SULLY — Heartbreaking losses have the ability to either shatter a team’s spirits or bring the team closer together. The Lynnville-Sully baseball team certainly is hoping for the latter of those two outcomes following an extra-inning loss to the Tigers of Iowa Valley on Monday evening, 6-5.
The Hawks have had a tough season up to this point, but they showed real determination against Iowa Valley, and their comeback showed they have some clutch players on the team.
The Hawks were behind 5-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, and they had some trouble generating any offensive momentum in the game up to that point.
The Tigers got ahead early, scoring a run in the first inning, but the Hawks rallied back and tied it up in the bottom of the second inning. The Tigers rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth, and it appeared as though the Hawks were done for.
Austin Newell led off the bottom of the seventh inning for the Hawks with a base knock. Pitcher Cale Van Wyk then singled to put runners at first and second base.
A single by junior Brandon Dunsbergen loaded the bases with no outs for Daniel Zimmerman. Zimmerman hit a deep fly ball to left field that the left fielder appeared to lose in the sun, and a run scored, while the bases were reloaded.
Caleb James hit a ground-ball fielder’s choice that scored Van Wyk to cut the lead to two runs. Another fielder’s choice scored Dunbergen, and with two outs, the game was within one run at 5-4.
Junior Zach Kaldenberg hit a pop fly out to second base that should have ended the game, but an error by the Iowa Valley second baseman allowed a run to score to complete the comeback for the Hawks and tie the game at five.
That jubilation by the Hawks would be short-lived, as the Tigers picked up a run in the top of the eighth and then shut down the L-S hitters to close out the victory.
RBI were creditied to Zimmerman and James. Zimmerman and Van Wyk led the team in hits with two apiece, and Van Wyk pitched all eight innings for L-S.
It was a gritty, inspired comeback by the Hawks, who took the loss in stride. There were no heads hanging in the L-S dugout, and this can be the type of game that fuses a team together. It will be interesting to see the direction in which the team’s season goes from here.