MARION — There’s not much Linn-Mar senior Greg Hall didn’t do Friday night in the first half of a doubleheader against Iowa City Liberty.
He pitched five innings and had three hits to help the Lions pull off an unlikely 8-7 win over Liberty. Linn-Mar also took the second game 12-2.
“He’s a bulldog out there,” Linn-Mar head coach Kyle Rodenkirk said. “Whether he’s playing center field or whether he’s pitching, he’s a key component to our team’s success.”
With Linn-Mar down to its final two outs in the eighth inning, Hall dropped a single into left field to tie the game at 8-8. Three batters later, Tyler Oberbroeckling drew a walk-off walk to secure the win.
Hall was a home run short of the cycle in the first game and had another three-hit game in the nightcap.
He held Liberty to two earned runs despite suspect defense behind him. The Lions committed five error, including three in the first two innings.
“It gets frustrating, but you just have to deal with it,” Hall said. “You can’t do anything about it.”
He then played the next 10 innings in center field without any errors. The pair of wins extends Linn-Mar’s winning streak to nine games. The last six of those wins came without sophomore and Iowa commit Coy Sarsfield, who was not with the team.
“It’s another opportunity for someone to step up,” Rodenkirk said. “One person doesn’t make a baseball team.”
Liberty head coach Tom Cronk said the extra-inning result in the first game was a sign of progress for the team in its first season in the Mississippi Valley Conference.
“I want to build a program where we have a whole bunch of guys at the highest level,” Cronk said. “Places Linn-Mar has been and we haven’t been yet.”
Liberty has only one senior in the program. Linn-Mar had only one non-senior starting. It’s a working formula for Linn-Mar.
Hall certainly won’t mind sharing the spotlight once Sarsfield returns, though.
“I’m excited to get him back in here,” Hall said. “It’s a little different without him.”
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