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Hits scarce as ELC loses pitchers’ duel to Warriors, 1-0

By Staff | May 31, 2015

ELC’s defense came up with two doubles plays during a 1-0 loss to Sioux Center on Thursday including this 4-6-3 play from second baseman Zach Snyder to shortstop Evan Olesen to first baseman Bryce Mann. Photo by David Swartz

Estherville Lincoln Central’s Dan Christensen pitched well enough to win against Sioux Center on Thursday. But the Midget offense was unable to come up with any runs as they lost their season opener 1-0 to the visiting Warriors.

“Dan pitched well and gave us a chance to win,” said ELC coach Lee Evans. “We need to give him some run support. We also didn’t run the bases well and we need to learn from our mistakes.

“The kids battled and many had their first varsity start,” said Evans. “I liked how they approached the game, we just didn’t get the job done.”

The game’s lone run was scored in the first inning when Christian Rozeboom drew a one-out walk. The courtesy runner stole second and an errant throw from ELC catcher Isaac Johnson allowed him to go to third. A wild pitch by Christensen allowed the run to score.

ELC’s best chance to score came in the fourth inning as Zach Humble drew a leadoff walk. Evan Olesen also drew a walk as Humble went to steal second on ball four. Unaware of the count, the Sioux Center catcher tried to throw out Humble and the ball went into the outfield allowing the ELC senior to go to third. With Christensen at the plate, Olesen stole second. But Christensen popped up to second base. Lucas Gardner than hit a line drive, but it went right into the Sioux Center shortstop’s glove. Humble was caught leaning off third as he was doubled up for the third out.

ELC didn’t have another base runner until Olesen drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. He stole second. With one out, Gardner again hit a line drive-this time to the second baseman and Olesen was doubled up to end the game.

ELC played some good defense of its own.

After an error to start the third inning followed by a one-out walk, Sioux Center had runners on first and second. A hard hit ball glanced off Christensen’s glove. It had enough zip still on it for second baseman Zach Snyder to snatch it up, toss to shortstop Olesen for the force and second, who completed the double play with a throw to first baseman Bryce Mann.

In the fifth inning, Christensen hit the leadoff batter, but then caught the attempted sacrifice bunt by the Warriors’ No. 9 batter and doubled up the runner at first. A grounder to Snyder ended the inning.

ELC started the seventh inning with an error followed by a stolen base. But Christensen struck out the next two batters and threw out the final batter.

He finished the night with eight strikeouts, three walks and one hit batter.

Humble and Alex Miller had ELC’s only hits of the night as they both went 1-2.

The ELC Junior Varsity picked up its first win of the season with a 10-0 victory over Sioux Center on Thursday.

Hayden Dowding earned the win as he struck out six batters, hit two and gave up two hits. ELC had four hits as Blake Miller and Noah Heifner each went 1-1 and Bennett Loock and Trevor Friesner each was 1-3.