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BREAKING NEWS

Class 3A District Baseball: Midgets run down Tigers

By Staff | Jul 18, 2009

Estherville Lincoln Central’s Cody Prather chases down Spencer’s Alex Johnson during a rundown in Friday’s Class 3A District first-round game. The Midgets advanced with a 5-1 win over the Tigers. Find more photos at cu.esthervilledailynews.com. EDN photo by David Swartz

While Estherville Lincoln Central bats took a while to heat up, starting pitcher Keith Fandel and the Midget defense kept Spencer at bay until the runs started coming.

Friday’s Class 3A District first-round game was scoreless for four innings until an RBI single by Marcus Christensen opened the game in the top of the fifth.

ELC’s bats started coming with the timely hitting on the way to a 5-1 victory over the Tigers.

“We did some good things to move people around,” said ELC coach Chuck Fandel “We also made the defensive plays tonight -except for a couple miscues.”

The two teams had split their regular season matches. The Midgets won the Lakes Conference over Spencer, 11-0, using three home runs.

ELC pitcher Keith Fandel tags out Spencer’s Taylar Harman on the unassisted play. EDN photo by David Swartz

The Tigers stole a game at Hess-Limberg Field on June 19, rallying from a 3-2 deficit and winning 5-3 in eight innings.

Friday’s win sends the Midgets onto the next round against Storm Lake at Hess-Limberg Field on Monday. The Tornadoes advanced with a 22-7 victory over Algona.

ELC had the first opportunity to score as Christensen led off the game with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Scott Schmidt and to third when Keith Fandel grounded out to the pitcher. But Christensen was stranded there.

In the third inning, Justin Doyle hit a leadoff double, but two pop ups and a groundout ended the threat.

ELC threatened again in the fourth as Arends hit a one-out double followed by a single from Cody Prather. This time, a groundout and strikeout ended the inning.

ELC’s Jeremy Hunt lays down a sacrifice bunt to advance pinch runner Dan Jones to second base in the sixth inning against Spencer. EDN photo by David Swartz

The Tigers’ first chance to score came in the third inning when Tyler Greenough and Josh Bubke hit a pair of two-out singles that put runners at the corners.

But when Bubke was stranded between first and second, a rundown began which ended up with courtesy runner Alex Johnson getting tagged by Fandel between third base and home.

ELC scored when Joel Kazmerzak hit a one-out double in the fifth inning and came home on a single by Christensen. Fandel helped his cause with a one-out single as the Midgets led 2-0.

In the sixth inning, Prather reached on an error. Pinch runner Dan Jones moved to second on a sacrifice by Jeremy Hunt and scored on a triple by Chance Moore. Doyle followed with a single-a high chopper that bounced over the third baseman-to give ELC a 4-0 lead.

Spencer took advantage of an error in the bottom of the sixth with Greenough reaching second an overthrow to first base. A groundout advanced the runner to third and Matt Sterling singled to right to score the Tigers lone run.

Shortstop Alex Arends converted a double play to end the Tigers’ season.

ELC answered with another insurance run in the top of the seventh with a bloop single by Arends followed by a single up the middle by Prather and an infield single by Jeremy Hunt to load the bases.

With two outs, a hard hit ball by Doyle got past the Tiger third baseman to bring in one final run.

Fandel gave up a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh, but then struck out Zach Carlson and forced Alex Wether to hit into a double play.

Fandel struck out eight batters in the win while giving up just three hits and one walk.

Eight ELC batters had at least one hit.

Christensen, Arends, Prather, Doyle and Kazmerzak all were 2-4 while Hunt was 1-3 and Moore was 1-4.

ELC000 022 1 – 5 13 2

Spencer000 001 0 – 1 3 2

WP: Keith Fandel. LP: Tim Jusa