You always hope your team will hit its stride as the regular season winds down. For Emmetsburg E-Hawk Head Coach Mike Brennan, Monday's game against Western Christian might be an indicator of what is to come.
The E-Hawks avenged an early season loss to the Wolfpack by earning a 13-8 win over Western Christian at Hull. The victory gives Emmetsburg a 9-11 record overall and a 4-6 standing in the Lakes Conference, with games against Cherokee on Wednesday of this week, Spencer on Thursday and Estherville Lincoln Central on Friday.
Emmetsburg would open Monday's contest with a big statement in the form of a solo home run by Ryan Kliegl in the top of the first inning. Kliegl took Grant VanBemmel's offering well over the 340 foot sign on the right field fence.
Ryan Kliegl trots to home plate to receive the congratulations of the E-Hawks after blasting a solo home run in the first inning of Monday’s 13-8 win over Western Christian at Hull. The E-Hawk bats ripped the home run ball, four triples, a double and six singles in the win.. --Dan Voigt photo
But the E-Hawks' lead wouldn't last, as the Wolfpack used a walk and a single to push two runs of their own over the plate in the bottom of the first for a 2-1 advantage.
The E-Hawks got Greg Wesley on base in the second off a base rap over third, but left him waiting when the side was retired. Western Christian would draw a leadoff walk, but a strikeout from E-Hawk hurler Taylor Wegner would catch the next two batters and a quick throw from catcher Jake Carlson to Luke Jackson at first got the baserunner to end the inning.
In the top of the third, Emmetsburg went down one out to start, but Brady Berkland smashed a triple to the center field fence and tied the game up off a double from Ryan Kliegl. Jake Jackson was walked before a triple from the bat of Taylor Wegner scored both Kliegl and Jackson to put the E-Hawks up 4-2 before the at-bat ended.
Western Christian would respond in their half of the inning, however, as Wegner struggled and gave up four walks and hit one batter as the Wolfpack added a single and a triple of their own to plate five runs to retake the lead at 7-4.
Emmetsburg wasn't about to concede anything going into the fourth inning. Greg Wesley kept a hot bat with a leadoff single and was followed by a base hit from Luke Jackson before Aaron Bird struck out. Brady Berkland came up and drew a walk before Ryan Kliegl rapped out a single to score Wesley.
Jake Jackson was struck out, but Taylor Wegner was hit by a pitch to bring Luke Jackson home before an error at first allowed Berkland to come storming home to tie the score at 7-7 when the at-bat ended.
The Wolfpack led off with a single in the bottom of the frame, but left their runner stranded as Wegner caught a short popup and then struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
The E-Hawks were feeling it in the top of the fifth and once again Greg Wesley delivered a leadoff single and was followed by a base knock from Luke Jackson. Aaron Bird struck out, but Brady Berkland pounded his second triple of the game to score his two teammates. Berkland would also score off an error on Ryan Kliegl's at-bat to make the score 10-7 for the E-Hawks.
Western Christion would muster a walk in their half of the fifth, as Wegner came up with three swinging strikeouts to end the inning.
Jake Carlson would lead off the sixth inning for the E-Hawks with a triple of his own and then came around to score off an error on Joe Jackson's at-bat. After a strikeout of Wesley, Luke Jackson picked up a sacrifice fly to score Joe Jackson. Aaron Bird drew a walk before Brady Berkland hit a single that allowed Bird to come home before the at-bat ended.
Western Christian would get two runners on base in their half of the inning off a single and a walk, but the E-Hawks got two strikeouts and a put-out to end the threat to preserve the 13-7 advantage going into the seventh inning.
The E-Hawks would be retired in order in their final at-bat and took the field to play defense to protect their six-run lead.
Western Christian would draw a lead-ff walk from Wegner, who then got two strikeouts, but a passed ball would score one run before Wegner walked another batter.
That prompted a pitching change, with Luke Jackson taking the mound in relief. Jackson gave up a walk to the first batter he faced, but a long fly ball to left field was gobbled up by Greg Wesley to end the game with the 13-8 victory.
Taylor Wegner would earn the win, pitching six and two-thirds innings, allowing eight runs, just one earned, off five hits, while walking nine and striking out 16 batters. Luke Jackson issued one walk in his one-third inning of relief on the mound.
For Emmetsburg, four triples and a home run came from the bats. Ryan Kliegl tallied a home run, a double and a single, while Brady Berkland had two triples and a single. Jake?Carlson and Taylor Wegner each added a triple to the offense, while Greg Wesley had three singles and Luke Jackson added a single.