|5/21/2007 12:15:00 PM|
NJCAA Northern Distrct Tournament
LTC Statesmen lose championship game in extra innings
Manus throws no-hitter at South Suburban
Sometimes it's just not meant to be.
|Lincoln Trail College sophomore pitcher Michael Manus concludes his career as a Statesmen with a no-hit, shutout of South Suburban Community College at the NJCAA Division I Northern District Baseball Tournament at Council Bluffs, Iowa Saturday. Manus also struck out nine during the 10-0, six-inning win. (Tim Brooks photo)|
Lincoln Trail College got themselves in the position they wanted and had the pitcher they wanted on the mound, but Iowa Western Community College still pulled off a 9-6, 10-inning come-from-behind NJCAA Northern Division Baseball Tournament victory Sunday afternoon.
"I think that's the first time all year anyone has tied us late in a game, let along beat us," said LTC baseball coach Mitch Hannahs after the loss.
"Morgan (Coombs) has been the guy all year," he said. "Iowa Western showed a lot of patience at the plate and they didn't chase his curve ball. They just made outstanding plays at the plate when they needed to."
Trailing 3-1 after five innings, LTC left-handed freshman Chris Ulrey (Greenfield, Ind.) launched the first pitch he saw over the right field fence for a grand-slam home run to put the Statesmen on top 6-3. Tyler Rehmel had driven home Zach Gerler with a double earlier in the inning.
Iowa Western starter Thomas Ebert, a 6-6, 230-pound freshman from Fargo, ND, settled down and struck out five of the next seven batters he faced, 14 for the game.
Lincoln Trail's starting pitcher Bryan Earley, a freshman from Cincinnati, Ohio, hit the first batter he faced in the ninth inning and was relieved by Coombs, a freshman from West Terre Haute, Ind.
Coombs got the first batter he faced to fly out to right field, but a base hit and a walk put runners on first and second. A single through the hole into right field brought home two and a single up the middle tied the game 6-6.
The next two Reivers batters fouled out to the catcher and grounded out to Brooks Hunton at first base.
Rehmel led off the 10th inning with a double, but he was thrown out at third on a ground ball back to the pitcher. A pop out and picked off base runner ended the inning.
The first Iowa Western batter in the bottom of the 10th struck out but a throwing error and a walk put runners on first and second.
But Reivers catcher Benjamin Braaten, a left-handed hitting freshman from Savage, Minn., drove a 1-1 pitch the opposite way over the left field fence for a walk-off, three-run homer to end the game.
"I am so proud of these guys," said Hannahs after the loss. "Saturday evening when we went back to the hotel, there was a lot of doubt in these guys whether we could play with Iowa Western. But they came out here and fought and almost beat an outstanding baseball team.
"This was a great effort."
Chris Hoerter picked up the pitching win in relief and gave up one base hit. Ebert went nine innings and allowed six runs on seven hits with 14 strikeouts, a walk and two hit batters.
Coombs was charged with the loss for LTC and allowed five runs on four hits with a strikeout and two walks; starter Bryan Earley gave up four runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts, five walks and four hit batters. LTC pitchers were also aided by three double-plays by the Statesmen defense.
Rehmel had a pair of doubles to lead LTC at the plate, but Ulrey had the give blast with his grand-slam homer. Jake Samuels also had a double for the Statesmen, while Kevin Gillespie, Devin Taylor, Travis Capps and Gerler also had base hits.
On Saturday, Lincoln Trail opened Northern Division Baseball Tournament play with a six-inning, 10-0 victory over South Suburban Community College of South Holland, Ill., on the heels of a no-hit, shutout by sophomore lefty Michael Manus of Greensburg, Ind. Manus struck out nine and walked four.
But things didn't look good early for Manus, who walked the first two batters he faced.
"I guess I was a little tight early," Manus said. "I just had to work through things and settle down. But once I got going I felt pretty good."
