(Harlan) For the second time in the past three seasons, the Harlan Cyclone baseball team will play in the semi-finals of the state tournament. In the 2013 state tourney the Cyclones advanced past the quarterfinals with a 4-0 win over defending champion Dallas-Center Grimes.
The game featured excellent starting pitching as Dallas Center-Grimes Senior Jake Lewis and Harlan Senior David Ratigan each hung zero's on the board through five innings. Lewis ran into trouble though in the sixth inning when Jake Daeges led off with a walk which was followed by a David Ratigan base hit to left field. Ratigan finished with two of Harlan's four hits in the game. With runners at first and second with nobody out, Brett Croghan attemped to bunt and reached safely on an error to load the bases. In stepped Nick Tarney who was hit by a pitch which brought home Daeges for the games first run. Nick Kaufman continued the scoring with an RBI groundout, Chroghan scored on a wild pitch, and Cale Stork's sac fly plated another run to give Harlan a 4-0 advantage.
That proved to be plenty of support for Ratigan who allowed eight hits and no walks. Ratigan struck out three batters, but mainly relied on a solid Harlan defense behind him. The Cyclones did commit two errors but to load the bases in the third inning bat Ratigan got a strikeout and a flyout to end that threat. Harlan's 6-4-3 double play in the sixth inning loomed large in taking away another potential scoring threat from Dallas Center-Grimes.
28-7 (#3) Harlan advances to take on 36-3 (#3) Clear Lake. The game will be played at 2:00 on Friday with the winner moving on to oppose either #1 Bishop Heelan Catholic or unranked Davenport, Assumption.
Click here for the postgame comments from Harlan coach Steve Daeges