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CraigOlsonSports.com... Your Area Sports Wrap!Janet Swenson - State Farm Insurance
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
TWINS BASEBALL ROCKS!

The Minnesota Twins (59-41) have the third best record in baseball, trailing only the Detroit Tigers (68-33) and the Boston Red Sox (61-38).  They have the best record in baseball since the All-Star break (12-2), have a better home record (37-11) than any team in the majors, and have won 35 of their last 43 games, a .814 winning percentage.  That incredible set of numbers has allowed the Twins to get back into the playoff race as they have now pulled even with the Chicago White Sox in the Central Division standings and are in the wild card mix along with the New York Yankees (58-40), the White Sox (59-41) and the Toronto Blue Jays (56-44).  Minnesota is also very much alive in pursuit of the division leading Tigers, especially when you consider they have ten games remaining against Detroit with seven of them at the Metrodome.  The Tigers are the best road team in all of baseball with a record of 35-16 away from home, so something has to give when the two teams clash this weekend in Minneapolis.  With Francisco Liriano, Brad Radke and Johan Santana scheduled to face the Tigers, I like the odds!

 

This has been just an incredible summer of baseball.  Things looked pretty bleak back in May, but once Liriano was inserted into the starting rotation, things started to look up.  Then, when the Twins went 19-2 but gained only a half game in the standings, fans started to think it definitely wasnít their year.  Thatís when things really started to heat up.  With the big three of Liriano, Radke and Santana, and the best bullpen top to bottom in the big leagues, the Twins pitching has been tremendous.  They have seven pitchers with an ERA under 4.00 and nine with ERAís below 5.00.  Joe Nathan is getting save opportunities and closing the door.  Juan Rincon is the best setup man in the game.  Jesse Crain and the unorthodox rookie, Pat Neshek, are a firm bridge to Rincon and Nathan, and lefty Dennis Reyes has done the job against key lefties.  Even Kyle Lohse has found a little comfort zone in the bullpen.  Between Carlos Silva, Scott Baker and Boof Bonser, the number four and five starters in the rotation have been the only obvious weakness on an otherwise extremely productive pitching staff.

 

Offensively, lineup changes saw Jason Bartlett and Nick Punto begin to play everyday.  Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau have been driving in runs in the 4 and 5 spots in the order.  Luis Castillo continues to be a consistent table setter and Joe Mauer just wonít come back down to earth as he continues to hit between .370-.380.  Jason Tyner has injected some offense and played solid defense in the absence of Torii Hunter, Jason Kubel has responded when given the opportunity and Rondell White seems to have some life back after a stint on the DL and a rehab assignment. 

 

Perhaps the biggest single improvement has been the clutch hitting of this team.  They are getting timely hits up and down the lineup.  For example, on Wednesday, as the Twins completed a road sweep of the White Sox, all seven of their runs were scored on two-out hits.  Hitting is contagious, and right now the Twins have an epidemic going at the plate!  To me, a lifelong, die hard, never say youíre out of it until you are mathematically eliminated Twins fan, as satisfying as anything has been the quality of at bats the Twins hitters, including the rookies, have been having.  They have become a patient group of hitters and Iím convinced that the fact that Jacque Jones is gone and Hunter has been out of the lineup with injuries, has helped that situation.  I love Torii Hunter, but he has some awful at bats.  This Twins team is making pitchers work for every out and not giving them anything.  The results speak for themselves.  How much of this do we credit to Joe Vavra, the new hitting instructor?  I donít know the answer to that, but whatever heís doing seems to be helping in some way. 

