State Baseball: Lisbon rallies for 2 in bottom of 7th to stun Lawton-Bronson, 5-4
By Jeff Johnson, Reporter
DES MOINES - Being on the bottom of a celebratory dog pile might hurt a little bit. But when it comes right down to it, man, is it worth it.
Ask Brock Givens.
"A little painful," Givens said with a smile, after his single gave Lisbon a walk-off 5-4 win over Lawton-Bronson in a Class 1A state baseball tournament quarterfinal thriller Monday night. "But I guess it's a little more satisfying when you're on the bottom because you're winning."
And doing something to contribute to that win. With the bases loaded and one out in a tie game, Givens picked on the first pitch he saw from losing pitcher Matt Smith and drilled it to the gap in right-center.
Jordan Bahl crossed the plate, flung his helmet to the side and sprinted toward first base. So did the rest of the Lions, much to Givens' dismay.
It was "Ouch!" and "Yeah, baby!" at the same time.
"I saw it go to the gap," Givens said. "I didn't think the center fielder was going to get there. I was rounding first when it hit, and I didn't even care about getting to second. I was just ready for that dog pile."
Seeded sixth, Lisbon (35-7) plays No. 2 seed Mason City Newman (34-4) in a semifinal Thursday night at 8 at Principal Park. Newman beat Lisbon in the regular season, 14-4, not that it means much, particularly after this victory.
Lawton-Bronson lost for just the fourth time in 35 games.
"I'm an Iowa State fan, and I remember Johnny Orr always saying 'Oooo, that was a dinger, Coach,'" said Lisbon Coach Ryan Stensland.
Maybe even a dinger and a half considering Lisbon trailed the entire way, giving up two runs in the top of the first and another in the second. It was a 4-3 game in the bottom of the seventh, but Kolbi Kohl started the Lions rally by working a leadoff walk.
There were runners on first and second with one out when pitcher Marshall Morgan stepped to the plate and lined a single up the middle to score Kohl. Bahl scooted to third on the play when L-B center fielder Luke Skinner misplayed Morgan's timely hit.
"We just knew we had to keep chipping away," Stensland said.
"We didn't want to just tie it there," Morgan said. "We were going for the win."
The senior right-hander didn't pitch his best but gutted out a complete game to win for the state-leading 16th time. Morgan allowed nine hits and three walks, but made huge pitches to strand the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth innings.
"I had to make up for my mistakes on the mound," he said of his game-tying hit in the seventh. "I also needed to drink a little more water because I was cramping up out there."
Cramps and dogpiles added up to victory on this night.
"Yes, we were nervous ... We haven't been anywhere like this before," said freshman Keegan Tritle, who had a pair of RBI doubles. "Going into the game, we knew we had to hit the ball and field the ball. You play to 21 (outs). We had a few bumps in the road, but, luckily, we came out with the win."