Lyle/Pacelli survives scare in sections

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Second-seeded Lyle/Pacelli did not sense the urgency to score until it was almost too late. But a three-run L/P rally in the bottom of the seventh inning brought the team to a 6-5 victory over Medford in the opening round of Section 1A West Division play Tuesday night at Marcusen Park in Austin.

The game marked the return of sophomore pitcher Nick Ehret, who had not played since being hit in the face while batting against Glenville-Emmons on April 11. Ehret threw four strong innings as the starting pitcher but tired in the fifth as Medford took a 5-3 lead with a three-run outburst.

Senior ace Nels Nelson was brought on to put out the fire, and Ehret started the game-winning rally with his second single of the game to open the seventh.

Email newsletter signup

"I was happy to come up with that," Ehret said of the rally-starting single. "It was good to get that first at-bat out of the way. And he was pitching pretty slow so I could see it."

The bottom of the Lyle/Pacelli order loaded the bases for the top half, which came through in the clutch to tie the score and eventually get the win. Ehret singled through the middle to start it, and T.J. Parlin reached with a walk. Medford starter Tim Bachtle got the hook in favor of Brent Yule, who struck out a batter before issuing another walk to No. 9 hitter Dan Rysavy.

Leadoff hitter Jake Burzinski was then plunked by Yule to plate Ehret as the first run. Another strikeout brought Lyle/Pacelli down to its last at-bat, but Nels Nelson's hard-hit grounder to the hole did not allow Medford enough time to get Rysavy at third. Parlin scored to tie the game on the fielder's choice, and Pete Korfhage delivered a two-out single to end the game.

"Basically the bottom of the order did it," said Lyle/Pacelli coach Steve Baumann. "They've come through for us a couple times this year.

"We still had confidence in them, you've got to believe in them."

Medford, who came in with just one win during the regular season, nearly doubled its total after taking the 5-3 lead. The Tigers scored two unearned runs in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead, but Lyle/Pacelli answered back with a pair for a 3-2 advantage. The first five runs of the game were all unearned to respective pitchers.

"I think we kind of fell asleep defensively," Baumann said. "Nick threw a good enough game to win I thought. Luckily we had Nels sitting on the bench ready to go."

After surrendering three runs, Ehret gave way to Nelson, who struck out the first six batters he faced and pitched a perfect three innings for the win. Ehret struck out eight in his four-plus innings, allowing four walks and three earned runs.

"No matter what we would have used (Nelson) at least one or two innings, but not in that situation," Baumann said. "We saw a lot of good things out of Nick pitching-wise."

Ehret was also 2-for-3 in his first game back in the lineup, wearing a protective piece on his batting helmet that he also was required to wear on the mound. Korfhage was 2-4 with a run and an RBI for L/P's only other hits.

The Tigers scored two unearned runs in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead, but Lyle/Pacelli answered back with a pair for a 3-2 advantage. Ehret hit a two-out chopper towards third and beat the throw to first, which went to the fence, allowing Korfhage to follow Nelson home for the go-ahead run.

Alex Halbach scored L/P's opening run on a dropped pop-up off the bat of Parlin in the second inning. Medford (1-20) committed five errors in the game.

Lyle/Pacelli (12-3) advances to the sub-section semifinals against LeRoy-Ostrander/Grand Meadow Thursday at 7 p.m. at Marcusen Park. L/P swept the Southeast Conference season series from LOGM, including a no-hitter pitched by Nelson in their last meeting.