 

The question now is, do you make any changes before the trading deadline of July 31?  The answer seems to be, No.  It is extremely doubtful the Twins will make any moves, and the more I think about it, the more I think thatís the right move.  If it ainít broke Ö. you know the rest.  Plus, with ten teams still very much in the post season race, the availability of players who can step in and help will be limited.  And, at what cost?  Too high!  The Twins will get Hunter back within a week to ten days and they may also look to youngster Matt Garza, an outstanding starting pitching prospect, to perhaps try a spot in the rotation.  If Silva can get back on track, and he showed signs of moving that direction on Wednesday, that could play a huge role down the stretch.  This team is a good team.  Go back to my pre-season column in Craigís Corner.  Youíll see where I made the statement that the Twins would win the division, win the AL pennant and win the World Series.  I still believe it will happen.  Winning the division will be difficult, although not impossible.  The rest, is a very realistic possibility.  With that pitching staff, I really like our chances in a playoff series, against anyone!!

 

At any rate, if youíve been a believer all season, or if youíre just jumping on the bandwagon for the rest of the pennant race, enjoy it!!  This is one of those magical seasons that doesnít come around very often.  Those of us who have lived through the dismal years of the early 80ís, the glory years of the mid and late 60ís and 1970, the World Series years and everything in between, appreciate the style of play this team puts on the field everyday.  You just always feel like youíre going to be in the game and thatís a good feeling to have!  Can they keep up the pace theyíve put out there the last six weeks?  Doubtful, however, I donít think theyíre going to fall too far off that pace.  In addition to the ten games against Detroit I mentioned earlier, the Twins have the following schedule remaining, with home games listed first: Texas (3-0), Kansas City (7-4), Toronto (4-0), Cleveland (3-4), Chicago (6-3), Baltimore (0-6), New York (0-3), Tampa Bay (0-3), Oakland (3-0) and Boston (0-3).  Thirty-three home games and twenty-nine on the road.  Hopefully you can get to a home game before the season is over.  This is exciting baseball!  Be sure to listen in every Wednesday at 7:20 a.m. on AM 1250, KBRF, when we have John Gordon on Talkiní Sports.

Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Mosquito Run Set for Saturday
We've written recently in this column about the upcoming Hoot Lake Triathlon, slated for Sunday, July 30, and we don't want you to forget about the 11th Annual Wetlands Trail Mosquito Run that is set for Saturday, July 29.  The 1K Kiddie Run begins at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K Run and 2 Mile Fitness Walk starts at 9:00 a.m. at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls.
 
The course for all races will be on a unique cross country course in the Prairie Wetlands.  Race day registration and check-in will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.  More information can be obtained online at www.pickleevents.com.
 
Fergus Falls Head Men's Basketball Coach Jason Retzlaff has announced that Shawn Cariveau, a 6'5"standout wing/post for Fisher-Climax High School, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the Spartans.

ďShawn is a very skilled and versatile player," said Coach Retzlaff.  "He will be able to play both inside and out and stretch defenses with his three point shooting ability.  He is a great asset to our program.Ē 
 
Cariveau, a three time all conference selection, averaged 21 points and 9 rebounds per game.  He was also named Team MVP for the Knights his junior and senior season.

 

The American National Bank team of Dusty Christenson, Wade Jyrkas, Dan Tonneson and Scott DeBrito won the 2006 Fred Evenson Memorial / Lakeland Hospice Golf Tournament at Pebble Lake Golf Course in Fergus Falls.  The winning score was a 16-under par 56.
 
Second place went to the DU-HA / Shoremaster team of Dan Ouren, Dennis Tuel Jr., Mike Tuel and Pat Tuel.
 
Teams with the highest score of 79 were the Park Region Telephone group of Dave Bickett, Rob Fielder, Karen Thompson and Katie Johnson, and the Glende-Nilson team of Doug Nelson, Bruce Nilson, Gary Mickelson and Jay Myster.
 
The longest drive for men went to Joe Stachowski on number one and Dan Tonneson on number seventeen and the women's longest drives were recorded by Nancy Mattson on both the tenth and sixteenth holes.
 
The longest putt holed on number nine came from Jesse Mark and on the seventeenth hole it was Rod Votava.
Denny Roers was closes to the pin on number two and Eddie Kiphuth was closest on the fifteenth hole.  Closest to the pin in 2 shots on number four went to Dennis Tuel, Jr., and on the eighteenth in was Jake Hendrickson.
 
