Abraham Lincoln saved its best for the last inning in Friday’s Class 4-A substate 8 opener.
Zane Olsen’s seventh-inning grand slam highlighted a six-run frame for the Lynx, who erased a three-run deficit, en route to a 7-4 victory over Lewis Central in the opening round of postseason play.
A.L. struggled to get any offense going through the first five innings as it was held scoreless. That changed in the sixth when Ben Fichter connected on a solo home run to bring the Lynx within 4-1.
It stayed that way until the seventh. A.L. plated a pair of runs before Olsen stepped to the plate with two outs with the season on the line. With the bases loaded and facing a 1-2 count, Olsen launched a grand slam to put the Lynx out front for good.
A.L. coach Brett Elam’s message was simple to his team facing the final three outs of the season.
“Get up there and fight,” Elam said. “Give us a chance. Scrap, claw, whatever you’ve got to do to get on base. Grind it out. It’s not over until the last pitch, and we finally showed some fight. They weren’t ready to end their season, and I tip my cap to all of them. They all had a part of the victory.”
The win advances the Lynx to Monday’s substate semifinal round against Des Moines North. A.L. will be the home team, but a site is yet to be determined because lights are needed at the venue. A.L.’s home field doesn’t have lights.
Austin Wickman picked up the win for the Lynx, tossing all seven innings, scattering six hits, striking out five and allowing only two earned runs. After being hit by a pitch in a game Monday, Wickman was in crutches on Tuesday and Wednesday. He toughed it out Friday to earn the win.
“That kid threw the best game of his life right there,” Elam said.
Friday’s loss ended Lewis Central’s season at 12-5. Jordan Wardlow paced the Titans with two runs and a hit. Easton Dermody and Nolan Miller each added RBIs for L.C.
Abraham Lincoln (8-13) 000 001 6 – 7 8 1
Lewis Central (12-5) 130 000 0 – 4 6 0
W: Austin Wickman. L: Easton Dermody
2B: AL, Kobie Ferguson, Cade Nelson. HR: AL, Ben Fichter, Zane Olsen. LC, Nolan Miller.
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