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Strong pitching helps Century sweep

Rochester Century has scored only four runs in its last three games, but the Panthers are showing they're well-armed to withstand a lack of production at the plate.

Two excellent pitching performances -- and one big hit -- was enough to propel Century to a high school baseball doubleheader sweep of Owatonna Saturday.

Both games finished with 2-1 scores, but sported decidedly different finishes.

In the nightcap, Century trailed 1-0 heading into the last of the seventh. But with the Panthers down to their last out and their last strike, shortstop Lee Anderson delivered a two-run game-winning double.

Century only managed five hits in the game, but had seven walks -- the last two were to Joel Goodew and Chris Torgerson, who scored ahead of Anderson's big hit. In contrast, Panthers starter Justin Jacobson was touched for 11 hits, but he walked only one in his route-going performance.

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In the first game, Justin Garza went all the way, striking out eight and allowing only four hits and one walk. Though he lost his shutout in the top of the seventh on a triple and a sacrifice fly, he made Century's early offense stand up. Tom Lyons and Ronnie Olson had RBI singles in the first and fourth innings, respectively.

Given that Century suffered its first defeat, 1-0 to Mayo, on Friday, Saturday's sweep came at an opportune time, said coach Keith Kangas. "To win a doubleheader after losing a tough one to Mayo, it was good for a coach to see."

With the victories, Century is 3-1 in the Big Nine and 4-1 overall. The team plays Tuesday at Winona.

Waseca 3, John Marshall 1

Rochester John Marshall stranded some baserunners late in the game and let an opportunity for a non-conference win slip away on Saturday at Waseca.

It was the first loss for JM, now 2-1 overall.

Waseca got a two-run double in the fourth inning to take the lead. JM scored in the top of the third when John Magee singled in Sam Steffen.

JM had runners in scoring position in the fifth and sixth innings but couldn't get the clutch hit to score them.

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The Rockets play host to Mayo on Tuesday, and Friday the Rockets are at Century.

Austin 3, Mayo 2

The good news for Mayo's baseball team is that Brian Sommerfeldt wasn't seriously hurt. The bad news is there was no other good news stemming from the Spartans' 3-2 loss at Austin on Saturday.

Coming off a big victory over Century on Friday, Mayo started well at Austin, grabbing a 2-0 lead in the second inning. But the team surrendered single runs in each of the last three innings and dropped its first game of the season. Mayo errors contributed directly to Austin's tying and winning runs.

"It was a pretty disappointing loss," said Sonju. "We're a team that can play with anybody, but we need to make the plays to win."

Mayo was also hurt by a fundamental mistake on the base paths. In the second inning, Sommerfeldt dislocated the pinky finger on his left hand while sliding head first into third base. While Sonju expects Sommerfeldt will be ready for Mayo's next game, he had to be removed from the Austin game.

"He couldn't clench his fist," said the coach. "It was too bad. Brian's kind of a sparkplug on the team."

Ben Grlesberger singled and doubled against Austin, but he was the only Mayo batter to get more than one hit. John Alland turned in a solid start, striking out six over 5.1 innings.

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Mayo is 3-1 overall. The Spartans play Rochester John Marshall Tuesday at Mayo Field.

Lourdes 5, NRHEG 4

Lourdes 5, Windom 4 (8 inn.)

Rochester Lourdes remained unbeaten with a pair of dramatic comeback victories on Saturday.

Hosting a round-robin tournament at Mayo Field, Lourdes edged New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva and Windom by 5-4 scores.

In the nightcap, Lourdes scored the winning run in the top of the eighth on an Andy Nigon grounder that plated Matt Diehl. Jace Hadaway homered and drove in three runs for Lourdes, which overcame an early 3-0 deficit.

In the first game, Hadaway knocked in the winning runs. His double scored Bhrunil Patel and Steve Crowley in the last of the seventh. Matt Jensen worked the last three innings to get the win. He struck out five and allowed two unearned runs.

With the two nonconference wins, Lourdes is now 4-0. The Eagles face Kasson-Mantorville Monday at 5 p.m. at Mayo Field.

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