ELC defense falters in sixth
Estherville Lincoln Central pitchers issued nine walks and the Midget defense committed five errors which tells the tale of the 14-1 loss to LeMars on Friday.
ELC’s bats also couldn’t quite come up with the necessary hits although the Midgets had plenty of base runners.
The game didn’t get too far out of hand until the top of the sixth inning.
Holding a 3-0 lead, Lemars took advantage of an ELC error followed by a single, a sacrifice bunt and a two-run double. Two walks and a single reloaded the bases before coach Chuck Fandel pulled starter Matt Gruhlke.
However, the Bulldogs plated two more runs to take an 8-0 lead.
The Midgets lone run came in the bottom of the inning as Alex Arends led off with a single and Matt Gruhlke reached an error. A single by Marcus Stangl loaded the bases with Arends scoring on a groundout by Scott Schmidt.
ELC loaded the bases again when Cody Prather was hit by a pitch, but the Midgets couldn’t muster the hit to start a rally.
In the top of the seventh, the Bulldogs took advantage of four walks combined with three hits and an ELC error to plate six more runs.
The Midgets’ defensive highlight came in the top of the fifth inning. After the first batter reached on an error, Gruhlke fielded a sharp grounder and started the 1-6-3 double play
At the plate, Keith Fandel and Arends both went 2-4. Schmidt was 1-3 with an RBI, Jeremy Hunt was 1-3 with a double and Stangl was 1-4.
Gruhlke took the loss. He struck out two batters, walked three and gave up six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Joel Kazmerzak pitched two-thirds of an inning. He struck out one batter and gave up one walk and one hit. Hunt gave up four walks and three hits in one inning of work.
The Midgets (7-5, 2-3) travels to the Carroll Tournament Saturday and Sunday.
LeMars 001 115 6 – 14 10 1
ELC 000 001 0 – 1 7 5
LeMars – Hasselquist (WP). ELC – Gruhlke (LP) and Doyle. 2B – Hunt.