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|7/20/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
Sabers rally late to pick up record-breaking 30th win
|Central second baseman Max Steffens attempts to run down a shallow hit to right field during the Sabers’ 8-3 victory over Anamosa, Monday night. The win over the Blue Raiders was one of three for the Sabers in a two-day stretch as Central finished the regular season 30-10, the most wins in program history.
Photo by Ross Eberhart|
By Ross Eberhart
Taking part in its final regular season game of the season, it seemed oddly poetic that the Central baseball team would save its best for last in Tuesday's game with Dubuque Senior.
The Sabers faced a 2-0 deficit against the Rams, but ended up scoring the game's final three runs with the last coming in walk-off fashion to give the hosts a 3-2 win.
It was a big finish that mirrored a similarly strong end to the regular season for the Sabers.
The victory over Senior was the third in two days for Central and proved to be historic as it was the 30th win of the season for the Sabers - breaking the program's previous high of 29 set in 1995.
After threatening in the first inning, the Sabers watched as the Rams jumped out to an early edge with a run in the second and then added another run in the fourth.
Central, though, answered Senior's second run right away in the bottom of the frame.
Jake Thumann led things off with a walk and stole second. Dubuque Senior countered by getting two-straight outs, but A.J. Smith came through with a big triple and the Sabers were on the board.
Senior threatened to get the run back and possibly do even more damage when they loaded the bases in the top of the sixth inning, but the Sabers got out of the jam and then built on the momentum by tying things up.
It took just two hits for Central to score its run as Emmitt Enyeart smacked a one-out double and, two batters later, Marty Green brought him around to score with a triple.
In its attempt to break the tie in the seventh, Senior coaxed a walk, but that was it and the Sabers had their opportunity to bring home the win
Austin Lechtenberg singled with one out to get Central going and Grant Henning followed with a hit of his own.
Henning ended up being forced out at second on a grounder by Thumann, but Senior was unable to complete a double play to get out of the inning.
That proved to be big as the very next batter, T.J. Sikkema, singled bringing Lechtenberg in for the game's final run and the Sabers' 30th win.
It was the second hit of the night for Sikkema, who tied for the team-lead with Lechtenberg. Henning, Enyeart, Smith and Green added hits of their own with the latter two both hitting triples.
Henning earned the win in relief, not allowing a hit and striking out a pair of batters in two innings of work. Starter Lucas Daniels also had two strikeouts and so did Jake Maxwell, who saw action in the middle of the game.
The win came less than 24 hours after a busy Monday that saw the Sabers pick up two victories in two different locations.
Central opened things up by traveling north to Dubuque for a non-conference tilt with fourth-ranked Dubuque Wahlert.
Again the Sabers faced an early deficit with the Golden Eagles scoring a run in the first and two more in the third.
Central, though, changed the complexion of the game in just one inning, bringing 12 players to the plate in the top of the fourth and tallying seven runs.
The Sabers added two more runs in the fifth for good measure and tacked on two insurance runs as well in an 11-7 victory.
Thumann opened the fourth with a hit and the next four Saber batters joined him on base.
Sikkema added a single of his own, while Enyeart reached on an error to load the bases. Smith, meanwhile, brought in Central's first run when he walked on four pitches.
Green followed with a single to knock in another run before Wahlert got its first out.
The Sabers, though, went right back to work with Ryan Burke and Lechtenberg both singling in runs and Henning driving in another on a sacrifice fly.
Sikkema put the finishing touches on the inning with a two-run single in his second at-bat of the frame and it was 7-3 Sabers.
The two runs in the fifth - Max Steffens singled and Burke doubled before both came around on a single by Lechtenberg - pushed the lead to six before the Golden Eagles got back in the game with four runs in the bottom of the inning.
Wahlert, though, would not score again and the Sabers kept rolling with individual runs in the sixth and seventh to finish off the big win.
Lechtenberg, Sikkema and Burke all had three hits in the game with Burke clubbing two doubles. Thumann, Enyeart, Green and Steffens all had two hits.
Sikkema and Lechtenberg both drove in three runs, while Thumann, Steffens and Burke each scored twice. Green earned the win on the mound, spreading out five hits and fanning two in four innings of work. Steffens earned the save.
The Sabers returned home after the win and took part right away in another game, this time a make-up WaMaC East contest with Anamosa.
The Blue Raiders came ready to play and the visitors put Central in an early hole with three runs over the first two innings.
The Sabers, though, grabbed the lead with a four-run second inning and never trailed again in an 8-3 win.
Central got its offense rolling in the second as Enyeart led off the inning with a single and Smith followed with a double.
Anamosa came back with two-straight outs, but Burke was able to clear the bases with a single before also stealing second.
Lechtenberg followed with his own single and Burke scored on an errant Anamosa throw, while Henning put the Sabers in front with a double to plate Lechtenberg.
Central added to its lead in the third (Green drove in Sikkema on a sacrifice fly) and then feasted on Anamosa mistakes in the sixth, taking advantage of two errors and two wild pitches to plate three.
The Sabers' pitching, meanwhile, kept the Blue Raiders at bay after their quick start and Anamosa had just two hits over the final five innings to help Central secure the win.
Lechtenberg had two hits and scored twice in the game, while Burke wrapped up his big Monday with two runs and his first varsity win on the mound.
The sophomore allowed just three hits and a single run, while striking out three in two-plus innings of relief. Enyeart pitched the game's final three innings and allowed a single hit with two strikeouts.