Former Fargo area golfer Mike Barge, now the pro at Hazeltine, won the Minnesota State Open with a seven-under par 209, two strokes better than Ty ArmstrongDon Berry was third with a 212.  West Central Area graduate Adam Hanson from Red Rock Golf Course shot a seven-over par 223, tying for 37th place.  Fergus Falls golfer John Ouren missed the cut, shooting rounds of 80-82 for a two-day qualifying total of 162.  The cut was 151.  Kane Hanson of Detroit Lakes had a two-day total of 152 (73-79) and also missed the cut.
 
Kane Hanson went on to compete in the 103rd MGA Amateur Championship at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, and finished in a tie for third palce with a three-under par 213 (73-72-68).  Andrew Paulson won the title with an 8-under par 208, while Clayton Rask took second with a 5-under par 211.  Kirk Eilertson of Detroit Lakes tied for eighth place with an even-par score of 216 (70-74-72).  Lee Cavanagh of Perham was tied for 27th place with a six-over par 222 (79-72-71).  Taylor Cavanagh and Bob Cavanagh from Perham did not qualify for the third and final round.
 
The Minnesota Lakes American Legion Baseball Conference has named their All-Conference team.  Members of the team include Adam Johnson, Tyler Scott, Tyler Earls and Eric Januszewski from Pelican Rapids, Jamie Jacklitch, Andy Hillestad and Mike Miller from Breckenridge, and Alex Fankhanel from Barnesville.  Other all-conference members include Andrew VanHavermaet, Cory Mattson, Ryan Boyer and Brady Harms of Hawley, Matt Green, Matt Gable and Jake Jenson of DGF, Josh Hendrickx and David Klinnert of New York Mills and Pat Alberts of Parkers Prairie.
 
Justin Arneson hit another home run this past week and had his average up to .221 before hitting an end of the week slump and seeing it fall to .211.  Arne has 31 hits in 147 at bats, five doubles, two triples and two homers.  He has driven in 17 runs and scored 19 times and has stolen five bases out of seven attempts.  He has 35 strikeouts and 17 walks.
 
Brandon Goltz didn't get a decision on Sunday in the RedHawks win over Winnipeg.  He went 4 2/3 innings, gave up seven hits, six earned runs, walked two, hit two batters and struck out three.  Fargo-Moorhead won the game by a score of 12-9.  Mike Peschel improved his record to 3-3 by earning the win in relief of Goltz.
Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Arne Heats Up in Fort Myers
Former Fergus Falls High School and FFCC standout Justin Arneson had a good week at the plate for the Fort Myers Miracle, collecting five hits in fifteen at bats as he played in four of their six games.  Arne's productive offensive week puts him at .212 for the season. 
 
Among his hits, a game winning three-run home run, his first of the year, on Monday night against Sarasota.  It came with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Miracle trailing 4-3.  Justin had another multiple-hit game on Sunday, going 2-4 with a pair of singles and scoring twice in an 11-6 win over Dunedin.
 
I had Justin on Talkin' Sports this past Monday and I know he's had a frustrating season, especially with limited playing time, resulting in a limited number of at bats.  To his credit, he still has the positive attitude and solid work ethic that he's always had and it's just great to see him make the most of his opportunities this past week.  Hopefully it translates into more starts, more at bats, and more success.  At the rate Twins outfielders are dropping, the minor league outfielders may have to be shifted around somewhat for teams to even field a full team!
 
