The Lakes Conference opener for Emmetsburg's Boys of Summer was not a positive experience as the E-Hawks fell to Spirit Lake by a 10-4 decision in action Wednesday night. Then on Thursday, the E-Hawks came up short in a 3-0 decision to Okoboji. The setbacks dropped Emmetsburg to 1-3 going into a key matchup with Spencer on Friday.
Hosting Spirit Lake on Wednesday, one bad inning defensively for the E-Hawks would make the difference in the contest. Taylor Wegner started the game on the mound and went five innings, but ran into trouble as he surrendered eight runs, just two earned, off four hits, with six walks and five strikeouts, as well as hitting one batter.
Jake Jackson would come in to relieve but struggled in two-thirds of an inning, giving up two unearned runs with four walks. Luke Jackson would come in to pitch the final inning and a third and got one strikeout for the E-Hawks.
E-Hawk hurler Jake Jackson fires off a pitch during action Thursday night against the Pioneers of Okoboji at Milford. Jackson would strike out eight Pioneers in the contest, but Emmetsburg would fall by a 3-0 score. The E-Hawks would strand six baserunners in the effort. --Dan Voigt photo
Emmetsburg struggled offensively, getting just four hits in the contest, with Taylor Wegner getting a single for an RBI, while Jake Jackson added two hits for one RBI, but walks, coupled with four Emmetsburg errors, would spell the difference in the contest.
Traveling to Milford the following evening to take on the Pioneers, the E-Hawks turned to Jake Jackson on the mound for the start.
The E-Hawks would put Jackson on base off a walk in the top of the first, but left him stranded, a theme that would recur again before the night was over. However, Okoboji went down in order to end the first inning.
In the top of the second, Emmetsburg would go down in order and Okoboji would put a runner on base off a walk, but left him waiting as well to end the frame.
The E-Hawks led off the top of the third with a single from Joe Jackson that was followed by another base hit from Aaron Bird. A wild pitch moved the duo to scoring positions as third and second, but after Brady Berkland struck out, Ryan Kliegl was put out at first and Jake Jackson was thrown out at first to strand two more runners as the at-bat ended.
Okoboji would lead off the bottom of the third with a strikeout and then got a runner after he was hit by a pitch. A put out at first was followed by a single that brought the first run of the game over the plate, but the Pioneers left a runner when the inning ended with a 1-0 lead.
Emmetsburg would go down in order in the fourth inning, and Okoboji took over in the bottom of the fourth with a leadoff home run shot over the left field fence for a 2-0 lead. Okoboji would get another single and a walk, but left the two runners on base when the E-Hawk defense made the stop to end the inning.
Now trailing 2-0 to start the fifth inning, Emmetsburg got a single from Joe Jackson with one out, but Jackson was thrown out on a fielders' choice of Aaron Bird's at-bat. With two away, Brady Berkland's fly ball would end the at-bat with another E-Hawk looking for a way home.
The Pioneers let off with a dropped third strike putting the runner on base. A second batter hit by a pitch would put runners at first and second before a single scored a run, but left two runners on base when the inning ended.
The E-Hawks opened the sixth inning trailing 3-0 and got Ryan Kliegl on base off a walk. Kliegl stole second and was joined on base by Taylor Wegner, but again, the duo were stranded when the at-bat ended, making a total of six E-Hawks left on base to that point.
Okoboji would get a walk with one out, but a fielders' choice put the runner out at second on a force and a putout stranded one Pioneer runner to end the sixth inning.
Facing their final at-bat, Emmetsburg went down in order to fall by the 3-0 final.
Jake Jackson was tagged with the loss on the hill, as he went six innings in facing 28 batters, giving up three runs, two earned, off four hits,l including the home run shot in the fourth inning, while walking three, hitting two batters and striking out eight Pioneers.
For Emmetsburg, Joe Jackson had two singles in the contest, while Aaron Bird added the other Emmetsburg hit.