Lakers win Miller Lite Invitational

The Waconia Lakers won the Miller Lite Invitational hosted by Hamburg and Green Isle this past weekend. Above, Ben Smothers takes a hard cut at a ball in early June. (Patriot staff photos by Melissa Marohl)
The Waconia Lakers won the Miller Lite Invitational hosted by Hamburg and Green Isle this past weekend. Above, Ben Smothers takes a hard cut at a ball in early June. (Patriot staff photos by Melissa Marohl)

After a loss to Chaska early last week, the Waconia Lakers rediscovered their winning ways with a 4-0 run to capture the title at the weekend Hamburg/Green Isle tournament.

Waconia is now 12-2 this season and continues to lead the Crow River Valley League’s North division with an 8-1 league record over Winsted.

Chaska 5, Lakers 0

Waconia helped closed down Athletic Park in Chaska early last week, playing the final game at the field on Tuesday, June 17, before it closed to flooding of the nearby Minnesota River. The Lakers were unable to post any runs against a strong Chaska squad and ended up on the losing end of a 5-0 shut out.

Waconia tallied just two hits for the game, one single from Ben Smothers and the other from Robbie Smothers.

The Cubs took an early 4-0 lead with two runs in first inning and another pair in the third.

Chris Bullis started on the mound and was relieved by Ryan Naughton in the fifth.

Lakers 3, Montgomery 0

The Hamburg/Green Isle Miller Lite Invitational brought the Lakers four games in three days, as Waconia topped the competition and came away with the tournament title, going 4-0 over the course of the weekend.

The Lakers’ tournament run began Friday night, as Waconia took down the Montgomery Mallards in a 3-0 game.

Josh Lenz threw the seven-inning game for the Lakers, only giving up six hits to the Mallards. He also struck out six.

Waconia got on the boards in the first inning, thanks to a lead off walk from Ben Smothers and an RBI ground out by Chris Bullis.

Jeremy Salden knocked two runs home in the third inning, with a line drive to center field. Salden’s hit would be the only Laker hit of the game.

Lakers 4, Watkins 3

Waconia returned to Hamburg on Saturday to face the Watkins Clippers, coming out on top of a 4-3 game. Watkins took an early 1-0 lead before the Lakers came charging back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the second inning.

The inning began with a lead off double from Craig LaPlante, who was then batted home by Naughton. Two more Laker hits loaded the bases, and Ronnie Olson drew a walk to score a run. Robbie Smothers then reached on an error to bring the third Laker run across the plate.

LaPlante continued his strong day at the plate with an RBI in the fifth inning.

Naughton started on the mound for Waconia and was relieved by Ben Smothers in the sixth.

Lakers 3, Green Isle 1

After having lost a 12-4 game to Green Isle earlier this season, the Lakers were happy to come away with a 3-1 win on Sunday, June 22 in the semifinals.

Waconia scored first, collecting a pair of runs in the third inning. The Lakers strung together hits from Ben Smothers, Olson, and Naughton, and a sacrifice fly from Bullis to take the 2-0 lead.

Green Isle threatened in the fifth inning with a solo home run, but the Lakers packed the game away with an RBI single from Robbie Smothers to take the game 3-1.

Chris Bullis threw the complete game for Waconia, allowing just one run (the home run) on five hits.

Lakers 4, Carver 2

Waconia wrapped up its tournament run with a 4-2 victory over the Carver Black Sox later on Sunday, capturing the tournament championship.

The teams remained scoreless through three and one-half innings, before the Black Sox capitalized on Laker mistakes to score two runs and take a 2-0 lead.

Carver held the 2-0 lead into the sixth inning, and nearly packed the game away when, with two outs, the Lakers were able to draw and walk and two singles from Chris Bullis and Salden brought a run home to close the gap to 2-1.

Robbie Smothers then smacked a three-run home run over the right field fence to give the Lakers the 4-2 lead and the game. Dylan Lindner threw the seven innings for Waconia, allowing two runs on two hits.

For his efforts during the tournament, Robbie Smothers was named the tournament MVP.

The Lakers have a stacked weekend, as they host Brownton Friday night, June 27, before hitting the road to St. Boni and Mayer this Saturday and Sunday. Waconia will break for the Fourth of July holiday, and the Lakers will be back in action on Tuesday, July 8 in Glencoe.


Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]