Another former Otter and Spartan, Brandon Goltz, suffered his first defeat in five decisions with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, losing in Winnipeg on Saturday night by a score of 5-2.  Brandon told www.craigolsonsports.com in a recent interview that Canada isn't his favorite place to travel to and I'm sure his opinion didn't change for the better on Saturday.  Goltz has been one of the most effective pitchers for Doug Simunic's team, going 4-1 with a 2.88 earned run average over eleven appearances and ten starts.  The league is hitting .249 against him and his knuckle curve ball has been extremely effective.  With the Northern League All-Star break upon us, it's hard to say what Simunic will do with his rotation when the RedHawks get back into action on Thursday, but I would think that Brandon will either pitch the final game of their home series against Winnipeg on Sunday, or open their road series in Kansas City on Monday night.
 
It was announced at the Northern League All-Star game banquet that the 2007 game will be played at Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo.  The RedHawks will be excellent hosts and will do it up right.
 
Hey Old Timers!  Would you like to play some baseball?  Curt Walvatne informs me that he and his brother, Dick Walvatne, are in the process of putting together a team to play in the Men's Senior Baseball League World Series October 28 through November 4 in Phoenix, Arizona.  Walvatne says their team will be known as the Minn-Dak Twins.  Players need to be 58 years of age or older to participate.  Individual who are interested can contact Curt at 770-1061 or Dick at (701) 234-0772.
 
The District 9, Divison II, American Legion Baseball Tournament begins this week with sub-district action.  The South sub-district games will be played in Pelican Rapids, beginning with first round games on Thursday.  The pairings won't be finalized until the Monday games are played, but a couple of games are set.  The first game of the day, at 10:30 a.m., will feature Frazee (#5) and Breckenridge (#4).  The 3:30 game is between New York Mills (#6) against D-G-F (#3).  Hawley and Pelican Rapids were both 12-2, sharing first place in the Minnesota Lakes Conference, but Hawley holds the tie breaker over the Orange Sox and is the number one seed in the sub-district.  That means they will face Barnesville at 1:00 p.m. with the host Pelican Rapids team playing Parkers Prairie at six o' clock.
 
Hannah Draxten, who will be a junior at Fergus Falls High School this coming school year, suffered a broken fibula and sprained ankle while playing for the North Tartan 16-17 year old girls basketball team.  The injury occurred with two minutes remaining in the championship game of the Nike End of Trail Tournament in Portland, Oregon on Sunday, July 9.  The team went 7-1 at the AAU Nationals in Orlando, Florida this past weekend and will have their last scheduled event of the summer in Minneapolis July 28-30.  Draxten had received a cut above her right eye, which required about ten stitches, in the semifinal game the day before.  Hannah is recuperating at home before beginning her rehab.  She is expected to be ready well before the start of the high school basketball season.  The Tartan team is coached by Tartan High School Head Coach Bill Larson.  They have a very impressive record of 40 wins and 5 losses against some top notch competition from all around the country.  Janessa Wolf from Park Rapids Area High School, who will be a senior for the Panthers this coming year, is also a member of the team.
 
Tom Hintgen, who wrote the book "Baglien's Partisans", which chronicled the 1957 Fergus Falls High School boys basketball season, informs us that the center on that state tournament team, Jon Rosengren, died July 13 at his home in Edina following a lengthy illness.  Rosengren was 67 years old.
 
"That '57 team is considered by many to be the best Fergus High basketball team in school history," Hintgen said.  "Rosengren, forward Chuck Weiss and guard Curt Reinan formed the nucleus that resulted in Fergus Falls compiling a record of 27-1.  The only loss of the season came at the hands of Minneapolis Roosevelt in the state tournametn semi-final game.  The other starters for the Otters in 1957 were forward Don Walseth and guard Ed Ohman.  Fergus Falls, coached by Duane Baglien, posted a 20-5 record the previous year, in 1956, and lost to Glenwood by three points in the region finals."
 
Rosengren scored 382 points in 1956-57, second to teammate Reinan who led Fergus with 462 points that season.
 
Hintgen, now writing for the Fergus Falls Daily Journal, talked to Baglien who said, "The 1956-67 team was a close-knit squad, very dedicated and hard working.  It didn't make any difference to them who scored the points.  Winning was the most important goal."
 
