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03/30/2015 - BASEBALL: Gators Rally To Beat Rockets

By Jeff Motz

It took one big swing from Logan Cale to help turn the tide for the Lincoln North Star baseball team.

The junior designated hitter hit a lead off double in the top of the sixth inning to spark a two-run rally that helped the Gators to a 3-1 victory over Lincoln Northeast at Sherman Field on Monday afternoon.

Cale's double and Brandon Pearson's walk ended Northeast pitcher Wyatt Divis' day on the mound.  Relief pitcher Zach Plummer managed to force Gator hitter Dalton Vergith into a ground out at first that advanced Cale and courtesy runner Jack Hartley into scoring position.  

Braden Dey's sacrifice bunt scored Cale, then Riley Birdzell was hit by a pitch and Chase Lauver reached on a Northeast error, which allowed Hartley to score and give North Star a 2-1 lead.

Northeast tried to rally in their half of the sixth, as Jimmy Burbach hit a one-out double.  But Caden Highsmith lined out to North Star second baseman Braydon Cox, who then threw to Austin Nelson covering second and tag out Rocket courtesy runner Andre Beltran for the double play to end the inning.

The Gators (2-1) added another run in their half of the seventh after Nelson was hit by a pitch, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored off a single from Pearson, who went 2-for-3 at the plate.

Northeast's only run came in the bottom of the fourth, when Burbach singled, then advanced on a single from Highsmith.  Burbach then scored off a ground out by Drew Chesley.  

North Star pitcher Grant Baker went the distance against the Rockets, allowing a run and six hits while walking one and striking out three batters.

Divis took the loss for Northeast, who falls to 1-4 on the season.  Divis did strike out eight North Star batters before switching positions early in the sixth.
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