Class 3A State Baseball
DES MOINES – Estherville Lincoln Central gave a good effort against Harlan, but early struggles by starter Matt Gruhlke and ELC’s inability to come up with the hits proved to be the Midgets’ demise.
The Midgets struck out 13 times to Harlan starter Tyler Lefeder and only came up with three hits in the 6-0 loss.
Harlan scored its first run when the Cyclones had a runner on third and Gruhlke balked.
In the third inning, Harlan loaded the bases with no outs on two walks on their first single.
A run scored when Gruhlke hit Eric Kroghan.
ELC got out of the inning with no further damage as Gruhlke responded with his fifth, sixth and seventh strikeouts.
Harlan scored twice more as Gruhlke again gave up a pair of walks in the fifth inning and loaded the bases with a single.
ELC got the second out on an infield pop up.
However Harlan pitcher Tyler Lefeder helped his cause with a two-run single to right field as the Cyclones took a 4-0 lead.
ELC had a good chance to score in the bottom of the fifth inning, loading the bases.
Scott Schmidt reached on an error, but was out on the force out as Cody Prahter reached on a fielder’s choice.
Jeremy Hunt struck out, but Chance Moore drew walk and No. 9 batter Justin Doyle came up with a base hit to left field.
However, ELC’s threat ended when Keith Fandel popped out to right field.