With the teams combining for seven errors, eight walks and two hit batsmen Tuesday's Central Lakes Conference baseball game between Willmar and the Brainerd Warriors may not have seemed like it involved two contenders.
Despite committing four of those errors the Warriors at other times were spectacular in the field. They made four splendid plays in support of winning pitcher Matt Yde.
In the third inning, first baseman Rob Lien made a nifty running catch of a foul ball with his back to the infield.
An inning later center fielder Tim Siekas made a falling-down catch of a fly ball.
In the seventh, shortstop Kevin Ericson and second baseman Nathan Thomas made notable plays. Ericson darted behind second base with his back to the infield to grab a pop-up for the second out. Thomas ended the game with a spectacular play as he dove to spear Erik Maursetter's ground ball, hopped up and fired the ball to Lien to retire Maursetter.
"We expect those kind of plays from Nathan," Warriors coach Lowell Scearcy said. "When we're sitting in the dugout we'll say, 'OK, he's got that one.' He's made so many of those the last couple years. He reminds me a lot of (1996 graduate) Mikey Bjerkness. Mikey used to make plays like that all the time."
Third baseman Eric Bolt had a trying time, mishandling three of the six ground balls hit to him.
"Those were the first errors Eric has had all year," Scearcy said. "Eric has been very good defensively for us. I am sure he will be fine. There's a little thing we have to work with him on. His defense is not one of our big concerns. He has always been solid defensively."
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