It was one of those games where a Northwoods League baseball team is glad it plays nearly every day so it can redeem itself the next day.
The Brainerd Blue Thunder committed five errors that led to five unearned runs and a 6-2 loss to the La Crosse Loggers Friday night at Mills Field.
La Crosse scored three times in the fifth and twice in the sixth, with all runs being unearned, to snap a 1-1 tie.
The Loggers also stole five bases, two on a double steal of second base and home in the fifth.
"I thought our pitching was a little soft, and I think a person needs to be embarrassed when somebody calls them soft," Blue Thunder manager Steve Abney said, "but if we would have made plays we probably would have been in a situation to execute and get back in the game.
"The most disappointing thing is that you've accepted the responsibility to play in this league. You're going to get home from Wausau (Wis.) at 4 a.m. and you have to have some personal pride to be able to get after it the next day."
Brainerd failed to get after it following a 17-6 victory Thursday night in Wisconsin. It collected eight hits against three Loggers pitchers but left 12 runners on base, five in scoring position, including the bases loaded in the eighth.
The eighth led to Abney's ejection. With runners at first and second, no outs and trailing by four, Brainerd's Chris Klabo dropped down a bunt. Umpires claimed the ball hit him in fair territory and he was called out. After a brief disagreement with the umpires, Abney was tossed.
"The ball was bunted off the bat, came back up and hit the handle," Abney said. "He wasn't out of the box. The correct call was probably for the home plate umpire to ask (the infield umpire). I'm not criticizing but (the infield umpire) felt like he needed to come out and make that call. Then the insults start flying after that because you're taking us out of the ballgame.
"This is not my first rodeo. I don't have a problem getting kicked out of a game when you're trying to defend your club."
Dan Quinn and Mike Kimlinger each had two hits for the Blue Thunder. Quinn scorched a pair of doubles, lifting his average to .393 (12-for-28).
Dillon Gee started for Brainerd and was removed after five innings. He struck out two, walked one and gave up eight hits but only one earned run.
Luke Baughman and John Frawley combined to walk two and give up two hits and no unearned runs in the last four innings.
Brainerd tied it 1-1 in the fourth. Skyler Moss led off with a single. One out later, Quinn doubled him to third. Klabo walked to load the bases and Greg Wolffe's sacrifice fly scored Moss.
La Crosse 100 032 000 -- 6 10 1
Brainerd 000 101 000 -- 2 8 5
LaC-Josh Schultz, Chris Malec (6), Jason Belk (8) and Tyler Howe. Brd-Dillon Gee, Luke Baughman (6), John Frawley (8) and Dan Quinn, Chris Gradoville (7). W-Josh Schultz. L-Gee.
2B-LaC, Scott Mitchell, David Schultz; Brd, Quinn 2. SB-LaC, Jason Louwsma, Tyler Howe, Andy Podmolik, Travis Check, Jay Brant. Sac-Brd, Greg Wolffe, Bryan Smith. RBI-LaC, Louwsma, Travis Check; Brd, Wolffe, Gradoville. LOB-LaC 9, Brd 12. DP-Brd 1.
MIKE BIALKA can be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5861.
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