Home Opener set for Sunday

The Forest Lake Brewers have played three games this season — and they hope to more than match that total in the week ahead.

The Brewers have scheduled four games in six days in hopes of getting the 2020 Town Ball season rolling. Included in that schedule is the team’s first home game, a contest against fellow Class B state power Moorhead on Sunday, June 28, with first pitch at Schumacher Field set for 2 p.m.

Forest Lake manager Adam Gallatin said the announcement that youth outdoor sports were allowed to play games has opened the door for Town Ball teams around the state to ramp up their preparations.

“Things have gotten a little easier the past couple of days since that announcement,” he said. “Before that announcement everyone needed to sign a waiver to play, and that’s no longer required. And there were liability concerns, but the announcement has really lifted that burden.”

Forest Lake Area Schools approved allowing the Brewers to play at Schumacher after confirming the team would meet the guidelines established by the state.

The Brewers, who have played three games so far this season, will be on the road twice more before coming home. Forest Lake will play at Minnetonka on Thursday, June 25, in a 7:30 p.m. start, then will face local Class C power Isanti on the Redbirds’ home field on Saturday, June 27.

The Moorhead Brewers, a perennial Class B power, will be in town Sunday, and Forest Lake will host North Branch at Schumacher Field on Tuesday, June 30, with first pitch set for 7:30 p.m.

Brewers lose at Paynesville

Forest Lake’s bats did not come alive in time to avoid a 3-2 loss at Paynesville on Saturday, June 20.

The Brewers managed just three hits and had just six baserunners at Paynesville. They were shut out until the ninth inning, when Jeff Brooks slammed a two-run double, one of his two hits in the game.

“We just didn’t hit,” Gallatin said. “I’d say about half of our lineup was taking its first swings against live pitching this year, and it showed a little bit. But I thought guys looked better at the plate as the game went on.”

The team’s offensive struggles wasted a fine effort by the pitching staff as four pitchers combined to limit Paynesville to just six hits and three walks while notching eight strikeouts. Luke Wallner threw two hitless innings, while Jake Wensmann gave up just one hit while fanning three in his two scoreless frames.

Gallatin said the road trip to Paynesville was worthwhile because it afforded he and his team a chance to visit the city’s new ballpark.

“I believe they spent roughly $1.5 million on that ballpark, and it was impressive,” he said. “That’s what I like about amateur baseball: I love to see a small-town field and environment like that. It was a long road trip, but it definitely was worth the drive.”

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