Errors bite ELC in the fifth
CHEROKEE — For four 1/2 innings, Estherville Lincoln Central’s Matt Gruhlke and Cherokee’s Cory Ege fought to a standstill.
But suddenly the Midgets’ defense struggled in the fifth inning committing a few errors.
The Braves, rated No. 1 in Class 2A, took advantage and plated four runs and went on to win 5-1.
ELC got one back in the top of the sixth when Scott Schmidt singled, went to second when the pitcher overthrew first base on a pickoff play and scored when the right fielder’s throw in was off the mark.
Gruhlke took th loss despite striking out eight batters while giving up just one walk and four hits. Only two runs were earned.
“Matt threw a nice game,” said ELC coach Chuck Fandel. “We just need some run support earlier. In the fifth, we needed to take care of our fielding.”
The Braves Cory Ege struck out five.
At the plate, Schmidt was 2-3 while Chance Moore was 1-3 with a double.
ELC (4-2, 0-1) returns to action tonight when the Midgets host Spirit Lake.
In junior varsity action, ELC beat Cherokee 6-2.
Pitcher Joel Kazmerzak gave up just two hits in earning the victory.
ELC 000 001 0 – 1 3 3
Cherokee 000 041 x – 5 4 2
ELC – Gruhlke (LP) and Doyle. Cherokee – Ege (WP) and Jones.