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Class 2A State Quarterfinal Just wait until next year

ELC loads bases in eighth inning, but falls 3-1 to Centerville

July 26, 2017
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

With no seniors on the squad, Estherville Lincoln Central baseball players adopted the long-time Chicago Cubs motto after their 3-1, eighth-inning loss to Centerville in the Class 2A State quarterfinal on Monday-"Wait until next year."

"We have a lot of experience. Now that we've been through it and with no seniors, we'll work hard to be back here next year," said ELC junior Trey Jacobson, who led off the game with a single and scored the Midgets' lone run.

"Now that we've been here, next year the nerves will be gone and we can come through in the big spots," said fellow junior Evan Olesen, who pitched all eight innings."

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ELC had its chances down to the last at bat on Monday. The Midgets led 1-0 with three hits in the bottom of the first. Jacobson led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a two-out single by Olesen and scored when Lucas Gardner singled up the middle.

Olesen had a no-hitter through the first five innings, but an error at second base by Alec Heifner opened the door for Centerville. Heifner had to make a long run to get to the pop up by Red' No. 9 batter Braden Lechtenberg. The sun may have been a factor when he turned to make the catch and the ball came out of his glove. Olesen then gave up his third walk of the day to leadoff batter Tiger Terpstra. ELC looked to get out of the inning with Olesen recording his third strikeout and then a pop up to left field. But Centerville catcher Trey Rinehart came up with the hit to bring home the tying run.

ELC tried to answer in the bottom of the inning as Jacobson singled to the right side of the field, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jacob Bosch and went to third when Briar Rowley grounded out to first base. Centerville elected to intentionally walk Olesen, who had two hits prior. But after Olesen stole second, Gardner's grounder couldn't find daylight as it was scooped up by second baseman Braden Lechtenberg who made the routine play to first.

Centerville looked to go ahead in regulation in the top of the seventh with consecutive two-out singles, but a pop up to Olesen ended the threat.

However, the Reds broke through in the eighth. Singles by McCain Oden, Brett Kauzlarich and Rinehart brought in the go-ahead run. ELC's second error of the game allowed Centerville to bring home an insurance run.

Down 3-1, ELC went to work in the bottom of the eighth inning with one out. Bosch singled up the middle, Rowley singled to right and Olesen reached on an error to load the bases.

However, Gardner was unable to come threw this time as he went down swinging. ELC coach Lee Evans brought in Brian Egeland to pinch-hit for Bennett Loock. Egeland had come up big in previous situations this year. While he hit a chopper to third, he was unable to beat the throw to first.

"We had a chance at the end and I knew that we'd fight to the finish," said ELC coach Lee Evans. "To the last strike, I still felt confident. Our pitch hitter and come through in a couple games. They (Centerville) made they plays when they had to."

Olesen finished the game giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits with three strikeouts and three walks.

Centerville's Kauzlarich earned the win as he gave up one earned run on six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.

At the plate for ELC, Olesen finished 2-3 while Jacobson 2as 2-4, Bosch was 1-3 and Gardner was 1-4.

ELC ends the regular season with a 23-7 record overall, after finishing 24-6 a year ago with many of the same players.

"These guys have played a lot of baseball and they belong here," Evans added.



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