"As a coach, you just hope and pray he finds it out there on the mound," Hannahs said. "I was glad to see him settle down."
Lincoln Trail scored a run in the second inning when Samuels singled with one out and reached third on a fielder's choice and error by South Suburban. Samuels scored on Travis Capps' grounder that went off the pitcher's glove.
But it was the four-run, fifth inning and five-run, six that ended the contest by the 10-run rule, including a game-ending, walk-off 2-run homer by Gerler.
"We don't really have a traditional line-up," Hannahs said. "We don't have the 3-4-5 hole power hitters a lot of teams use. We have to think line drives.
"Early on, we created a lot of opportunities, we just didn't produce with runners in scoring position," he said.
The Statesmen left runners on base in every inning except the last. They had left eight runners on base, including bases loaded in the third, before their offensive explosion in the fifth.
"We lost our discipline (at the plate) with runners on base," Hannahs said. "We started to think we were home run hitters."
Samuels went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBI to lead LTC at the plate. Gerler drove in three runs with a single and home run, while John Schlichter and Capps posted two hits each. Capps also drove in three runs.
Devin Taylor had a double; Rehmel and Ulrey had base hits.
In Lincoln Trail's second game Saturday, Iowa Western jumped on top of the Statesmen 6-0 in the first two innings and cruised to a 10-5 win.
"It's always tough to play a team that just got done playing because they're still in game mode, and you've had some time off," Hannahs said.
Michael Lucas was knocked off the mound in the second inning, followed by Brendon Smith, Ty Ethington and Craig Bunten.
Gillespie and Rehmel paced LTC with two hits each; Ulrey, Hunton and Capps also had base hits.
Lincoln Trail College ended its season 37-17, Great Rivers Athletic Conference regular-season champions and Region 24 Tournament champs.
NJCAA Division I Northern Division Baseball Tournament
At Council Bluffs, Iowa
Lincoln Trail College 100 005 000 0 - 6 8 1
Iowa Western College 110 010 003 3 - 9 15 2
WP - Chris Hoerter 1IP, 0R, 1H, 0K, 0BB; Thomas Ebert 9IP, 6R, 7H, 14K, 1BB. 2HP. LP - Morgan Coombs 2IP, 5R, 4H, 1K, 2BB; Bryan Earley 8IP, 4R, 11H, 2K, 5BB, 4HP. HR - Ulrey (LTC), Braaten (IW). 2B - Rehmel (LTC) 2, Samuels (LTC), Kroll (IW). DP - LTC 3.
South Suburban College 000 000 - 0 0 1
Lincoln Trail College 010 045 - 10 13 0
WP - Michael Manus 6IP, 0R, 0H, 9K, 4BB. LP - Ryan Goodman 5.1IP, 9R, 12H, 2K, 1BB, 4HP; Ryan Miller 0.1IP, 1R, 1H, 0K, 0BB. HR - Gerler (LTC). 2B - Taylor (LTC). SF - Ulrey (LTC).
Iowa Western Community College 9
South Suburban Community College 6
Lincoln Trail College 000 003 020 - 5 7 2
Iowa Western College 420 103 00x - 10 17 1
WP - Kirk Clark 6IP, 3R, 2H, 6K, 3BB; Seth Hayden 1IP, 0R, 2H, 0K, 1BB; Chris Hoerter 1IP, 1R, 3H, 0K, 0BB; Robert Ficenec 1IP, 0R, 0H, 1K, 0BB. LP - Michael Lucas 1.1IP, 6R, 7H, 0K, 0BB; Brendon Smith 3.2IP, 1R, 5H, 2K, 1BB, 4HP; Ty Ethington 1IP, 1R, 1H, 0K, 0BB; Craig Bunten 2IP, 0R, 4H, 0K, 0BB. HR - Cafaro (IW), Gimas (IW). 3B - Lundy (IW). 2B - Cafaro (IW), Braaten (IW). SAC - Gillies (IW). SF - Hunton (LTC).
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