Young ELC team starts on right note
With plenty of new faces to the varsity roster, the Estherville Lincoln Central baseball team still didn’t appear to lose a step from a year ago.
The Midgets opened the 2008 season with a comeback 7-5 victory over Bishop Garrigan in a game one of a doubleheader and then earned the sweep with a 5-2 victory in the second contest.
“It’s a real plus for this young team to be able to come from behind and win,” said ELC coach Chuck Fandel. “In the fifth inning, we took advantage of a couple walks and timely hitting.”
The Midgets jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning which included an two-RBI single by Scott Schmidt.
The Golden Bears strung together a couple hits in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to one at 3-2 and then pounded starter Matt Gruhlke in the fifth for three more runs to take a 5-2 lead.
ELC came right back though with a little patience at the plate and pushed four runs across the plate to retake the lead.
Gruhlke earned the win, going the distance, as he gave up 11 hits and three walks while striking out eight batters.
At the plate, Alex Arends was 2-3 with an RBI single and a double. Marcus Stangl was 2-3 with a double, Marcus Christensen was 1-2 with an RBI and Schmidt was 1-2 with three RBIs, which included a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.
ELC starter Keith Fandel and the Midget defense held Garrigan scoreless for five innings in game two while building a 5-0 lead.
That included a fourth inning in which Stangl, Fandel and Arends hit consecutive doubles to plate three runs.
Fandel was 1-2 with an RBI and a double, Arends was 1-3 with an RBI and a double, Stangl was 1-3, Schmidt was 1-2 and Christensen was 1-1 with an RBI and a double.
Fandel earned the victory as he struck out seven batters while allowing five hits and walking four.
ELC (2-0) returns to action tonight at Bancroft in a doubleheader against North Sentral Kossuth.
Garrigan 000 230 – 5 11 1
ELC 030 04x – 7 7 2
Garrigan – Capesious (LP) and n/a. ELC – Gruhlke (WP) and Doyle.
ELC 020 300 – 5 5 0
Garrigan 000 002 – 2 5 1
ELC – Fandel (WP) and Doyle. Garrigan – Poeppe (LP) and n/a.