Anoka shuts out East Bethel in Bucs’ first game at new home field

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.

John Ward, catcher on the original Anoka Bucs town ball team, threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the July 28 Anoka Bucs game at the new Castle Field. That game, in which the Bucs shut out the East Bethel Bandits 5-0, was the Bucs’ first home game played on the new Castle Field. Photo by Sue Austreng Anoka Bucs pitcher Jack Niedenfuer threw the first pitch, a fastball called “strike!” by umpire Larry Gallagher. Photo by Sue Austreng Anoka Bucs manager and second baseman J.D. Wells turns the Bucs’ first double play at the new Castle Field. The classic 6-4-3 double play was recorded in the top of the fifth inning during the July 28 ball game. Photo by Sue Austreng Kirk Kenneally bats in the bottom of the seventh, Bucs up 3-0. Photo by Sue Austreng It’s the top of the sixth and the Bucs lead 3-0 as Jack Niedenfuer hurls a fastball in for a strike. Photo by Sue Austreng Jack Niedenfuer recorded the Anoka Bucs first shut-out win at the new Castle Field when he pitched a complete game July 28. Photo by Sue Austreng Members of the East Bethel Bandits congratulate the Anoka Bucs on the first shut out recorded at the new Castle Field July 28. Photo by Sue Austreng
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John Ward, catcher on the original Anoka Bucs town ball team, threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the July 28 Anoka Bucs game at the new Castle Field. That game, in which the Bucs shut out the East Bethel Bandits 5-0, was the Bucs’ first home game played on the new Castle Field. Photo by Sue Austreng

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.

Sue Austreng is at
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