GRANVILLE - Central Lyon scored the winning run with two out in the top of the seventh inning on a fielder's choice infield ground ball to defeat Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn 3-2 in an exciting Class 1A District Tournament semi-final baseball game here Thursday night.
The Wildcats had the bases loaded in the seventh with one out after the lead-off batter walked and stole second base, and MMC coach Al Vasher intentionally walked their # 3 and #4 hitters - Jeff and Jordan Gacke - to load the bases with one out and set up the force-out at every base. Eagle pitcher Jacob Lehnhoff then struck out the #5 batter for two outs, before the next batter hit a groundball to shortstop and beat the throw to first base, allowing the winning run to score.
Jeff Gacke got the mound win for Central Lyon, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks, with 13 Ks in seven innings of work.
Neal Bunt accounted for both MMC runs with an RBI double in the first inning plating Lehnhoff who had walked, and a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning that scored Jesse Kunzweiler who had singled and advanced. Jordan Boekhout had the only other Eagle hit off Gacke.
"We battled all the way," said MMC coach Vasher. "The kids didn't panic in the bottom of the seventh, we just didn't get the job done. The baseball gods were just not looking out for us."
MMC ends its superb season with a 22-3 record and the War Eagle Conference Championship with a 17-0 mark. Undefeated the entire month of June, the Eagles lost one game in May to Kingsley-Pierson, and one in July at West Monona, before Thursday's setback to Central Lyon.
"We'll really miss our five graduating seniors," added Vasher. Not only were they our leaders and great players, but they played the key positions. We have big shoes to fill and some good younger kids back to help us fill them."
The Eagles lose to graduation pitcher/shortstop Lehnhoff, catcher Jordan Petersen, third baseman Jerad Letsche, first baseman Jordan Boekhout, and outfielder Blaine Dammann.
"It was a good season. We played a lot of baseball in a relatively short amount of time and we always knew we had a good shot to win every time we took the field."