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 Bearhope, Haase Home Runs Shoot Down Eagles - Haase Pitches Two-Hitter; Fans 16 Batters in 3-1 Win

May 28, 2008 - The one-two punch of Joe Haase and Jordan Bearhope grounded the Lincoln Golden Eagles in the first round of the Northeastern Baseball Sectional Monday night.

Both Haase and Bearhope blasted home runs and Haase pitched a two-hitter to lead the Panthers to a 3-1 win over Cambridge City. Knightstown had lost to the Golden Eagles on May 15, 4-3, and this game wasn’t nearly as close as the score would indicate.

Haase was in complete control of the game, allowing just one unearned run in the second inning. During one stretch of the contest he fanned eight consecutive batters and he finished the game with 16 strike outs. Haase allowed just two cheap singles in the entire game. The first Golden Eagle hit came on a check-swing blooper to lead off the game by Lincoln’s Ethan Moistner. The other hit came on a routine fly ball that was momentarily misjudged and dropped in for a clean hit.

Haase also belted a solo home run in the first inning that spotted the Panthers an early 1-0 lead. The Golden Eagles tied the game in the second inning without getting a hit.

Cameron Sweetwood was hit by a pitch, but Haase struck out Jacob Masters. Haase then hit Roy Fugate with a pitch, but got Mitchell Sherwood to fly out to Travis Titus in centerfield.

With two out Haase then walked leadoff man Moistner to load the bases. A ground ball to shortstop was fielded cleanly, but the throw to first base was high. That scored Sweetwood with what would end up being the only run the Golden Eagles would get.

Haase didn’t appear too happy with the unearned run and took it out on Lincoln’s hitters. Twelve of the last 16 outs Knightstown recorded were strikeouts by their veteran senior pitcher. Haase made quick time of the Golden Eagles in the third frame, fanning two and getting the third out on a lazy grounder to Chad Oakes at first base.

The Panthers struck for more offense in the third inning. Brice Biehl ripped a single but was thrown out attempting to steal second base on a perfect play by Lincoln catcher Sweetwood.

With two out and the game tied 1-1, Lincoln coach Brandon Pennington, remembering Haase’s towering home run in the first inning, told pitcher Christopher Rea not to give Haase anything good to hit. He didn’t and Haase walked.

Up came Bearhope, who has played long ball several times this season and punished more than a few teams for choosing to pitch around Haase. Bearhope drilled a rocket shot deep into right-centerfield for a two-run homer that gave the Panthers a 3-1 cushion.

Most of the people in attendance knew that lead would probably stand up with Haase on the mound. Haase had retired six straight before issuing a walk to Sherwood in the fourth inning, which brought the Cambridge City crowd to life.

Their noise quickly faded, however, when Haase promptly struck out the next eight hitters he faced. He fanned Moistner to end the fourth, and facing the 2-3-4 hitters in the fifth inning, struck out all three with a blazing fast ball and wicked curve. In the sixth frame Haase struck out the side again, and his 16th victim of the night was Roy Fugate opening up the last inning.

The meat of the Cambridge City lineup, its 3-4-5 tandem of Caleb Suttles, Logan Worl and Kyler West, went a combined 0-for-8 with eight strikeouts. Worl, a senior and multi-year starter for the Golden Eagles, fanned three times. Twice he didn’t move his bat when the Haase curve ball froze him and he was called out on strikes. Trey McColley had a base hit in the second inning and went to second base on a wild pitch. But the Panthers couldn’t take advantage of that scoring opportunity. Chad Oakes ripped a shot down the right field line in the third frame following Bearhope’s home run. Oakes ended up at third base with a triple, but he, too was left stranded.

Similar to the previous two sectional games, Knightstown committed just one error in the game and it led to Lincoln’s only run. Of course, with Haase accounting for 16 of the 21 outs by striking out batters, the Panthers didn’t get a lot of chances in the field.

In the two earlier games, errors allowed the go-ahead runs to be scored. Eastern Hancock knocked off Shenandoah 4-3 after the Raiders made four miscues, and Northeastern’s mistakes led to the winning runs being scored by Centerville.

The Panthers didn’t follow their example. The biggest defensive play of the game was probably made by Titus in centerfield. Lincoln came up with its biggest threat in the second inning when Haase got into some trouble and hit Sweetwood and Fugate. With one out, Sherwood nailed a long drive to deep right-centerfield, but Titus was in the area and made a nice catch, saving two runs in the process.

After that second inning run by the Golden Eagles, they didn’t get another runner as far as second base the rest of the way.

The game’s final two outs were the result of ground-outs to Zach Burchett at third base and Levi Blair at shortstop.

The win enabled the Panthers (14-8) to advance to the second round of the sectional where they were scheduled to play Hagerstown (19-11) Tuesday night. The Tigers knocked off sectional favorite Union County 3-2 Monday night by getting three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Knightstown lost to Hagerstown 8-1 on May 19.


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