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E’Hawks Lose Heartbreaker To Western Christian

By Staff | Jun 23, 2009

LAY?DOWN?THE?BUNT - Austin Oppenheimer lays down a bunt during action at Western Christian Thursday night. The E’Hawks lost a 2-1 decision to Western in the contest. -- Dan Voigt photo

HULL – After rains washed out the first half of their week’s action, Emmetsburg’s E’Hawks struggled offensively in heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Western Christian last Thursday night. The loss drops the E’Hawks to 2-5 in the Lakes and 5-7 overall on the season as they begin a busy week of play Monday night at Spirit Lake.

For the E’Hawks, Thursday’s game turned into a defensive battle early. With Tyler Kliegl on the mound, for the E’Hawks, Emmetsburg opened the game with a single, walk and an error, but left one runner on base after a pair of pick-offs by the Wolfpack defenders.

The Wolfpack got a base hit but left their runner stranded at third to end the first frame.

The E’Hawks would strand another runner off a walk in the top of the second, but Western Christian went down in order in their half of the inning. Emmetsburg went down in order in the top of the third, but Western Christian would get a pair of base hits with two outs, only to leave the runners stranded to end the third.

The fourth inning was an exchange of outs for both teams, leaving the game scoreless going into the fifth inning.

Emmetsburg would draw a walk and a base hit, but again left two runners looking for a way to come home.

Emmetsburg’s defense stepped up in the bottom of the fifth, making a pair of put outs and then got the third out after a base hit when the runner was gunned down at second on a throw from catcher Bobby Mortenson to second baseman Austin Oppenheimer to end the inning.

The sixth inning began with Tyler Kliegl striking out, and Taylor Morris hitting an infield popup to first base for the second out. Bobby Mortenson stepped into the batters’ box and hammered a single down the third base line.

Courtesy runner Ben Pelzer replaced Mortenson on the base path, and worked his way to third base off a single by Andy Wuebker.

As Western pitcher Ryan DeWitt toed the rubber to pitch to Tyler Henderson, he threw to third on a pickoff try, but never stepped from the rubber. A balk was called by the plate umpire, bringing Pelzer home for the first run of the contest and courtesy runner Derek Henkelvig to second. However, Henderson would strike out, ending the at-bat, but the E’Hawks had erased the goose egg on the scoreboard.

The Wolfpack led off their half of the sixth with a walk, but two strikeouts gave the E’Hawks a sense of security. But a crashing double to the right field fence would score one run and a follow up single would push the go-ahead run over the plate. Another single would put runners on first and second for Western Christian, but Emmetsburg got the final strikeout to stop the bleeding.

In the top of the seventh, Brady Berkland led off with a single to left. A sacrifice by Oppenheimer moved Berkland to second before Berkland took third on a fly ball catch of Jake Jackson’s at-bat.

With two out, Berkland waited on third at Ryan Kliegl pounded out a shot to left field. Berkland hesitated for a moment and headed for home, but the throw from left made it home in time to tag Berkland out at the plate to end the game in the disappointing loss.

Tyler Kliegl took the loss, surrendering six hits with two runs, while striking out nine batters and issuing one walk.

For Emmetsburg,?Bobby Mortenson had two hits, while Ryan Kliegl, Andy Wuebker, Brady Berkland and Austin Oppenheimer all added base hits to the E’Hawks’ effort.