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Indians make last stand

By Staff | Jul 20, 2010

The Spirit Lake baseball team is in disbelief after falling to Sheldon in the Class 2A District Final by a score of 8-5 in 10 innings. EDN photo by Matt Heinrichs

SPIRIT LAKE – The powerful storms that swept through the Lakes area on Saturday night postponed the Class 2A District Final between Spirit Lake and Sheldon until Monday where another powerful force ended the Indians’ season for good.

The Orab’s bats came alive in the top half of the 10th inning on Monday as Sheldon launched a pair of home runs en route to a three-run inning that put the game out of reach for Spirit Lake, 8-5.

Before play was postponed on Saturday, the Indians were in the middle of a stirring comeback. After being down 5-1 midway through, Spirit Lake slowly scraped its way back into the ball game.

After getting a run back in the third, solo shots by Casey Jones and Nik Erickson brough the Indians within one run, 5-4. Jones then drew a leadoff walk in the sixth inning and as he attempted to advance to third, the Sheldon catcher missed on his throw down, allowing Jones to score the tying run.

After holding Sheldon scoreless in the top of the seventh, the game was finally called with Indian freshman Paul Brown at bat with an 0-2 count and nobody on, halting the Indians’ comeback.

Nik Erickson (21) slides in safe at second base after an errant pickoff move. EDN photo by Matt Heinrichs

“That was disappointing,”?said Spirit Lake coach Jason Schneider. “I really wanted to get the game in because there was no doubt that we were rolling. The guys had lots of confidence and they were struggling.”

After a day off, the two teams picked up where they left off, but Sheldon’s star pitcher Taylor Zeutenhorst was no longer struggling.

The University of Iowa recruit and Philadelphia Phillies draft pick struck out the final two Indian batters to end the threat and send the game into extra innings.

Things looked dicey for the Indians in the top half of the eighth after Orab sophomore Codie Hatting reached base on a single before advancing to second on a passed ball with no outs.

Following yet another passed ball, Hatting tried to advance his position but was quickly gunned down by Indian catcher Cody Poock.

Pitcher Mitch Peschon then struck out the next batter and fielded a grounder to end the inning.

The Indians then got a runner into scoring position as Erickson earned a walk before advancing to second. Unfortunately the Indians couldn’t capitalize as another strikeout by Zeutenhorst ended the inning.

Brown came in in relief of Peschon in the ninth and god two quick outs through the heart of the Orab lineup, but after the Indians failed to plate a run in the 10th, the Orabs went on attack. A solo shot by Cole Kleinwolterink put the Orabs up one run before a two-run shot by Adam Nilles put Sheldon up 8-5.

Zeutenhorst then struck out the side in order to preserve the Orab victory.

The Indians end their season with an overall record of 15-12, falling in the district final for the second year in a row.

Sheldon advances to the substate round with an overall record of 23-5.