GMLOK gets convincing wins to take baseball title


CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Seniors on GMLOK’s conference champion baseball team include, from left, Kolton Arndorfer, Jacob Welch, Christian Millette, Dylan Lunning, Drew Copley and Reid Krugel.

CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Jacob Welch smacks the ball for the Bulldogs in the game against Randolph that clinched the conference title.

CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Drew Copley delivers a pitch in GMLOK’s shutout win over Randolph.
By: 
Chad Smith

The GMLOK Bulldogs played its two biggest regular-season games last week as the SEC championship was there for the taking.

They held serve on their home field in an 11-0, five-inning win over Mabel-Canton on Tuesday, May 7. That guaranteed at least a share of the Southeast Conference title for the Bulldogs. Defending conference champ Randolph came to town on Thursday, May 9, needing to win to clinch at least a share of the title. However, GMLOK came ready to play and capture its first Southeast Conference title (first year as members) with a 9-0 win.

The Bulldogs ended a fantastic regular season at 17-2 (13-0 SEC champs). They get into the Section 1AA tournament on Wednesday, May 22, in Spring Valley against Zumbrota-Mazeppa.

GMLOK 11  M-C 0

The Bulldogs took a step closer to the Southeast Conference title in its first season of conference membership. While GMLOK won by double-digits, pitching was just as dominant. The 11-0, five-inning win over the Cougars keeps GMLOK in front of Randolph with one game left in the regular season.

 “We’re now 13-0 in conference play with just one game remaining against a very good Randolph team that’s right on our heels,” said GMLOK coach Dakotah Rostad. “Tonight, the game ball goes to senior pitcher Dylan Lunning. He only faced 16 batters and gave up one hit. He didn’t allow anyone else to reach base.”

Lunning struck out two batters and only had to throw 52 pitches in five innings.

The Bulldogs offense jumped out to a quick lead, scoring five runs in the home half of the first inning. They added another run in the second inning, three more in the third and finished the scoring with two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. The game ended in the middle of the fifth inning via the 10-run rule.

 “Everyone contributed at the plate,” Rostad said. “Each Bulldog in the lineup got a hit and scored a run. Senior Drew Copley was two for two at bat while sending one over the fence down the left field line, just inside the foul pole.”

Nolan Skifter was two for three, including two doubles, while stealing a base, driving in three runs and scoring twice. Reid Kruegel was two for four while stealing a base and scoring twice.

 “Moving forward from here, there’s one game left and we’ve put ourselves in a good spot going into the playoffs,” Rostad said. “We’re excited for the next phase of the season.”

GMLOK 9  Randolph 0

The Bulldogs wrapped up a successful first regular season in the Southeast Conference by beating defending champion Randolph and taking home the conference championship with a convincing 9-0 win at home on Thursday. GMLOK was guaranteed at least a share of the conference title, no matter what happened. However, Rostad said the team came ready to play.

 “The team played well, both offensively and defensively,” he said. “Drew Copley threw a two-hit gem on the mound. He was locked into the strike zone, whiffing seven batters and walking just one.”

Copley was fantastic, allowing only two hits and no runs over the course of seven innings in one of the biggest games GMLOK has played in the regular season.

Randolph was 15-1 on the season, with the only loss coming to GMLOK in the previous regular-season matchup. “Randolph can really pound the baseball, so we knew it was going to be tough,” Rostad added. “They hit the ball hard, but the Bulldogs’ defense made all the plays they needed to.”

Kruegel led the way at the plate, getting three hits in four at-bats, scoring three runs and stealing two bases. Drew Copley helped himself at the plate, going two for three with a double, three RBI and scoring twice. Skifter added two hits, including a double, driving in three runs and scoring twice. Jacob Welch was two for three with an RBI.

“The coaching staff is very proud of all our players for their hard work,” Rostad added. “It’s paid off up to this point and we are looking forward to the playoffs.”

Schedule

The Bulldogs kick off their Section 1AA playoff run on Wednesday, May 22, in a home game against Zumbrota-Mazeppa with first pitch at 5 p.m. in Spring Valley.