The Minnesota State Open will be held Friday, July 21 through Sunday, July 23 at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids.  156 golfers will compete in the event, all of whom qualified at various qualifying events around the state.  Area golfers participating include Adam Hanson of Red Rock Golf Course near Elbow Lake, John Ouren from Pebble Lake Golf Course in Fergus Falls, and Kane Hanson from the Detroit Country Club in Detroit Lakes.  Hanson finished third in the event a year ago, three strokes behind the winner, Jered Gusso of The Wilds Golf Course.
 
At the 2006 Westfield Junior Minnesota PGA Championship at Minneapolis Golf Course June 27 and 28, Ryan Peterson of Eagan won the boys 16-18 division with a six-under par 138.  Alexandria's Benjamin Vangsness was fifth with a 146, Perham's Taylor Cavanagh wound up tied for tenth with a 148 and Mike Brodsho of Detroit Lakes was tied for twelfth with a 149.  In the girls 16-18 division, Danelle Olson of DL was tenth with a 174.  Hillary Gerster of Andover won the girls event with a 148.
 
Jean Roise was the Overall Low Gross Champion at the 2006 Ladies Invitational at Pebble Lake Golf Club in Fergus Fall on Thursday.  Roise shot a 72, placing first in the championship flight with the low gross score.  First Place in the net score division went to DeAnna Hanson with a 69.  Flight winners are listed below:
 
1st Flight
1st Place Gross - Ann Williams (85)
1st Place Net - Barb Thompson (70)
 
2nd Flight
1st Place Gross - Betty Royal (96)
1st Place Net - Virginia Prieb (76)
 
3rd Flight
1st Place Gross - Kolleen Roth (93)
1st Place Net - Janice Moliter (74)
 
4th Flight
1st Place Gross - Dot Freed (103)
1st Place Net - Betty Johnson (71)
 
5th Flight
1st Place Gross - Karen Saunders (103)
1st Place Net - Phyliss Bausch (68)
 
The winner of the straightest drive contest was Phyllis Bausch.  Longest Drives went to Carole Westby (4th hole), Barb Nagle (5th hole) and Kolleen Roth (6th hole).  Closest to the Pin winners were Barb Thompson (8th hole) and Phyllis Hullett (15th hole).  Hullett also made the longest putt on the ninth hole, while Vi Estenson won the longest putt competition on the eighteenth hole.
 
Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, July 9, 2006
Goltz Goes 8 Shutout Innings to go to 4-0
Brandon Goltz improved his season record to 4-0 when he pitched eight shutout innings for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Sunday in their 6-0 win over Winnipeg.  The game was played, in front of 3,339 at Newman Outdoor Field and game the RedHawks a 32-16 record in the first half of the Northern League season.

The final five innings of the game were played with no runs scored but the fans were treating to a delightful pitching outing by Goltz who combined with Brian Hewitt to throw Fargo-Moorheadís fourth shutout of
the season. In 8.0 innings of work, the former Fergus Falls Otter and Fergus Falls Spartan gave up just three hits and struck out three batters. The outing tied his career long and saw his earned run average drop to 2.47.
 
Adam Hanson from Red Rock Golf Course near Elbow Lake shot a 73 and Fergus Falls golfer John Ouren a 74 on Friday at Pebble Lake Golf Course as both were among five qualifiers for the Minnesota State Open at Bunker Hills Golf Course July 21-23.  Ouren won a sudden death playoff with Andy Jacobson of Island Pine Golf Course and Fergus Falls High School golfer Mike Tuel.  Ouren recorded a 4, Jacobson a 5 and Tuel a 6 on the first playoff hole. 
 
Will Harris of Alexandria led the qualifiers with a 72, while Pat Beste of Sauk Centre finished with a 73.
 
Spartan football coach Lloyd Danzeisen is excited about the hiring of former Spartan Ron Williams as his Assistant Coach.  Danzeisen told www.craigolsonsports.com that Williams will be the Offensive Coordinator, with Lloyd moving to the defensive side of the ball.  If that changes the Spartan offensive philosophy of a wide open passing game is yet to be seen.
 
