Lions fall to No. 2 seed Newman
August 03, 2012 · Mary Coblentz
Unless you're the state champs, you always want another win. Although the scoreboard said 7-3 at the end of Lisbon's semifinal loss against Mason City Newman Catholic Thursday, July 26, at Principal Park in Des Moines, the Lions came a lot closer to that next win than it appeared. The difference in the game came down to some errors by the Lions and possibly a missed call by an umpire.
"Every time I step on the mound, I try to give my team the best chance to win," Lisbon senior hurler Marshall Morgan said after the game. "Tonight I thought I did a pretty decent job, but I kept balls up, and they're a great team. They just hit the ball very well. (Getting to state) was a goal for all of us, but Saturday (and the championship game) was the biggest goal. We came within one game. It's tough."
The Lions were the visiting team on the scoreboard, and they took an early lead. Ben Knake hit a one-out single to center field and stole second base. Jordan Bahl then hit a single to left center to put runners at the corners.
Morgan was the next batter and he grounded out, but Knake scored on the throw to first base and Bahl advanced to second. Hunter Caspers hit a single to center field, and Bahl ran hard for home. He was tagged out on a close play after an on-the-money throw home by the Knights' center fielder.
The Lions' lead didn't last long. The Knights' lead-off batter hit a single to right center field and stole second base. The next batter grounded the ball to second baseman Kolbi Kohl, who fired the ball to first baseman Ryan Kortemeyer for the out. The runner advanced to third then scored on a sacrifice fly. The next batter grounded out to shortstop Brock Givens to end the inning in a 1-1 tie.
Two groundouts and a strikeout made it a quick second inning for the Lions. Newman scored a run in the bottom half and took the lead. Their first batter doubled to the left field fence, then a fly out to Bahl in center field and a strikeout made it two outs. The next batter hit a liner to left field to score the lead-off batter. Morgan struck out the next batter in three pitches to end the second inning.
Lisbon's Connor Woodward walked to start the top of the third. The fourth ball, a wild pitch, got away from the Newman catcher and went into the Lisbon dugout, allowing Woodward to take second base. However, he was sent back to first after the officials consulted with each other. The next batter popped out. A double play followed in which the pitcher made a good catch inches from the ground then threw Woodward out at first.
The Lions had three errors in the bottom of the third, and the Knights scored two runs. The first batter drew a base on balls and stole second base. He took third base on the first error of the inning, a bad throw to second. A sacrifice fly to left field scored a run. The next batter hit a single to left field, and he stole second base. The next batter reached on an error in the outfield, and the runner at second scored. Morgan got a strikeout for the second out of the inning. The base runner advanced to third on another Lion error, but was left stranded when Bahl in center field caught a fly ball for the third out.
The Lions were retired in order in the top of the fourth on two strikeouts and a fly out. Lisbon fans got rowdy in the bottom of the fourth when Marshall struck out the side.
Givens led off the fifth with a single over the shortstop's head. Keegan Tritle, designated hitter, doubled off the left field wall, and Givens scored. Tritle took third base on the throw home. Kortemeyer singled up the middle, and Tritle scored. The next two batters struck out, then Knake walked in five pitches. Bahl hit a ball hard to the shortstop, and he beat out the throw, but the umpire missed the call. Bahl was called out. Austin Springsteen, who was running for Kortemeyer, crossed home but the run didn't count, and the Lions trailed 4-3 going into the bottom of the fifth.
The Knights were back to the top of the batting order, and the lead-off batter hit the ball to the left field warning track for a double. A base on balls put runners at first and second. A bunt single loaded the bases with no outs. The next batter struck out after a battle with Morgan. A double up the middle scored two runs, then another run scored on the Lions' fourth error of the game. With a runner at third, the Knights tried a sacrifice fly. The sacrifice part worked since the batter flied out to left field, but the runner at third left early so was called out to end the inning. The Knights were up 7-3.
In the top of the sixth, Givens got a two-out single to left field, but he was left on base when the next batter struck out.
In the bottom of the sixth, the lead-off batter hit a single to center field. Bahl did a nice job keeping it in front of him to prevent extra bases. A pinch hitter was out, but advanced the runner to second. A pop out to Ryan Light in right field made it two outs, then a pop out to Kortemeyer at first ended the inning.
The Lions led off the seventh with a base on balls by Kortemeyer. Colton Krob ran for Kortemeyer, but the next batter hit into a double play. A groundout ended the game with a 7-3 final score.
"First of all, congratulations to Newman (and) Coach Adams," said Lisbon head coach Ryan Stensland. "They've got a heck of a ball team. I wish them best of luck in the finals.
"(The game) just came down to execution. We didn't execute defensively. We knew coming in that Newman was going to take that extra base whenever we bobbled the ball or the throw wasn't on target. They took advantage of that, and that was the difference in the game. You can't have four errors and expect to win a ball game at this level of competition."
Stensland praised the efforts of the Lions' ace, Morgan. "Marshall has done a fabulous job for us throughout his career," Stensland said. "He's always been a Monday/Thursday guy, coming out and throwing. That's the way he threw in conference, that's the way he threw in postseason, and he kept us in it.
"Defensively, we just extended those innings with those errors. Eventually, you go back to the well one too many times. Our defense put Marshall in some tough positions tonight, and he pitched out of a few. But (Newman players) are too good of hitters, too disciplined of hitters to be able to do that and get away unscathed."
Newman head coach Tony Adams had some good things to say about the Lions. "They're a well-coached ball club," Adams said. "Ryan does an outstanding job (coaching), and the kids are good ball players. We knew going in that it was going to be a battle, we were going to have to play extremely well. Truly, I think we had a few things go our way, and if it doesn't go our way, the game could have had a different outcome. They're a very good ball club. We had to do everything just right to give ourselves a chance to win the ball game."
Lisbon's five seniors (Knake, Kohl, Bahl, Morgan, and Logan Venenga) will of course be absent from next year's team, but they've helped lay a strong foundation for the program.
"This is the next step forward in our program, and we really built it around Marshall and a couple of those other guys," Stensland said. "We'll miss them, but I think our young guys got a taste of this and I'm proud of our young guys tonight. Man, they battled. They had a couple of mistakes, but our guys were hitting the ball. Seniors have really helped take the program (to this level). Now it's going to be those young guys' responsibility to take it to the next step after that."
Lisbon vs. Mason City Newman
Class 1A semifinal
MCN 7, LIS 3
LIS 100 020 0 3 7 4
MCN 112 030 x 7 8 0
Pitchers: Morgan(L), Hall(M)
Lisbon stats: Ben Knake 1-2, 1 run, 1 stolen base, 1 walk; Jordan Bahl 1-3; Morgan Marshall 1 RBI; Hunter Caspers 1-3; Brock Givens 2-3, 1 run; Keegan Tritle 1-3, 1 run, 1 RBI; Ryan Kortemeyer 1-2, 1 RBI, 1 walk; Connor Woodward 1 walk. Pitching: Marshall Morgan took the loss for the Lions. He pitched six innings giving up seven runs, five earned, on eight hits. He walked two and struck out seven.
Newman Catholic stats: Jacob Adams 2-3, 3 runs, 1 double, 1 stolen base; Casey Hall 1 RBI, 1 sacrifice, 1 walk; Jalen Rima 1 run; Alex Weber 2-2, 2 runs, 1 RBI; Gabe Dunn 2-3, 2 doubles, 1 run, 2 RBIs; Joey Verstegen 1-3; John Waters 1-2, 1 RBI. Pitching: Casey Hall pitched seven innings and got the win for the Knights. He gave up three earned runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out six.