In a game worthy of its reward, Boone out-slugged the Clear Lake Lions, 9-8 in a Class 3A Sub-State final. The game sent the Lions home Monday night, just one win short of a state berth. Boone (20-10) emerged the winner when Clear Lake (28-10) stranded runners at first and third in the seventh inning.
The Toreadors overcame a four-run deficit and scored nine runs off of two All-District pitchers and a defense which had only one error in the game to advance to State. The second-seed Toreadors were slated to meet Harlan (19-14), seeded seventh, in an 8 p.m. game Tuesday, July 26, at the State Tournament.
“I didn’t figure the long-ball would beat us tonight,” said Clear Lake Coach Seth Thompson, pointing out Boone only had seven home runs on the season. “But, their two home runs were huge sparks for them offensively and a big part of their win.”
The Toreadors scored five runs as a result of the two homers.
The first came off the bat of Dusty Moran in the first inning. It was a solid response to the four runs Clear Lake put on the board in the first frame. The Lions opened fast with four runs on hits by Zac Bendickson, Elliot Neuberger, Ozzie Adams and Tanner Truesdell. Neuberger and Truesdell finished with a pair of hits in the game. Bendickson, Adams and Colin Lobdell each had one, giving the Lions a total of seven hits in the game.
The Lions added another run in the second inning, then were held scoreless until the sixth.
Sophomore starting pitcher Gavin Sheakley was pulled after three innings pitched. The Toreadors had four hits and scored five runs off Sheakley. He walked three.
Elliot Neuberger came in to pitch the final three innings. Boone managed eight hits off the senior hurler. Neuberger issued one walk and struck out one.
The second Boone home run came in the fourth inning when pitcher Mike Dahl helped his cause with a two run blast. Boone scored five runs in the fourth inning, putting them ahead 8-5 after four.
The Lions pushed two more runs across home plate in the sixth inning to pull within one run, 8-7.
Boone tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth for a little breathing room, 9-7. However, in the top of the seventh the Lions dug deep for a rally.
Adams led off the inning with a hard hit to the third baseman, which was mishandled, allowing him to get on first. Truesdell was next, smacking a double and moving Adams to third base. Adams scored on a ground ball, fielder’s choice hit by Tanner Tusha. Truesdell advanced to third base on the play. Luke Schiller came in as a courtesy runner for Truesdell. After a pop fly out by Jake Kockler, Colin Lobdell reached base on a walk, putting the Lions on the corners with two out. The game ended when the Toreadors successfully fielded a hit from Michael Keeran and forced Lobdell out at second.
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