"First of all, we hired a coach of quality and experience who is a very strong recruiter," stated Danzeisen.  "Secondly, he is an alumni and that's a huge plus.  He has a real passion for the school and for the game of football.  He'll be a great addition to our staff."
 
Danzeisen is looking for more assistant coaches for his staff.  Steve King, his longtime Defensive Coordinator, accepted the head coaching job at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids and Danzeisen said that with the exception of volunteer assistant and Spartan Hall of Famer Dave Monson, none of his assistants from last year will be returning.  Damon Hessig will serve as a student assistant, working with the defensive backs. 
 
Fourteen freshman are expected to return with four or five starters on each side of the ball slated to come back, although it's never a sure thing until they actually appear at camp.  The first day of practice is set for Thursday, August 10th.
 
Hillcrest boys soccer coach Rod Jensen, a National Speaker and Seminar Leader, will be presenting a Family Health Night on Thursday, July 20th at 7:00 p.m. at the Fergus Falls Public Library.  Jensen, a Professional Engineer, is passionate about health and fitness ... for the athletes he coaches, as well as himself.    Rod is a member of Fit 4 Excellence, an organization dedicated to promoting holistic health in schools, churches, and communities through education.  He will share tried and proven methods to help you get on the road to optimum health.  For more information contact Vicki Jensen at 218-739-4706.
 


 
Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, July 5, 2006
Hockey, Football and of course, Baseball
The NHL Entry Draft, Football hirings and preparations, summer races, possible MSHSL rules changes, and of course the continuation of the major league baseball season, which has gained interest in Minnesota due to the recent surge of the Twins.  There's a lot going on and it's time to get you up to date!
 
Coach Richard Risbrudt has announced that the Fergus Falls Otters football team will hold seven football sessions in July for interested football players entering grades 9 thru 12. Sessions will be at the high school levee and will run every Tuesday and Thursday in July. These sessions will go 9:00 am to 10:30 am. During this time the basic fundamentals and techniques of football will be reviewed; passing, receiving, tackling, blocking, ball handling, special teams play and learning the Otter offensive and defensive schemes. All players interested in participating in football this fall are invited to attend. There is no cost for these sessions and will be run by the Otter football coaches.
 
Dan Prischmann, coordinator of the Fergus Falls Area Youth Football Association, would like us to remind parents of football players entering third through sixth grades this fall, that it's not too late to register for the program.  You can log on to their website at www.ffareafootball.org to register, or call Dan at 739-2064.
 
Ron Williams has accepted the position of Assistant Football Coach at MSCTC-Fergus Falls, replacing Steve King who left to take the head coaching job at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids.  Ron has been a high school coach at a Yuma, Arizona school for several years and is an alum of Fergus Falls Community College.  He was a member of the Spartan football team in the mid-1980's.
 
The NHL Entry Draft was held at the end of June and former Fergus Falls resident Tysen Dowzak was not drafted.  Dowzak had been projected as a top 150-player prospect by several scouting services, however, a late season knee injury may have been the reason he was undrafted.  Dowzak, playing for the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, hurt his knee on February 14 and missed about eight weeks of games.  He returned to play in the Rockets quarterfinal series against the Everett Silvertips, but struggled with the mobility he had exhibited during the regular season.  Dowzak played 43 games for Kelowna, scoring one goal and assisting on three others.  He had 68 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating.  He was plus-4 in eight playoff games, with 16 penalty minutes and no points.  Dowzak didn't play high school hockey in Fergus Falls, deciding to attend Shattuck-St. Mary's, which features a high profile hockey program.
 
