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Class 2A State Baseball: Centerville 6, ELC 3 Midgets denied again

A disappointing end to a great season

July 25, 2018
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

Centerville scores three runs in seventh to send ELC home for second straight year

DES MOINES - Estherville Lincoln Central has had success in rematch games in the recent past. But in Monday's Class 2A State Quarterfinal, Centerville came up with the hits in the top of the seventh to break a 3-3 tie and advances to the semifinal with a 6-3 victory over the Midgets.

A loss wasn't what ELC was expecting.

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"Going into this we really wanted to get revenge on them from last year's game I think everyone was really motivated and pumped up for it," said ELC starting pitcher Evan Olesen, who pitched 6 1/3 innings in the loss.

"Every team is very, very good down here and the little things win or lose the game," said ELC coach Lee Evans. "It's very disappointing. We come down here looking to win three games and when you come up short it hurts-especially with as much time as these guys have put into it."

Last year, Centerville defeated ELC 3-1 in eight innings in the quarterfinals.

In that game, Olesen had a no-hitter heading into the bottom of the sixth inning before the Big Reds came up with some key hits.

On Monday, a one-out hit by the Big Reds in the first inning showed they came ready to play too.

While Centerville was unable to turn that first hit into a run, they also came up with a one-out hit in the second inning. Fortunately, ELC was able to turn a double play started by shortstop Trey Jacobson to second baseman Alec Heifner to first baseman Trevor Friesner.

ELC struck first in the bottom of the second inning. Olesen drew a leadoff walk. Izaak Sander came in to run for Olesen and moved to second on the sacrifice bunt by Lucas Gardner. A Blake Miller single to left field put runners at the corners. Sander scored when a pitch got past Centerville catcher Kolby Micetich. Bennett Loock drew a walk and ELC loaded the bases when Heifner reached on an error by the Big Reds' second baseman.

With two outs, leadoff batter Trey Jacobson hit a dribbler up the first base line that turned into an infield single to score Miller and give ELC a 2-0 lead.

With the bases still loaded, Jacob Bosch gave the ball a deep ride to right field, but the catch ended the inning.

Centerville went to work with two outs and a runner on first in the top of the third inning. Olesen gave up a walk to Brady Kauzlarich. McCain Oden then hit a ball to deep center that became a two-RBI triple to tie the game. A single by Tyson Balloma brought in another run and gave Centerville its first lead. 3-2.

ELC came right back in the bottom of the third. Lucas Gardner reached on a two-out error, stole second and scored when Miller singled to right field.

Offensively, ELC didn't get many chances offensively the final four innings.

Seth Loock hit a one-out single in the fourth inning, but was caught stealing. ELC went down in order in the fifth inning, which was highlighted by Hargrave snagging a comebacker off the bat of Bosch for the first out.

In the sixth inning, Gardner hit a leadoff double and Bennett Loock was intentionally walked with one out. Heifner then hit into a double play as the Big Reds got out of the inning.

Defensively, Olesen worked out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth inning with no outs in the fifth inning. He recorded his second strikeout for the first out, got the next batter to pop up to Heifner at second base and a groundout to Heifner ended the threat.

But Centerville wouldn't be denied in the top of the seventh. A pair of one-out singles by Oden and Hargrave was followed by a two-RBI triple Belloma. He scored on a single by Merrick Mathews.

Olesen's day ended on the mound as Trey Jacobson entered in relief. Jacobson enticed a groundout, and then with the bases loaded again, a fly out to center ended the top half of the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, ELC couldn't' get anything started against reliever Kauzlarich. Seth Loock flew out to right, Jacobson grounded out to first base. Bosch fought off several two-strike pitches before flying out to left field.

For the game, Olesen gave up six earned runs on 12 hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

"Everything I threw over the plate, they were making contact with so I just tried to work the corners," Olesen said.

ELC finished with six hits led by Miller, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

"Our goal is to try and get back here next year," Miller said, one of four juniors in the starting lineup.

Gardner finished 1-for-2 while Rowley and Seth Loock each went 1-for-3 and Jacobson was 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Gardner has enjoyed his two trips to the state tournament.

"It's always a fun time when you come to Principal. Baseball's my thing and it's always a fun time," he said.

Olesen will miss playing with his teammates.

"Since we were in first and second grade, we started playing against area teams," Olesen said. "It's probably my favorite thing, out of anything else, is playing baseball with these guys so I'm really going to miss it."

Eleven ELC seniors suited up for their final game-Evan Olesen, Trey Jacobson, Jacob Bosch, Lucas Gardner, Seth Loock, Trevor Friesner, Noah Heifner, Michael Houseman, Hunter Wheatley, Ethan Traff and Aaron Kintzle.

"We had great leadership from our senior class and they'll be greatly missed," said Evans. "They set the table for ELC baseball for years to come. They're a great group of guys and I'm glad they're on my side."



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