Metro Minny all stars and Anoka Bucs gave it their all in the St. Paul Saints final preseason tune up May 10 at Castle Field
Castle Field in Anoka was the site for the final preseason tune-up for the St. Paul Saints as they faced the Anoka Bucs and Metro Minny all stars Saturday afternoon.
Despite threats of rain, baseball fans not only filled the bleachers behind home plate but also lined the fence down the left field line and center field.
Proceeds from the day will be used to help fund the second phase of construction on the new ballpark between Anoka High School and the Anoka Area Ice Arena.
The Saints traveled to an area town ball team ballpark for the fourth straight year and came away with as many wins, this time by a 12-4 score ahead of the May 15 regular season opener at Midway Stadium.
This summer marks the final season for the Saints at what has become a popular place to take in a ball game just south of the Minnesota State fairgrounds in Falcon Heights.
Despite a shaky start, Anoka settled in and generated enough offense to enter the fourth inning tied 4-4 thanks to a three-run third inning.
The Saints sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning to score four times with three walks and an error.
The all stars loaded the bases in the bottom of the first inning on a hit by pitch, walk and a single by Anoka’s Casey VanKrevelen. LoGator Matt Marek collected an RBI on a ground out to cut the lead to 4-1.
Forest Lake Brewer Kyle Young led off the second inning with a triple in what would be a prosperous half-inning for the home team.
St. Francis’ Luther Kangas drove in Young to make it 4-2. With two on and two outs Brewer Jeff Brooks lined a double to center field, scoring two runs including Buc JD Wells who beat the throw to the plate to tie the game.
The exhibition game wasn’t the only attraction of the day as the gate opened at noon, three hours before first pitch to offer fans a chance to enter a raffle for a mix of baseball memorabilia and local business offerings.
A jump house and games entertained the young baseball fans before the teams came onto the field for warm-ups.
A home run derby followed warm-ups where Forest Lake Brewer Jeff Brooks out-dueled Saints slugger Henry Wrigley in the final 2-1. Wrigley stepped to the plate first before Brooks managed to belt two dingers after being hit by a pitch from Bucs player JD Wells.
The first round failed to yield one home run from 10 swings where Champlin LoGator Nick Larson and Anoka Buc Casey VanKrevelen couldn’t hit a fair ball outside Castle Field.
Original Bucs player and current Bucs supporter Jim Lundeen served as on-field emcee for the festivities and kept the crowd engaged throughout the contest along with Saints’ announcer Lee Adam serving as stadium announcer.
Lundeen commented that he saw plenty of fun on the faces of those at the ballpark regardless of age.
The event was a community collaboration bringing together volunteers and city staff for a successful afternoon of baseball at Castle Field.
Jason Olson is at