Some area high school players were drafted, including defenseman Carl Sneep from Brainerd, chosen 32nd overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins, left wing Michael Forney of Thief River Falls, who was the 80th overall pick by Atlanta, and Warroad forward Aaron Marvin, chosen with the 89th pick of the draft by Calgary.  Jonathan Toews, a teammate of Dowzak's at Shattuck-St. Mary's, who played for the University of North Dakota last season, was chosen third overall by the Chicago BlackHawks.  Another teammate of Dowzak's at Shattuck-St. Mary's, Tyler Ruegsegger from Denver, Colorado, went to Toronto in the sixth round with the 166th pick.
 
What a great stretch for the Minnesota Twins. An eleven game winning streak, a 16-2 inter-league record, the best of any team in any one season, and all of a sudden the Twins are ten games over .500. They are still nine games behind Detroit, the team with the best record in baseball, and 7 Ĺ behind second place Chicago, but look for that to change. One of those teams will definitely be coming back to the pack and I think it will be the White Sox. Iíve said it before and Iím sure Iíll say it many more times, as hard as it is to win a title in any sport at any level, it is even harder to repeat the following year.
 
One of the great things about this season is that for the first time in several years, since the Puckett days, the Twins have some players among the league leaders in a number of offensive categories. Theyíve had leaders in pitching stats with Santana, Nathan, Radke in recent years, but now we see Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau making an offensive impact that has placed them among the best in the American League. Mauer leads the league in hitting (.391 at this writing), is up among the leaders in hits and on-base percentage. Morneau is second in RBI, among the top five in homers, and is just shy of the .300 mark.
 
As far as the pitching goes, Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano are two of the top pitchers in the league. There are no hitters in the game who relish facing that duo! Brad Radke is pitching much better than he was in April and May, Carlos Silva has been better, although still a bit shaky, and Boof Bonser is capable of throwing some solid innings. He didnít pitch well in KC on Tuesday, but he is still very young and has the stuff that will make him a consistent winner for many years in the big leagues.  The bullpen is simply the best in baseball.
 
Iím hoping for a good road trip heading into the All-Star Break and a successful eight game homestand against Cleveland and Tampa Bay to start the second half. Then, itís on to some head-to-head competition with the Tigers and Chisox. Bring it on! Go Twins! Get ready for a great pennant race in the AL Central and some bonus baseball in October for Twins fans!
 
Justin Arneson hadn't played in a week but made the most of his latest opportunity with the Fort Myers Miracle, the Minnesota Twins Advanced Class A team in the Florida State League.  Arneson, playing right field for the Miracle on the 4th of July, had a pair of singles in four at bats, scored a run and doubled up a base runner with a throw to first base after catching a ball.  Arne is hitting .203 in 40 games, appearing in just less than half of the 82 games played by the Miracle so far this season.  A glut of young outfielders has meant less playing time for the 2000 Fergus Falls High School and 2002 Fergus Falls Community College graduate.  He has 24 hits in 118 at bats, with 5 doubles, two triples, ten runs batted in and ten runs scored.  Arneson has stolen four bases in six attempts and has walked ten times while striking out thirty times.  He has made four errors in the field and has played primarily the corner outfield spots, along with a few games at second base.
 
Former Spartan and Alexandria Cardinal baseball player Caleb Curry, is swinging a hot bat for the Alexandria Beetles in the Northwoods League.  Curry is hitting .351 with 39 hits in 111 at bats, including 4 doubles.  Curry has driven in ten runs and scored nineteen times.  He also has ten steals in fifteen attempts.
 
A benefit supper/silent auction appreciating the life of Ginny Zimmerman will be held on Monday, July 10, 2006, from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fergus Falls. Ginny was the Bethlehem Lutheran Church secretary for 19 years. She died June 7, 2006 after a struggle with cancer. All proceeds from the supper and silent auction will be used to help the family with medical and other expenses incurred during her illness. All food has been donated, so 100 percent of proceeds will go to the family. The cost for the scalloped potatoes and ham meal is $5.00. Supplemental funds are being provided by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
 
Ginny and her husband, Del Zimmerman, have always been strong supporters of Fergus Falls High School sports and took leadership roles in various booster clubs during the years their twin boys Eric and Ehren were members of the Otter football, hockey and baseball teams.  Ehren is currently the Activities Director and Head Girls Basketball Coach at Rothsay High School and Eric is with Frito-Lay.
 
