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Baseball: Preston Upsets No. 10 Lisbon

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LISBON, Iowa It didn't take long for Lisbon baseball coach Ryan Stensland to describe what he saw out of his team last night against Preston.

"I'll sum it up pretty quick for you: We stunk," Stensland said. "We didn't play well enough to win. (My) guys have been falling behind all year, and we've been telling them it's going to nip you in the butt some time, and tonight it did."

Stensland saw Class 1A's No. 10 team fall to Preston (16-9), 7-2, in their Class 1A district semifinal game. It was an outing that saw Preston dominate en route to the upset win, mostly on the mound from senior pitcher Colton Bormann.

Bormann had a perfect game through four innings, but tweaked his right elbow in the third. He came out in the fifth after giving up a hit, giving way to fellow senior Matt Zeimet, who drove in three runs to go with three innings of relief work.

Preston coach Matt Ash said he hopes the injury is nothing serious with the Trojans' season still going strong.

"(Bormann) has been the heart of the team," said Preston coach Matt Ash. "But we stepped up. We battled through adversity (this season), and my kids showed a lot of heart. We had a slow start, started 4-8 ... I told them to trust in the process, and now we've won 12 out of our last 13."

Stensland had nothing but praise for Bormann after the game, going out of his way to compliment the senior who had an RBI and scored twice before his injury on the mound.

"I've said all along, since he's been a sophomore or junior, that I think he's one of the best pitchers in the state," Stensland said. "He came in, was hitting his spots. (You've got to) tip your hat to him. I know he was hurt a little bit, but he's fun to watch. He treats it like he's a professional out there, and it's fun to watch him work."

Even after Bormann came out of the game, Lisbon (31-8) couldn't get anything going at the plate. The Lions were only able to muster three hits on the night, their only two runs coming in the seventh inning.

"Our swings were really lazy," Stensland said. "We didn't jump on first-pitch strikes quick enough, and if you're going to get to Bormann, you've got to get on those first-pitch strikes. We watched way too many pitches go by."

On paper coming into the game, Preston looked outmatched after being swept by Lisbon early in the season. The Lions came in on a nine-game winning streak, including a dominating first-round district win against Central City, 16-6.

But once Preston asserted its youthful will the Trojans started three eighth-graders and two freshmen there wasn't much Lisbon could do, despite a desperate effort in the seventh.

Stensland pulled no punches in assessing his team's final game of the season.

"Expectations are that we're going to compete; be right there at the end of the state tournament," Stensland said. "In that respect, those expectations weren't met (this season). It doesn't matter what happened, some of these guys have been playing for three years.

"And tonight we looked like a JV team."

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