HANG ON! Lynx squander big lead, escape against ’Dogs
Lampman breaks out of hitting slump, drives in two runs
WEBSTER CITY — The deep exhale from Caleb Olson as he walked off the mound and the muted celebration from his teammates summed it up at Lynx Field Friday night.
It wasn’t excitement. It was relief.
Webster City survived.
Despite building a 7-0 lead after three innings, the Lynx were forced to hang on by their fingertips late to prevail over North Central Conference rival Algona, 9-8. The Bulldogs had the bases jammed when Olson induced a ground-ball out to second baseman Noah McKinney to secure the save.
“This had all the feel of a district game and it shows that she’s not over until she’s over,” WCHS head coach Adison Kehoe said after his club maintained its spot atop the league standings alongside Clear Lake heading into tonight’s showdown on the Lions home diamond. “I will never criticize a win, but in the same breath, we are far from a finished product. This was just one of those nights I guess.”
Walks haunted both teams, as they combined for 16. Algona (10-11, 5-3 NCC) climbed back to within 7-6 after 51⁄2 innings and then proceeded to issue four walks in the last half of the sixth that allowed WCHS (11-2, 7-1 NCC) to plate a pair of insurance runs. The Lynx returned the favor in the top of the seventh after Olson came on in relief of Dylan Steen with one out and gave up four free passes of his own.
A Collin Sexton single pulled Algona to within 9-7 and Spencer Holmes plated another run on a bases-loaded walk. Nick Goche worked the count full before bouncing out to McKinney.
“We tip our caps to Algona a little bit because they don’t give up,” WCHS junior first baseman Austin Lampman said. “They were down the whole game, but battled back.”
Lampman was an offensive catalyst for the Lynx. One night after giving up his spot in the lineup for a designated hitter, he returned to go 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. His deep RBI sacrifice fly to left field in the sixth plated what turned out to be the winning run.
Lampman also singled in the second and ignited a five-run flurry in the third, all with two outs, with a RBI double into the gap in left-center.
Lampman entered the game hitting just .148 on the season.
“I like to give a lot of credit to the people around me because they haven’t given up on me,” Lampman said. “My family, my coaches, my teammates, they’ve just kept encouraging me. Sometimes you hit it hard, but just right at people. You just have to go out and get the next one.”
Romel Martinez went 3 for 4 with two RBIs at the top of the Lynx order . His deep shot to center in the third turned into a two-run triple. McKinney followed with a RBI single to center and Dylan Steen also plated one run with a base knock in the frame to push the cushion to 7-0.
But Algona turned the ball over to Holmes in the third and he quieted the Lynx bats. He surrendered just two hits over 31⁄3 innings in relief of Grant Goche.
Kehoe didn’t like what he saw from his club at the plate after it built the seven-run lead.
“To take innings off like we did, you can’t do that against good teams,” he said. “To put up a five-spot and then two duds (innings) … zeroes are one thing, but the approaches in (the fourth and fifth innings) were non-existent.”
Jordan Tanner added a single and scored two runs in the win.
Algona worked back into the game with three runs in the fourth and three more in the sixth off Steen. Sitting on the junior’s mid-80s fastball, the Bulldogs finally made headway in the sixth with three of their six hits. Sexton roped a RBI double down the left-field line and Holmes hit a flare into right to score another.
Steen, now 5-0, struck out seven over 61⁄3 innings. He walked four and all six runs were earned.
“They’re a fastball hitting team and they always have been,” Kehoe said of the Bulldogs. “If you get behind (in the count) against a team like that, they will make you pay.”
Sexton and Carson Devine both laced two hits and combined to drive in four runs. Matt Grein walked three times and scored three runs.
WC 1, CGD 0
WCHS returned to its home diamond Saturday afternoon to squeak by Clarion-Goldfield-Dows for its 12th win in 14 outings.
Cameron Moen tossed a complete-game shutout, as the senior right-hander allowed just three hits and fanned 11.
WCHS (12-2, 8-1 NCC) scored the game’s only run in the third inning on a RBI single by Olson.
Martinez put together another 3 for 4 showing at the plate. Olson finished with two hits. McKinney scored the lone run and joined Tanner and Lampman with one single.
Webster City 9, Algona 8
Friday at Webster City
Algona 000 303 2 — 8 6 4
Web City 205 002 x — 9 8 0
Grant Goche, Spencer Holmes (3) and Nick Goche. Dylan Steen, Caleb Olson (7) and Jordan Tanner. W — Steen. L — G. Goche. S — Olson. 2B — ALG: Collin Sexton; WC: Austin Lampman. 3B — WC: Romel Martinez. Multiple hits — ALG: Sexton, Carson Devine; WC: Martinez (3), Lampman. RBI — ALG: Devine (2), Sexton (2), Holmes (2), G. Goche; WC: Martinez (2), Lampman (2), Steen, Noah McKinney, Cameron Moen.
Webster City 1, CGD 0
Saturday at Webster City
CGD 000 000 0 — 0 3 2
Web City 001 000 x — 1 8 0
Bryce Brinkman, Mateo Martinez (6) and Will Weidemann. Cameron Moen and Jordan Tanner. W — Moen. L — Brinkman. Multiple hits — WC: Romel Martinez (3), Caleb Olson. RBI — WC: Olson.