Funds will also be raised through a silent auction that includes many exciting items. The list of fund-raising items includes: FM Redhawks tickets, box seats for a Dixie Chicks concert and Bison football game, Twins memorabilia, Wild tickets and lodging, Timberwolves tickets and lodging and Thumper Pond golf and lodging. Many more items available For more information, call the church office at 736-5614 or Julie Nelson at 739-6158
 
The annual Otter Tail Lake Chase was held on Saturday with 177 runners competing in the 8K and another 83 participants in the 5K walk. 
 
Greg Liebl of Fargo was the overall winner of the 8K with a time of 26.09 and former Fergus Falls High School cross country runner Eric Loeffler was second with a time of 26.56.  Anthony Reinhardt of Fergus Falls was third (27.47), followed by Brandon Bertram of Fargo (28.06) and Casey Miller of Anchorage, Alaska (27.17). 
 
Kierann Smith of Wahpeton won the female division of the 8K with a time of 32.08, with former Hillcrest runner Kateryna Zhdanovych taking second with a time of 32.46.  Fergus Falls High School graduate Kayla LaPorte was third (35.00), followed by Heather Smith of Audubon (36.01) and Karen Nyberg from Texas (36.08).
 
The Minnesota State High School League has appointed an ad hoc committee made up of parents, coaches and administrators to study the issue of abuse of the state's open enrollment rules.  Several complaints have been filed since open enrollment was introduced in 1987 by then Governor Rudy Perpich.  It was designed as a way for students seeking a better education to leave one school for another, regardless of where they lived.  Several critics have claimed that students have abused the open enrollment rules, using them primarily for moving to stronger athletic teams, and that coaches in some school districts have abused the rule to better their programs.
 
The committee is expected to recommend restricting students' ability to transfer between schools without losing any athletic eligibility.  Wisconsin recently voted to enact stricter transfer rules in their state.  The rule which is currently in place allows for no loss of eligibility the first time a Minnesota student-athlete changes schools, through their junior year, providing it is done at the start of the school year. 
 
Your chance to support Spartan Men's Basketball and have a great time doing it is fast approaching.  The Third Annual Retz Open Golf Tournament is scheduled for Sunday, August 27 at Pebble Lake Golf Course in Fergus Falls.  This is an 18 hole scramble event with scratch and handicap champions, open to former players, boosters, faculty, staff, the general public ... everybody is welcome!  Tee time is set for 12:00 noon.
 
"Skill is not a prerequisite to having fun, as we certainly have proven in the past," stated former Head Basketball Coach Dave Retzlaff.  "Last year we had over eighty golfer take part and we can handle a maximum of about 128.  We have great doorprizes and a wonderful dinner and program event following the golf action."
 
The entry fee is $75.00 per golfer with an entry deadline of Wednesday, August 23rd.  The deadline for reserving a golf cart is 12:00 noon Sunday, August 13th.  Golfers must call Pebble Lake Pro Shop at 736-7404 before that time to reserve their cart.
 
To enter the tournament contact Coach Retzlaff with your name, phone number, e-mail address, list of any other players on your team and estimated handicap of each golfer on your team.  E-mail to [email protected] or mail to Retz Open Golf, c/o Coach Retz, MSCTC-Fergus Falls, 1414 College Way, Fergus Falls, MN 56537.
 
"Hope you can join us for this fun, free swinging, story telling, re-acquainting golfing event," added Coach Retzlaff.  "It was wonderful seeing and visiting with so many people last year and I am really looking forward to our third annual event!"
 
 
 
Posted By Craig Olson
Lake Region Healthcare
Cline Jensen P.A.
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