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Midgets keep winning

ELC notches victory No. 12

June 14, 2019
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

After Monday's marathon victory over Spirit Lake, Estherville Lincoln Central continued its winning ways with a 4-2 non-conference win over Forest City on Tuesday.

ELC struggled in the first inning, as starter Brian Egeland gave up a leadoff single, hit a batter and walked one to load the bases. A sacrifice fly to center put the Indians on the board. With two outs, Egeland walked another batter and an ELC error allowed Forest City to score its second run before Egeland recorded his first strikeout to get out of the inning.

ELC answered in the bottom of the inning, as Ryan Schiltz drew a leadoff walk, went to second on a wild pitch, to third when Alec Heifner grounded out to third and scored when Briar Rowley grounded out to second base. Blake Miller started over with a walk and then scored from first on an Egeland double that went over the right fielder's head.

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ELC scored the go-ahead run in the third inning, as Rowley led off with a single, stole second and came all the way home on a wild pitch.

ELC added an insurance run in the sixth, as Seth Vaske drew a one-out walk, stole second and went to third on a single by Seth Busch. Schiltz singled to left field to bring home Vaske. Coach Lee Evans sent Busch home on the play, and a perfect relay by the Indians to the plate ended the inning.

Egeland earned the win, as he pitched five innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits with five strikeouts and five walks. Izaak Sander closed out the game, striking out two batters and giving up three hits.

"I thought 'Sandy' came in and did an outstanding job in relief and settled things down," said Evans. "Brian battled, and giving up a couple up a couple runs isn't too bad. We need to give him some run support too. That way our pitchers don't need to feel they need to be quite so fine. Forest City is a well-coached team, but just thought we went through the motions tonight and found a way to win."

ELC's pitchers were helped defensively with doubles plays on the night. In the second inning, Forest City had runners at first and second with one out. A grounder to shortstop Schiltz made it easy, as he stepped on second and threw to first. In the fifth inning, the Indians again had runners on first and second with one out. This time a grounder to second baseman Seth Busch started the double play. In the sixth inning, the Indians loaded the bases and a short grounder to third baseman Blake Miller was thrown home for the force with catcher Alec Heifner relaying to first base in time.

"Those were huge and got us out of some big innings," said Evans. "I'm proud of the guys and they've worked hard, but we still have a long way to go."

ELC (12-1 overall, 4-1 in the Lakes Conference) hosts Western Christian on Friday.

ELC pulls out

win in the 11th

SPIRIT LAKE - Playing Spirit Lake is always a challenge and Monday's game will go down as one of the best.

The two teams battled for 10 innings before Estherville Lincoln Central plated two runs in the top of the 11th and held on for a 5-3 victory.

With one out, Alec Heifner and Briar Rowley hit consecutive singles and completed a double steal to get on second and third. A sacrifice fly to right-center field by Blake Miller brought home Heifner for the go-ahead run. Brian Egeland drew a walk and then stole second. Spirit Lake attempted to get Egeland and the ball got past the Spirit Lake infield, as Rowley scored an insurance run.

Heifner, who had relieved starter Miller in the seventh inning, gave up a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning. A fielder's choice got the lead runner out and then ELC committed an error, as the Indians had runners on first and second.

However, Heifner shut the door by striking out the Nos. 8 and 9 batters to pull out the victory.

ELC struggled to get key hits throughout the night, leaving the bases loaded in the third, fifth and eighth innings.

"We left a lot of guys on base so we're kind of swimming with the sharks a little bit," said ELC coach Evans. "We're not so worried about everybody else-we're just going to work on getting better and doing the little things right. We have two day of practice that our much needed and we have some things we need to clean up."

Heifner pitched five innings, striking out seven batters, walking one, and giving up two hits. In his six innings, Miller gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits with 10 strikeouts and three walks.

ELC scored its first three runs in the second inning. After a leadoff double by Brian Egeland, Izaak Sander sacrificed him to third with Egeland scoring on a Seth Vaske single. After a single by Seth Busch, a run scored when Carter Snyder reached first on a dropped third strike. A sacrifice fly to center scored Busch.

Spirit Lake scores its three runs in the third on two hits, a pair of walks and an ELC error.

ELC had 11 hits with Heifner going 3-4 while Rowley was 2-5. Schiltz, Miller, Egeland, Vaske, Busch and Snyder each had a hit.



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