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Madelia keeps rolling, wins 5th consecutive game

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau Madelia’s Eric Anderson throws to first for an out as third baseman Jed Altenburg looks on during the Blackhawks’ home game with Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther on Friday at Watona Park.

MADELIA — Behind a solid six-inning outing from right-hander Eric Anderson and enough offense behind him, Madelia was able to stay hot with its fifth consecutive win.

The Blackhawks (15-4) defeated Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther 6-1 in nonconference baseball action on Friday at Watona Park.

Anderson gave up six hits and four walks for one earned run while striking out seven.

After walking the leadoff hitter in the top of the first, Anderson started to find his groove and retired the next eight batters.

After a two-out walk and a stolen base in the third, Anderson got his third strikeout of the inning to end any threat the Jaguars had to score. He gave up his first hit of the game in the fourth and his only run in the sixth.

“Curveball was not working, but the fastball [was],” Anderson said. “Coach called fastball and I just kept throwing fastballs. And [they were] not really keeping up with us. Defense was there, teammates were, especially behind the dish.”

Blake Altenburg entered in the seventh after Anderson gave up a leadoff single. After the Jaguars filled the bases on an error and a walk, Blake Altenburg was able to force back-to-back infield flies before getting a strikeout to end the game.

Carter Florez led the Blackhawks in the win at the plate, going 3 for 4 with two runs scored. Jake Lehman was 2 for 3 with an RBI also for Madelia, while Blake Altenburg was 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Anderson was 2 for 4.

Madelia scored its first run of the game in the third after Anderson led off with a single and scored on a throwing error from third to first. Jordan Koberoski later doubled in Lehman for a 2-0 Madelia lead after three.

Lehman singled in Florez in the fourth inning for a 3-0 Madelia lead. Blake Altenburg then singled in Jed Altenburg in the fifth inning for a 4-0 lead but was thrown out trying to advance to second.

Later that same inning, the Blackhawks stole a run on a “skunk in the outfield” play. After Garrett Reed singled Florez to third, Reed took a large lead in between first and second near the outfield grass. The Jaguars’ confusion allowed Florez to run home and beat a throw to the plate for a 5-0 Madelia lead.

“Our baserunning — it has its ups and downs,” Anderson said. “Sometimes we’re great with baserunning, and I’m pretty sure we’ve performed that skunk play three or four times in the season.”

The Jaguars got into the scoring column in the sixth, but the Blackhawks got that run back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single from Blake Altenburg that scored Lehman.

The Blackhawks, who clinched the Valley Conference title weeks ago for the first time in program history, play a doubleheader in Hector on Monday before awaiting section playoff seedings.

Anderson said that this season’s success is due to the team’s bond and said it’ll be key come playoff time.

“I think it’s how our teammates are connected,” Anderson said. “We’ve been playing together since, like, first grade. We’re just mentally connected, so we’ve just got to play our hearts out.”

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