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Midgets start with a victory

Jacobson strikes out 11; Wheatley shuts the door

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

With no seniors a year ago, Estherville Lincoln Central returns nearly everyone from its 2017 state qualifying team.

However with the injury bug hitting the team, the Midgets had three first-time varsity starters in the season opener against Bishop Garrigan on Monday.

That didn't matter though, as ELC's pitching and defense proved superior in a 4-1 win over the Golden Bears.

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"Garrigan came to play," said ELC coach Lee Evans.

Though he struggled at times, Midget ace Trey Jacobson and his defense came through when needed. With runners on the corners in the fifth inning, a 5-4-3 double play-from Blake Miller to Seth Loock to Trevor Friesner-ended the Garrigan threat.

In the sixth inning, Garrigan loaded the bases, but Jacobson recorded his 11th strikeout to end the threat. He also walked six and gave up five hits.

In the seventh inning, Hunter Wheatley faced four batters and struck out two-including the final batter-to seal the victory.

Offensively, ELC had chances to score runs early, but lack of a key hit and some base-running errors didn't help.

Jacobson hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the first inning, Alec Heifner reached on an error and Briar Rowley drew a walk to load the bases with one out. However, ELC scored just one run when Blake Miller grounded out to third base.

Garrigan tied the game in the top of the third inning after Jacobson gave up a couple walks before he worked out of the jam with a strikeout.

ELC retook the lead in the bottom of the third inning when Jacobson led off with a single, stole second. Courtesy runner Bennett Loock took over and he moved to third when Alec Heifner flew out to center field. A double by Rowley brought in the run. Lucas Gardner and Fireside were both hit by pitch to load the bases with two outs, but ELC couldn't come up with the hit to add to the total.

ELC finally added insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Pinch hitter Bennett Loock drew a lead off walk and Seth Loock bunted. The pitcher's throw was high and pulled the first baseman off the bag as Loock reached safely. A sacrifice bunt by Jacobson moved both runners over. Bennett Loock scored on a wild pitch. Moments later Seth Loock was caught in a pickle when a squeeze bunt didn't work. However, Heifner then singled and stole second and another double from Rowley brought in the final run of the game.

Rowley finished 2-3 with two RBI while Jacobson was 2-4. Alec Heifner was 1-4 while Miller and Seth Vaske each were 1-3 and Seth Loock was 1-1 with two sacrifice bunts.

ELC (1-0) was home Wednesday against Manson-Northwest Webster. The Midgets host Sioux Central today (Thursday) and go on the road Friday to play Sibley-Ocheyedan.

In junior varsity play, Izaak Sander struck out 15 batters, walked five and gave up one hit in a 12-4 ELC victory. Parker Rowley was 4-4 with an RBI, Blake Ingvall was 2-3, Will Larson wa 1-2 with two RBIs and Ryan Schiltz had a double.



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