Cyclones give up five runs in 9th inning
In the top of the 9th inning with no outs, Senior Hawkeye Mason King launched a 3-run home run over the left field fence making it a 6-3 game en route to a 8-3 victory for the Hawkeyes, their 21st of the season.
For King, it was his second home run of the game as he hit one out in the top of the 5th with his team trailing 3-2.
“He’s a good little player,” said Cyclones Head Coach Heath Stein. “Good shortstop and he swings the bat well. Their starter had middle 80s stuff, so that was good for us to see heading into the postseason. Overall, it was a good battle and we figured out that we need to get better at executing late in ballgames.”
Stephen Leinen took the mound to start the night for the Cyclones, pitching three innings, striking out three and giving up one run on three hits.
“He looked good on the mound,” Stein said. “He’s done that pretty much all year and it was mainly just preparing him for the postseason run ahead and how we’re sitting here with all hands on deck and everybody ready to roll and we’ll see what happens when it matters on Friday.”
The Cyclones struck first when Cael Goshorn connected at the plate in the bottom of the 2nd inning for an RBI single scoring Leinen.
The Hawkeyes came right back to tie the game up when King hit an RBI single making it a 1-1 game. In the top of the 4th, Mason McIntosh was standing on third base and scored on a wild pitch, giving the Hawkeyes their first lead of the night at 2-1.
The Cyclones responded quickly when Matthew Sorfonden came up to bat in the bottom of the 4th inning with no outs, hitting a sacrifice fly that scored Jozef Reisz. Later in the inning, Hawkeye starting pitcher Koleson Evans balked, Goshorn scored, and the Cyclones retook the lead at 3-2.
King tied the game up with a solo home run off of Caleb Schleis in the top of the 5th inning, who came in to pitch following Leinen. Following the home run, Schleis didn’t give up another run until the top of the 9th.
In the bottom of the 8th, the Cyclones had an opportunity to win with Cade Sears standing on third base and Leinen at the plate. Leinen hit a bouncing ball to the third baseman, Sears took off for home plate, but was thrown out, keeping the game tied at 3.
“Stephen had a good aggressive approach with Cade on third,” Stein said. “Obviously, it’s not ideal as he knows he wants to lift the ball and a flyball scores Cade and we win. Cade got a good lead, he got a good break and thought he was probably safe, but they called him out, so we moved on.”
With this loss, the Cyclones move to 19-13 on the season. They will head on the road Wednesday night for their regular season finale against the 16-21 Council Bluffs Lincoln Lynx. The Lynx are led by Aidan Martin with 37 hits and Braydon Lincoln with 21 runs batted in. On the mound, Lincoln has five wins, while Bennett Olsen leads in strikeouts with 42 and Owen Wilcoxen leads the team in earned run average with 1.17.
“Hopefully they give us a good battle,” Stein added. “We’ll go in there and compete and hopefully we’ll get into some situations where we need to execute. That’s kind of what you’re looking for after the seeding period is done."