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August 17, 2019

Ryan Schowalter, left, catches the ball at second base as Joey Marshall charges in on Monday, July 15 at Snowshoe Park. (Photos by Dean Hall/Lakeland Times)
Ryan Schowalter, left, catches the ball at second base as Joey Marshall charges in on Monday, July 15 at Snowshoe Park. (Photos by Dean Hall/Lakeland Times)
Chris Woynich, of Fritz’s Bar, smashes a melon instead of the ball against the Snowhawks on Monday, July 15 at Snowshoe Park.
Chris Woynich, of Fritz’s Bar, smashes a melon instead of the ball against the Snowhawks on Monday, July 15 at Snowshoe Park.
7/20/2019 7:32:00 AM
Snowhawks top Fritz's Bar before storms
By Brett LaBore
Of the Lakeland Times

Monday night saw some crazy weather and a couple loud claps of thunder. Before all that hit, the Lake Tomahawk Snowhawks managed to get half a game in.

The Snowhawks played Fritz's Bar at Snowshoe Park with the Snowhawks taking the win 14-3 in five innings. Lightning halted play before the top of the sixth started.

"It was pretty nice actually, all of a sudden we got it going and hitting is contagious and all it took was a few hits and a few runs here and there," player-coach Jeff Smith explained.

Fritz's Bar got off to a hot start in the top of the first. With two runners on, John Otteson hit a two-run single to put them on top. They then shut out the Snowhawks in the bottom half of the inning.

The second inning started with a walk to Joey Marshall, but the Snowhawks showed their slick defense and experience when they turned a double play two batters later.

Fritz's Bar was back at it in the top of the third. With two runners on and two outs, it looked like the Snowhawks might get out of the inning, but Jeff Ziamba hit an RBI single instead and it was 3-0 Fritz's.

After they were unable to score for the first two innings, the Snowhawks were ready to put some runs on the board. Todd Niemuth got it going with an RBI single. Billy Kuckkahn then loaded the bases with a rare walk.

"It was good to see that momentum again. We were kind of getting down and here we go again," Smith said.

Smith then hit a sacrifice fly to bring them one run closer. They were still looking for the big hit of the inning. That's when Donny Moore hit a single that brought in two more, giving them a 4-3 lead.

Fritz's Bar went quietly in the fourth and the Snowhawks were looking to do more damage. With the bases loaded, Derek Young hit a bases clearing double to make the score 7-3. Later in the inning with runners on the corners, Nick Merckx hit a sacrifice fly and it was 9-3 Snowhawks.

It was a great start to the top of the fifth for Fritz's Bar. They were looking to get back in the game and two straight singles was just what they needed.

"They're good at what they do. They made some really good hits when they needed them. They jumped out to an early lead," Smith said. "Some of the guys who got hits stalled out on the bases. If they got a few more hits, who knows what the score would be."

Eventually the bases would be loaded for Ziamba. But he grounded into a fielder's choice with the out coming at home. The inning ended with no runs in the books.

The Snowhawks were firing on all cylinders in the fifth. Three straight hits made the score 10-3. Then Cole Punches hit an RBI single himself to make it 11-3.

As the rain was falling and lightning approaching, Young hit one that didn't reach the outfield, but still scored a run to make it 14-3. The inning ended because the maximum runs had been scored and the game was called.

"The lightning had been happening an inning earlier and it usually blows by us. But in this case was heading right to us," Smith said. "We'll play through rain. but I don't want to play through that danger. I wish we could have played that game out, because I know what team they have," Smith said.

Next up, the Snowhawks take on WPS Local No. 420 this Monday night at Snowshoe Park.

Brett LaBore may be reached at or

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