eric Lindberg. “I was throwing at about 40 percent.”
Unfortunately for Lindberg, Fergus put one run across in the sixth and mounted a three-run rally in the seventh–on the way to a 4-2 victory over the Lakers. Lindberg took the loss.
Pelican ousted, as Vergas rolls to final rounds in Region
Johnson’s injured arm set the tone for the weekend, as the Lakers were unable to get back on track.
Vergas has been peaking at the right time of the season. Despite being tired after the 16 inning marathon Saturday, Vergas managed to recharge by Sunday. Vergas managed to shut down the Pelican Lakers, 6-1–eliminating the hometown team from the state tourney. The Lakers have gone to state the past two years.
The Lakers managed only three hits in a lackluster performance Sunday, Aug. 4. Four Pelican pitchers gave up 12 hits, as Vergas sent six runners across the plate. Logan Riedel, Jan-Eric Lindberg, Alex Johnson and Taylor Fuhs all threw for Pelican.
Pelican also committed six errors.
20 strikeouts propel Sauk Center
The marathon Dent-Vergas match prolonged August 3 tourney action into the late hours. Playing the nightcap were Osakis and Sauk Center, which didn’t take the field until nearly 9:30 p.m.
Sauk Center pitcher Dylan Hasskamp struck out 20, as Sauk Centre went on to a 5-3 win late Saturday.
On Sunday, Sauk Centre came back after a short night of sleep–and defeated Fergus Falls 3-2. The win earned Sauk Center a trip to state.
Vergas and Fergus Falls both have a shot at the state tournament, when Region 16C action resumes this weekend.
Vergas is scheduled to play Long Prairie Friday night, Aug. 9 in Pelican Rapids.
The winner of that game will take on Fergus Falls–with the winner of that game earning a trip to the state tourney.
PHOTOS BY LOUIS HOGLUND