WEST BEND - After a 12-2 start, Estherville Lincoln Central has struggled down the stretch. The Midgets ended the regular season with a 6-4 loss to West Bend-Mallard on Tuesday to finish with a 14-9 record.
ELC jumped out to a 2-1 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning, but the Wolverines answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning and two more in the third inning to lead 6-2.
ELC managed just two more runs in the top of the fifth inning.
"We definitely left some gold opportunities go by," said ELC coach Lee Evans. "We had the bases loaded two or three times. The one time, we had bases loaded with one out. Then with two strikeouts, we didn't put any pressure on the defense."
Dan Christensen took the loss for ELC. In 5 1/3 innings, he gave up six runs (three earned) on six hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Tim Greving closed out the bottom of the sixth inning, giving up one hit and striking out one batter.
"Dan pitched really well-we just had some defensive trouble in the one inning," said Evans. "Tim also did a nice job in relief. West Bend-Mallard is a decent team and they found a way to win.
At the plate, ELC mustered seen hits with Zach Humble going 2-3 and scoring twice. Trey Jacobson was 1-4 and scored twice. Corey Reeves was 1-4 with two RBIs while Christensen was 1-2 with an RBI. Also Austin Egeland and Carsten Bosch each went 1-4.
"We hit the ball all right again," said Evans. "Our approach to the plate is better."