TROY MILLS — Baseball has returned.
The atmosphere was a little different than normal.
The bleachers were almost empty with limited family in attendance relocated to lawn chairs beyond the outfield fence. The stands only had a smattering of players and their equipment.
Some of the procedures changed. Baseballs were thrown in from the dugout to prevent umpires from handling the ball. There was no concession stand and the setting was much more quiet.
Make no mistake. It was baseball.
“Just being out there and getting the chance to play makes all the difference in the world,” North Linn Coach Travis Griffith said. “There are a lot of things that are way different. ... I think both teams did a really good job, considering two weeks is not a lot of time to get prepared.”
Sometimes it wasn’t pretty, but Class 2A second-ranked North Linn returned to action with a Tri-Rivers Conference doubleheader sweep over Midland at home Monday night. The Lynx survived a 7-6 victory in nine innings and closed with a 10-7 triumph in the nightcap.
“Tonight was good for us,” Griffith said. “We had a lot of situations where young kids had to react in those situations. I saw a lot of positives. There were some negatives but I’ll take the good with the bad when we get a couple (wins).”
North Linn looked In control, jumping to a 6-0 lead after three innings in Game 1. Corbin Woods delivered an RBI double in the two-run second.
The Lynx broke open for four in the third. Nathan McEnany opened with a double, finishing the opener with two hits and two runs. Trey McEnany had an RBI single.
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Midland stormed back in the top of the seventh. The Eagles managed six runs, capitalizing on five walks, three wild pitches and a Jamisen Dodge double to force extra innings.
Lucas Voss delivered a walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the ninth, scoring Jarin Peyton, who was running Alex Sturbaum, who led off with a base hit.
In the nightcap, Austin Hilmer drilled a two-run double in the seven-run second to power the Lynx. Hilmer added an RBI in the third and scored a run in the two-run fifth to seal the victory.
Dodge had four hits, including three in the opener, and Iziek Soper had three hits for Midland.
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