Severe thunderstorms caused a delay in the Sub-State final scheduled Monday night between number two ranked (3A) Clear Lake and sixth ranked Waverly-Shell Rock. The game was rescheduled for Tuesday night, July 23. (Results were not available at press time). The
winner will face either 10th ranked Decorah or Oelwein in Wednesday night’s Sub-State final at New Hampton.
CL 3, Charles City 0
The Lions opened post-season tournament play by blanking Charles City, 3-0, Friday, July 19 at Waverly. Jerry Kockler threw a one-hitter against the Comets to pick up the win.
“We definitely came out a little flat offensively, and Jerry was having a tough time in the first few innings getting the ball over the plate consistently,” explained Coach Thompson. “Our defense though played its best game of the year, I felt, and that, combined with Jerry making the adjustments he needed to as a pitcher, resulted in a one-hit shutout when all was said and done.”
Kockler retired the final 16 batters of the game to punctuate the win. His pitching statistics included eight strikeouts; he walked three.
The Lions had six hits in the game, with Gavin Sheakley getting two. Luke Schiller, Brandon Tofte, Rowdy Yates and Devin Uhlenhopp also reached base on hits. Tofte’s hit was a double.
“At this point of the season we don’t care how pretty wins are, we just need wins to keep the season going and move right in the district brackets,” said Coach Thompson.
CL 8, Algona 3
The Lions wrapped up North Central Conference play with an 8-3 win over Algona on Monday, July 15. The Lions won the NCC title with a record of 17-1.
Pitcher Gavin Sheakley held the Bulldogs to just four hits in his six innings on the mound. He struck out seven and walked one. Brock Adams pitched the final frame and struck out two.
Meanwhile the Lions bombarded the Bulldogs with 15 hits. Brandon Tofte led the team with three hits, including a double good for an RBI. Sheakley, Adams, Matt Stephany, Rowdy Yates and Devin Uhlenhopp had two hits apiece. Adams and Mitch Keeran each finished with two RBIs; Yates and Uhlenhopp each had one.
“This was a nice finish to our conference season,” said Coach Seth Thompson. “Conference wins are always hard fought and hard to come by, and these kids showed a lot about their resolve by coming out on top 17 of the 18 times they went to battle. On this particular night Gavin was sharp, and when Gavin is on top of his game he is tough to beat. Our offense was relentless, putting up 15 hits on the night, and more than enough to make up for a few base running errors and defensive miscues.”
CL 4, Crestwood 3
The regular season ended Tuesday, July 16, in a hotly contested battle with Crestwood at Cresco. The Lions used two runs in the top of the seventh inning to defeat Crestwood, 4-3.
The home team jumped out to a 1-0 lead and held it until the sixth inning when the Lions put two on the board. Crestwood answered with two in the bottom half of the inning to reclaim the lead, but was shut down in the seventh by Brock Adams, who came in to relieve starter Jerry Kockler. Kockler gave up just five hits in six and one-third innings. He struck out one and walked two. Adams struck out one and walked one.
“This was a very hard fought game by both sides and a great game, I thought, to have as we enter tournament play Friday,” said Coach Seth Thompson. “We had to come back from behind not once, but twice, and I think it shows a lot about these kids that they were able to put together their best at bats and innings as a team when the game was on the line. Brandon battled like he has all year on the mound, and managed to come out on top with a win for a perfect 7-0 record in the regular season.”
The Lions recorded nine hits in the game. Luke Schiller and Mitch Keeran had two hits apiece, while Gavin Sheakley, Brock Adams, Brandon Tofte, Matt Stephany and Pete Swenson each had a hit in the game. Keeran, Adams and Stephany reached base on doubles.
Clear Lake finished the regular season with a record of 32-3, the best in Class 3A.