At times, it seemed more like a chess match.
Other than the bottom of the second inning, when the floodgates truly opened for the Lions, Saturday’s 4-2 victory over the Hillcrest Academy Ravens was a game of tough defense and smaller moments.
After seven innings played on a relatively mild Saturday night, the Lisbon Lions flooded out of their bullpen to rally around pitcher Tyson Scott, to celebrate winning the Class 1A district championship.
Scott had a strong game, even striking out the first two batters he faced in the top of the first.
The first inning and a half of the game breezed by with only nine total batters.
The bottom of the second inning was a different story.
Luke Czarnecki singled to kick things off, and Alex Bock hit the ball to the shortstop, who got Czarnecki out at second, but failed to stop Bock from making it to first.
Tyson Scott walked after facing a full count, and the Lions now had runners on first and second with only one out.
Hunter Clark was up next. On a wild pitch, Bock and Scott advanced to third and second bases, setting up Clark to knock Bock in with a hit to center field and to take a 1-0 lead.
Dillon Brayton cracked the ball to the first baseman, who stepped on the bag to collect the team’s second out, but failed to stop Scott from scoring Lisbon’s second run.
Another wild pitch during Kaden Caspers’ at-bat scored Clark, and suddenly, the Lions were up 3-0. Caspers then hit to the shortstop for a single.
Next up was Tyler Scott, who hit a double into left field to send Caspers home, and to create a 4-0 Lions lead.
Cohen Kamaus struck out with Scott on third base to end the inning.
Noah Miller got things going for the Ravens in the top of the third with an RBI single with two out to make it 4-1.
Tyson Scott, facing runners on first and second, struck out London Schrock to escape the inning.
The fourth inning came and went with few fireworks, but in the top of the fifth, with bases loaded, Tyson Scott walked Luke Schrock to make it 4-2.
With the bases still loaded, Jace Rempel hit a line drive to Bock at third, who caught it for the third out.
The Ravens made a solid attempt at a comeback at the top of the seventh, with Noah Miller hitting a double to right field with only one out.
Landon Stolte caught a pop fly to make it two.
London Schrock came to the plate as the potential tying run.
Instead, Tyson Scott struck him out after a full count, and his team of Lions leapt out of the dugout to swarm him, jumping up and down and throwing their arms around each other.
“It was a great team effort,” said Lisbon head coach John Tesensky.
“Tyson Scott pitched a great game for us. We had a big second inning that propelled us, and our pitching and defense did the rest.
“The team has worked hard all year and put themselves in the position to qualify for the state tournament. It’s exciting to watch them compete, and if they keep playing hard, there’s a lot of baseball left in front of them,” Tesensky said.
“We came into the game with good approaches — we knew we could hit the ball, and just had to let our defense take over,” said Tyler Scott after the game.
The couple of times his team was in danger of a Ravens comeback, Scott said he “didn’t think much of it.”
“I knew Tyson could handle the pressure, and he did,” he said.
The win would send the Lions on to face Maquoketa Valley Tuesday in Solon in substate action.
The winner of that matchup would qualify for the state tournament in Carroll.
Lisbon 7, Lone Tree 1
Hunter Clark went the distance as Lisbon downed Lone Tree 7-1 Tuesday, July 13, in the district semifinals.
The Lion’s Luke Czarnecki got the team off to a good start with a 3-run home run in the first inning, more than enough for Clark, who allowed two hits and no earned runs.
A run in the third inning gave Lisbon a 4-0 lead, which Lone Tree cut to 4-1 with a run in the sixth.
But Lisbon got to Lone Tree pitcher Adam Knock and his defense, adding six runs in the sixth.
That gave Clark plenty of room to finish the game, and he put down the Lone Tree Lions 1-2-3, finishing the game with a strike out.
Lisbon’s Tyler Scott went 4-for4 with a double, two runs cored. Landon Stolte had an RBI on his sac fly.