ESTHERVILLE?- After a 12-inning marathon win on Tuesday, one might have wondered if Emmetsburg's E-Hawks had anything left in the tank for a District Championship game Saturday night.
There was a little magic left for the Boys of Summer as they eeked out a 2-1 win over Estherville Lincoln Central to advance to tonight's (Tuesday's) Class 2A Substate Game at Spirit Lake. The E-Hawks will take on the Blackhawks of Hinton in a 7 p.m. game for the right to advance to the State Tournament next week in Des Moines.
Meeting the Midgets of ELC?for the third time this season, the E-Hawks hoped the old adage, "the third time's a charm" would play out in their favor.
LET?THE?CELEBRATION?BEGIN - The Emmetsburg E-Hawks celebrate their 2-1 District Championship win over Estherville Lincoln Central Saturday night. The E-Hawks now advance to the Class 2A Substate Game at Spirit Lake tonight (Tuesday) against the Blackhawks of Hinton. The winner of that game advances to the State Baseball Tournament in Des Moines the week of July 28 at Principal Park. -- photo courtesy Amy Wesley
The E-Hawks would strike first, after going down two outs. Aaron Bird had singled after a walk of Dillon VanOosbree, but when VanOosbree was put out on Luke Jackson's fielders' choice, Greg Wesley sacrificed to score Bird before Jackson was stranded to end the at-bat.
ELC would get a double and a runner on base off an error, but no more as they left both men waiting to end the first frame.
Emmetsburg would fare no better in the top of the second, as Jacob Kibbie had a single but was thrown out stealing for the second out and Joe Jackson struck out. The Midgets would go down two outs, but got a pair of walks and a fielders choice to load the sacks, only to leave them all waiting on a fly out to Jacob Kibbie in center field to end the inning.
The third inning was a quick exchange of outs for both teams as Emmetsburg stubbornly clung to the 1-0 lead, and went down in order in the top of the fourth. The Midgets would go down two outs in the bottom of the fourth, but got a single, only to once again strand their runner when the inning ended in the defensive battle.
To start the fifth inning, Emmetsburg would go down two outs from Wes Schultes and Jacob Kibbie, but Joe Jackson would single and was followed on base by a Max Dunlap after a base hit. Dillon VanOosbree would load the bases with a single of his own, but Emmetsburg would leave their trio looking for a way home when Aaron Bird flew out to end the opportunity.
Estherville Lincoln Central wouldn't have any better luck in the bottom of the fifth, however, as they also went down two quick outs, but a walk would put a baserunner on first and a steal moved the runner to second, only to leave him languishing for a way home when the inning ended on a strikeout.
With defense the order of the day as the sixth inning started, Luke Jackson would draw a walk from ELC's Billy Snyder, but Wes Schultes would fly out and Zach Anderson's sacrifice moved Jackson to second, but the E-Hawks would walk back to the dugout when Schultes struck out to end the opportunity.
The Midges would get a leadoff out, but got back-to-back singles that allowed ELC to tie the ballgame at 1-1. But Emmetsburg made two big defensive stops to end the inning with the game now tied up going into the seventh inning.
Jacob Kibbie would lead off the seventh inning for Emmetsburg with a line drive to left field, and Joe Jackson followed with a single to right field that moved Kibbie to second base before he took third on the throw back in.
Max Dunlap would step into the batters' box, but was hit by a pitch to fill the bases as Jackson moved to second.
With the bases juiced, Dillon VanOosbree would strike out swinging for the first out of the at-bat. But, Aaron Bird would show great hitter's discipline at the plate and drew a walk that brought Jacob Kibbie over the plate for the go-ahead run.
With the bases still loaded, Luke Jackson would strike out swinging and Greg Wesley grounded out to first to end the at-bat.
Now it was time for Emmetsburg to play defense as the Midgets came up to bat in the bottom of the seventh.
An infield fly to Luke Jackson at short started the at-bat, but a single would follow along with a steal of second base. But Emmetsburg pitcher Dillon VanOosbree never lost his composure and collected the second out on a foul tip fly ball.
Emmetsburg would intentionally walk the next batter to put two ELC?runners on base with two outs, and the ballgame ended when a ground out to first base gave the E-Hawks their District Championship win.
Dillon VanOosbree went the distance on the hill for Emmetsburg, as he allowed just one run off five hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.
The E-Hawks gout two hits each from Dillon VanOosbree, Jacob Kibbie and Joe Jackson, while Aaron Bird and Max Dunlap both added hits.
For Tuesday's matchup, the E-Hawks meet up with a Hinton ball club that defeated Sioux Center by a 7-2 score in a District Championship game played at Unity Christian in Orange City on Saturday.