In this virus shortened amateur baseball season, the Cleveland Spiders and the Lake Crystal Lakers season opener Sunday afternoon at Cleveland turned out longer than normal.
It lasted 4½ hours because of an hour rain delay that flooded the infield. But the Spiders cleared the standing water with rakes and shovels, put down ag lime to soak up the wet spots and finished the game.
Propelled by a four-run fifth inning, Lake Crystal defeated Cleveland 8-3 in nine innings in the 13-60 League game.
The Lakers scored a run in both the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead. But Cleveland cut it to 2-1 with a run in the third inning. Shortstop Jerren Jobe led off with a walk. Right fielder Parker Baron singled to left. Starting pitcher Arlen Nett hit a sacrifice fly to advance Jobe to third, and Jobe scored on a balk.
The Lakers increased their lead to 6-1 with four runs in the fourth inning on four hits and two walks.
The Spiders then scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to 6-2. Left fielder Carter Dylla reached second on an error, and he went all the way around from second to home on a wild pitch. The catcher tagged him, but he dropped the ball.
Cleveland added another run in the fifth inning to cut the lead to 6-3. Nett reached on an infield hit down the middle. Third baseman Alec Rogers singled to center. Dylla singled to left to drive in Nett.
Then heavy rains hit at the start of the sixth inning and delayed the game for an hour.
Back on the field, Lake Crystal scored a run in the seventh to take a 7-3 lead and finished off the scoring with a run in the ninth.
Nett pitched the first 3⅓ innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits, five walks and five strikeouts to pick up the loss.
Jacob Miller threw the next five innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits, four walks and three strikeouts.
Gabe Holland pitched the last two-thirds of an inning with one hit, a walk and two strikeouts.
Lake Crystal left-handed starter Devin Swanson got the win, going five innings with two runs (one earned) on five hits, two walks and three strikeouts.
The Spiders collected nine hits. Baron (2 for 5) and Holland (2-4, walk) had two hits each. Five others had a hit each: Nett (1-5), Alec Rogers (1-5), Dylla (1-4, walk), Shane Rogers (1-1) and Elijah Sullivan (1-1).
Playing only 13-60 League games this summer, the Spiders have home games the next four Sundays: 5 p.m July 5 versus Waterville, 2 p.m. July 12 against Morristown, 2 p.m. July 19 versus Minnesota Lake and 2 p.m. July 26 against Wells.
Cleveland hits the road for games at 7:45 p.m. July 8 at Blue Earth, 3 p.m. July 18 at St. Clair, and 2 p.m. July 25 at Eagle Lake.
The Spiders finish off the regular season in an away game against Janesville at 7:30 p.m. July 29 at Le Center's Ray Plut Field.