Jimmy Larson pitched eight strong innings, only allowing two hits and striking out nine as the Prior Lake Jays rolled to a 9-1 win over the Burnsville Bobcats Sunday at “The Vet”.
The win was the third RVL East/Section 3B victory of the season, tripling last year’s total after the Jays finished 1-11 in 2017.
The Jays kicked off the scoring in the second inning. After third baseman Ryan McDonald reached on an error and shortstop Mitch Goodwin walk, catcher Ben Kelsey laid down a beautiful bunt to the right side that was fielded by Burnsville first baseman Brian VanderWoude, who threw to third to try to force McDonald out but the throw was late, loading the bases. Left fielder Rob Frederick was drilled in the elbow with a fastball a few pitches later to drive in the first run. Two batters later, second baseman Mike Edlefsen singled on a hard line drive to center field to drive in Goodwin and Kelsey, giving the Jays a 3-0 lead after two innings.
Prior Lake added another run in the fourth inning. After Kelsey walked to start the inning, A.J. Lattery pinch hit for Frederick and crushed the first pitch deep down the right field line for a double, advancing Kelsey to third. Kelsey scored when the next batter, designated hitter Jason Peter, grounded out to make in 4-0 Jays.
Burnsville got it’s only run of the game in the top of the fifth. The rally started on a groundball that first baseman Tommy Keating fielded, flipped to the pitcher covering and Larson could not find first base with his foot. A strikeout followed by a walk and a groundout set up Bobcats catcher Zach Harazin with runners on second and third and two outs. Harazin lined a single to up the middle to score the first run but center fielder Cody Kashmark scooped up the ball and unleashed a great throw home. Kelsey jumped up, caught the ball, and applied the tag at home plate to end the threat.
There was no more scoring until the eighth when the Jays really broke the game open. Keating walked, McDonald singled and Goodwin walked before Kelsey smashed a double down the left field line, scoring two runs. After a strikeout and a walk, pinch hitter Jimmy Cosgrove hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a run and Kashmark and outfielder Tyler “Jonesy” Buescher each singled to score two more and put the game out of reach at 9-1.
Edlefsen worked a scoreless ninth inning on the mound to seal the victory.
The Jays will be back in action at “The Vet” on Tuesday when they host the Chanhassen Red Birds at 7:30pm.
Following the game on Tuesday, Prior Lake will be on the road for a pair, against Eagan on Thursday at 7pm at Goat Hill Park and on Sunday against Chaska at Athletic Park at 6pm.
RVL East/Section 3B standings as of 7/9/18:
Prior Lake 3-3
Taylor Smith can be reached at [email protected].