SPENCER - After a tough pair of losses in preceding nights to Spirit Lake and Okoboji, the third time was a charm for the Emmetsburg E-Hawks on Friday night.
A solid pitching effort from Ryan Kliegl led Emmetsburg to a 7-1 win over Spence in Lakes Conference baseball action at Spencer on Friday, June 1.
The E-Hawks took an early 1-0 lead off a solo homer from Jake Jackson in the first inning and held the lead until Spencer tied the contest in the bottom of the fifth.
The game turned into a pitchers' duel between Kliegl and Spencer's Tyler Tatman, as the Tigers would tie the game off walks in the fifth. But in the sixth, the E-Hawks retook the lead. Kliegl led off with a single and came around to score off base hit by Jake Jackson for the 2-0 lead.
After stranding two Tigers to end the sixth, the E-Hawks opened the seventh with a put out of Greg Wesley. Joe Jackson was struck out for the second out, but the E-Hawks were just getting warmed up.
Aaron Bird got on base off an error and was followed by Brady Berkland with a base hit. A double by loaded the sacks before Jake Jackson blasted a Grand Slam to clear the basepaths for a 6-1 lead with two outs.
Taylor Wegner followed up with a double and then scored off a base hit from Jake Carlson to make the score 7-1 before Luke Jackson would be struck out to end the at-bat.
It was up to the defense now as a fly ball to Joe Jackson in right opened the bottom of the seventh. Kliegl induced a strikeout, but gave up two walks before he tallied the final out himself with a strikeout to record the full-game win on the hill.
Ryan Kliegl gave up just one run off two hits, while walking eight, hitting three batters and striking out 16 Tigers in earning the win.
For Emmetsburg's offense, the big bat belonged to Jake Jackson with his Grand Slam, solo homer and base hit. Ryan Kliegl added a double and two singles to the winning effort, while Taylor Wegner tallied a double. Jake Carlson and Brady Berkland both recorded singles in the effort, which improved Emmetsburg to 1-1 in Lakes Conference play.
The E-Hawks will host their own tournament this Saturday, June 9, with play beginning at 10 a.m. at the Emmetsburg High School athletic complex.