Baseball is back.
All across the state, baseball was being played as the Minnesota Baseball Association gave the go-ahead for teams to start playing exhibition games as long as they received approval to use their fields.
Teams took advantage of that directive and amateur baseball was being played again. Last week, Gov. Tim Walz gave the green light to start playing games again.
Official and league games will start up this week.
“The guys are happy to be playing baseball,” Shakopee Indians manager Gary Schleper said. “When baseball was taken away from us, we realized how lucky we were to have had baseball in the first place. Guys aren’t taking this for granted. We have high school and college kids who lost their spring season, and a number of veterans who have a limited number of years left to play. Lots of happy faces now.”
As for the Indians, they played three exhibition games this past week going 2-0-1 in those games.
They opened the season with two wins against Hampton on June 20.
On Tuesday night, they traveled to Litchfield and left with a 6-6 tie after 10 innings of baseball was played.
In the game against Litchfield, Shakopee jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double by Steven Boldt which scored Brandon Olson. Boldt would make it 2-0 as he scored on a wild pitch.
Litchfield answered right back with three runs in the bottom of the first for a 3-2 lead.
The Indians tied it up in the third inning when Olson drove in John Hellkamp with a one-out double.
In the fourth, Shakopee grabbed a 5-3 lead as Aaron Olson scored on an RBI single by Patrick Rients and Rients would score on a Hellkamp double.
Litchfield cut the lead to 5-4 with a home run in the fifth inning but Shakopee pushed the lead back up to two runs in the seventh inning when Boldt drove in Kyle Ryan with a two-out single.
Litchfield cut to 6-5 in the seventh and sent the game into extra innings when they scored on a two-out wild pitch to tie the game at 6-6.
The two teams played one more inning before they called the game as a 6-6 tie.
Shakopee opened the season with a couple close wins against the Hampton Cardinals last Saturday in Hampton.
They won 1-0 and 2-1 in the two seven-inning games.
In the first pitchers dual of the day, Shakopee scored the only run of the game in the last inning to win 1-0.
Jimmy Bombach started the seventh-inning rally with a one-out single. He moved to second when Aaron Olson was walked and scored on Dominick Schleper’s RBI single.
Indians pitcher Alex Schneider put the Cardinals down 1-2-3 in the seventh inning to preserve the 1-0 win.
Schneider pitched four innings of shutout ball giving up just two hits.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Shakopee again scored in the last inning to get the victory.
The Indians trailed 1-0 heading to the bottom of the seventh inning when they rallied for a 2-1 win.
The rally started when Tom Koehen was hit by a pitch and Jack Schleper walked to put runners on first and second with nobody out.
Hellkamp loaded the bases with a single and Ryan ended the game with a single to score Koehen and Schleper for the 2-1 win.
Zach Henderson picked up the win on the mound as he pitched two scoreless innings to end the game.
Josh Meyer started the game on the mound for the Indians and pitched three scoreless innings giving up four hits.
The regular season will start up this weekend with the Indians hosting three games this weekend at Schleper Field.
They will play Delano on Friday night and come back on Saturday to play a doubleheader against Cold Spring Springers at noon and the Northfield Knights at 5 p.m. Cold Spring and Northfield will play at 2:30 p.m.
The Indians will not be charging admission to any games this season until the postseason and fans will need to fill out a self check form upon entering.
Concession stand will be open but just selling beverages and pre-packaged candy at this time.