Midgets knock out Tornadoes
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Estherville Lincoln Central came up with some timely hitting to get ahead of Class 3A No. 7 Storm Lake.
ELC starter Keith Fandel and the Midget defense took care of the top of the Tornado batting lineup in order in the seventh to preserve a 4-2 victory.
“We got a couple big hits when we needed to,” said ELC coach Chuck Fandel. “Chance (Moore) put the ball in play and Jeremy (Hunt) came up with a big single.
Tied 2-2 heading into the sixth, Matt Gruhlke started with a one-out single and went to second when the center fielder committed a fielding error. Scott Schmidt singled to put Gruhlke at third and then Cody Prather laid down the bunt for the suicide squeeze to try to score the go-ahead run.
However, the Storm Lake defense made the tag on Gruhlke at home.
ELC still had runners at first and second when Moore hit a chopper to the second baseman, who mishandled the ball and then overthrew first base. That allowed Schmidt to score and sent Prather to third base. A single by Hunt brought in an insurance run, but ELC wouldn’t need it.
In the seventh, Fandel struck out the leadoff batter and Gruhlke caught a high pop up at first base for two quick outs. The final batter hit a slow grounder to the left side of the infield, but Prather, charging from third base, came up with the ball and throw in time.
Fandel earned the win as he struck out six batters and walked two while giving up four hits.
Three of those hits came in the third inning when the Tornadoes strung three together to score the first run.
However, Fandel came up with a strikeout and groundout to first to leave three Storm Lake players stranded on base.
After going down in order the first three innings, ELC’s offense started with a walk to Fandel in the bottom of the inning. Alex Arends then came up with an infield single that landed just over the pitcher’s head and in front of second base.
After a flyout, Schmidt hit the ball towards second. Storm Lake forced out Arends at second, but Fandel went to third and Prather came up with a single through the right side of the infield. An error on the right-fielder allowed both Fandel and Schmidt to score.
Storm Lake tied the game in the fifth inning when Fandel hit the second batter. With two outs, the Storm Lake cleanup batter hit an RBI-double to the left-field fence.
For ELC, Arends, Gruhlke, Schmidt, Prather and Hunt all were 1-3.
ELC (14-9, 6-4) plays at Sheldon on Wednesday.
Storm Lake 001010 0 – 2 4 3
ELC 000 202 x – 4 5 2
Storm Lake – Miller (LP). ELC – Fandel (WP) and Doyle.