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04/04/2014 - BASEBALL: Gators Use Nine-Run Rally To Overcome Knights

By Jeff Motz

Just when things were going well for Lincoln Southeast, Lincoln North Star had to spoil the party.

The Knights were unable to hold off the Navigators, who rattled off nine unanswered runs in the final four innings to earn a 9-6 extra innings win Friday afternoon at Sherman Field.

Southeast had a 6-0 lead entering the sixth inning with North Star coming to bat.  Aaron Hayes led off with a single and advanced twice off of hits from Brook Bolles and Kolton Larson.  Hayes was forced out at home with the bases loaded and CJ Cuddeford reached on a fielder's choice.

The Gators then got a two run double to center field from Jared Scdoris, that drove in Bolles and Larsen.  Cuddeford and Scdoris advanced into scoring position after a Matt Baier walk and later scored on a single by Grant Baker to pull North Star back into the game at 6-4.

Hayes singled again to lead off the seventh, while two Southeast errors allowed Bolles and Larsen to reach base, the latter of which allowed Hayes to score.  Bolles then scored on a Cuddeford sacrifice fly to tie the game at six.

The Knights got back to back singles in the seventh from Austin Urbauer and Hunter Johnson, but both were stranded when North Star's reliever Baker struck out Kevlin Bruns and forced Taylor Richards into a ground out to send it into extra innings.

Luke Gifford led off the Southeast half of the eighth with a single and advanced on a Tanner Kirchoff sac bunt.  The next two batters, Joel Maxwell and Nolan Hoffman, struck out and grounded out in that order to force a ninth inning.

Hayes led off with a walk for North Star and advanced on a sacrifice from Bolles.  Larsen connected on an RBI single to drive in Hayes for the 7-6 lead.  Cuddeford advanced Larsen on another sacrifice bunt, who then scored on an RBI double from Scdoris.  Baier hit a double to drive in Scdoris, which turned out to be the game's final run.

Southeast was retired quickly in the bottom of the ninth, as Baker earned the win.

Early on, Southeast got a pair of RBI doubles from Richards in the first two innings, Kirchoff and Gifford also picked up hits and drove in runs.
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