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ELC suffers tough week

By Staff | Jun 27, 2014

ELC senior Blake Gjerde dives back to first base on the Storm Lake pickoff attempt on Monday at Hess-Limberg Field in Estherville. Photo by David Swartz

The Estherville Lincoln Central Baseball Team suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season with Storm Lake defeating the Midgets 5-2 on Monday and LeMars edging past ELC 7-6 on Tuesday.

Hits scarce against Tornadoes

Against Storm Lake, the Midgets had plenty of baserunners between walks, hit batters and Tornado errors. But the hosts couldn’t come up with the hits need to drive in the runs as the visitors notched their second win of the season.

Storm Lake senior Charlie Robbins kept the Midgets off balance and forced several popups.

Meanwhile the Tornadoes found ways to scratch out runs against eighth-grade starter Evan Olesen. While the visitors’ biggest inning was two runs in the fourth, they had a 5-1 lead through 4 1/2 innings. Olesen took the loss giving up seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks.

ELC scratched out a run in the fourth inning as Corey Reeves reached on an error. Blake Gjerde came in to run for Reeves, stole second and then scored on a two-out double by Wycoff-the Midgets’ first hit of the night. Austin Egeland led off the fifth inning with a double. Pinch runner Cole Budach stole third base and scored on a single by Zach Humble. But after Carsten Bosch reached on an error, the bottom of ELC’s order went down in order.

“We didn’t put any pressure on their defense,” said ELC coach Lee Evans. “We’ve been fortunate to win games with just four hits-but we have to hit the ball to put the pressure on the other team.”

Riley Strenge pitched the final 2 1/3 innings and recorded six strikeouts and a walk.

ELC finished with five hits-one each by Strenge, Wycoff, Egeland, Humble and Billy Snyder.

Bulldogs come

up with key plays

On Tuesday, ELC had its chances against the Bulldogs.

LeMars scored a run in the first inning and ELC answered as Billy Snyder drew a walk, Austin Egeland and Zach Humble and Tim Greving were both hit by a pitch as Greving earned the RBI.

The Bulldogs scored two in the second and again ELC answered with two runs without recording a hit. Dan Christensen reached base on a dropped third strike and Riley Strenge drew a walk. With two outs, Snyder and Egeland both drew walks and Humble was hit by a pitch to tie the game at 3-3.

ELC took the lead with a pair of runs in the third inning. Carsten Bosch and Christensen both drew walks. With two outs, an error by the Bulldog shortstop on a hit by Alec Wycoff allowed two runs to score.

LeMars tied the game in the top of the fifth, but ELC took the lead with a run in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Corey Reeves beat out the throw on an infield hit. Pinch runner Cole Budach alertly took two bases on a passed ball and then scored on a single by Christensen.

But LeMars tied the game in the top of the sixth with the runner scoring on a sacrifice fly with the ball coming out of the glove of catcher Reeves on the tag after the throw from Strenge in shallow center field.

The Bulldogs scored the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh with the leadoff batter reaching on an error, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt and scoring on a single to right field.

ELC coach Lee Evans said he liked his team’s approach to the plate better than the previous night against Storm Lake.

“We just didn’t make a couple plays when we had to,” he said.