Midgets finish runners-up to Eagles
The Estherville Lincoln Central baseball team made it to the championship game at its tournament with a win over Laurens-Marathon.
But in a rematch with North Sentral Kossuth, a couple early defensive errors plus leaving a few baserunners stranded early in the game hurt the Midgets chances.
The visiting Eagles went on to an 8-4 victory to win the ELC Tournament
ELC (13-9) opened the day with a 14-6 victory over Laurens-Marathon with NSK blanking Newell-Fonda 12-0 in five innings in the two first-round games.
In the consolation game, Laurens-Marathon rallied to tie the game at 9-9 with four runs in the sixth and then scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th, for a 10-9 win.
In game one, ELC scored the first two runs when Chance Moore and Justin Doyle were both hit by pitches. Marcus Christensen then came up with a two-RBI double to put ELC on top.
ELC led 6-1 entering the fifth when the Chargers suddenly plated four runs to cut the deficit to one.
However, ELC scored seven insurance runs in the sixth with the help of five extra-base hits. Keith Fandel, Alex Arends and Matt Gruhlke had consecutive doubles, Scott Schmidt had a triple and Doyle had a two-RBI double in the inning.
Gruhlke was 3-4 with a triple and a double, Arends was 3-5 with a double, Fandel was 2-4 with a double and Doyle was 1-3 with a double.
“We came up with the timely hits in this game and Joel (Kazmerzak) kept them off the bases with not a lot walks,” said ELC coach Chuck Fandel.
Kazmerzak earned the win as he gave up 13 hits, struck out five batters and walked one in seven innings of work.
The Midgets started poorly in the second inning with two errors in the first inning helping NSK to a 3-0 lead.
Offensively, ELC got runners to second and third base in the first inning and also had runners in scoring position in the second.
Meanwhile, the Eagles built an 8-1 lead before ELC earned a couple walks with followed by consecutive singles by Arends, Gruhlke and Schmidt before NSK starter Aaron Siefken struck out the final two batters.
For ELC, Arends was 2-3 and Gruhlke was 2-4 with a double and an two RBIs.
NSK was led by Shawn McGuire, who was 3-4 and Chris Rock was 2-3.
Laurens-Marathon 001 040 1 – 6 13 76
ELC 023 207 x – 14 – 10 3
L-M Sernett (LP). ELC – Kazmerzak and Doyle.
ELC 000 010 3 – 4 6 4
NSK 310 112 x – 8 9 2
ELC – Hunt (LP) and Doyle. NSK – Siefken (WP).