After coming off a couple of tough losses against league rivals Coon Rapids Redbirds and Blaine Fusion, the Anoka Bucs town ball team took to Castle Field July 28 for its first home field baseball game there.
Many Castle Field firsts were recorded by game’s end, most notably pitcher Jack Niedenfuer’s first complete game shutout at Castle Field when the East Bethel Bandits fell 5-0.
The game’s first pitch was a fast ball delivered by Niedenfuer for a strike which led to the southpaw’s first strike out of the game.
In the bottom of the second inning, Nash Gandrud put down the Bucs’ first sacrifice bunt, advancing Kirk Kenneally, who would eventually score the Bucs’ first run on a wild pitch to Mitch Ward.
With two out in the bottom of the third, Anoka Bucs manager and second baseman J.D. Wells hit a fly ball to left center field for the home team’s first hit at Castle Field.
Wells was part of a classic 6-4-3 double play in the top of the fifth, helping turn the home team’s first double play on their new home field.
Later, in the bottom of the fifth, Ryan Kopca stole second and eventually scored the Bucs’ third run of the game.
The final two runs in the 5-0 shut-out over the East Bethel Bandits occurred in the bottom of the eighth.
Once the last out was recorded, the Bucs had a 14-11 win-loss record and hosted the St. Francis Saints at Castle Field July 30. That game was the final regular season game before play offs begin.
The Bucs’ first play-off game has the team facing the Albertville Villains at 1 p.m. Aug. 4 in St. Michael.
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