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Class 2A District Baseball

Midgets eke out 4-3 win over Poky

July 15, 2018
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

On a squad of talented juniors and seniors, Estherville Lincoln Central coach Lee Evans called on a freshman in the bottom of the sixth inning of Saturday's Class 2A District Final.

Trailing 3-2 with two outs and runners on second and third, Will Larson stepped to the plate and delivered a bloop single between shortstop and left field to bring home Blake Miller and Bennett Loock for a 4-3 ELC lead.

"I have tons of confidence in Will," said Evans. "He has a good eye for the zone and swings at strikes."

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In the top of the seventh and facing the top of the Pocahontas Area order, ELC's Evan Olesen and the Midget defense shut down the Indians. Shea Ruffridge flew out to left field, Christian Davidson grounded out to shortstop Trey Jacobson, who had started the night on the mound. Jace Davidson hit a one-out single, but was out on the force at second as Chase Boeve hit a grounder to the shortstop.

ELC (24-3) will play Forest City (17-9) in the Substate 2 game at 5 p.m., Tuesday in Algona.

The beginning of Saturday's game was a classic pitchers' duel between Jacobson and Christian Davidson.

ELC had the first chance to score when Jacobson led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk and Jacob Bosch hit a high chopper down the third-base line. But three straight pop-ups ended the ELC threat. Those three pop-ups started a string of eight straight pop-ups that were easy outs for Pocahontas Area.

However, ELC scored first when Olesen was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning. He stole second base and Lucas Gardner singled to bring home the first run of the game. Blake Miller followed with a double to deep left field, as Gardner scored from first base. That was all ELC would get that inning, but Pocahontas Area answered immediately.

No. 9 batter Matt Hoffmeyer hit a one-out single and Jacobson then gave up walks to Ruffridge and Christian Davidson to load the bases.

That's when Olesen came in to relieve Jacobson on the mound.

However, the Indians' Jace Davidson came up with a single down the left-field line that scored two runs. ELC then got Boeve to pop up in foul territory to third baseman Miller. ELC got out of the inning when catcher Jacob Bosch picked off Christian Davidson trying to steal third base.

Pocahontas Area would take the lead in the top of the sixth inning as No. 6 batter Braden Grebner hit a one-out single, went to second on a passed ball and scored on a two-out single by Cage Arends.

Olesen retired the side with his second strikeout of the night.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Gardner led off with a single, to left, but was caught stealing. Miller responded with his second hit, this time a single. Bennett Loock was then hit by a pitch. With runners at first and second Alec Heifner hit a ball to deep left field that allowed Miller to tag up and reach third base. While Loock had to stay a first on that play, a moment later he stole second to set up the winning scenario for Larson.

Jacobson pitched 4 1/3 innings, striking out seven batters while giving up three walks and four hits. Olesen pitched 2 2/3 innings striking out two batters, walking none and giving up four hits.

At the plate for ELC, Bosch, Gardner and Miller all were 2-3 while Larson was 1-1 and Jacobson was 1-3.



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