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HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Lindsey, Spartans surprise Gorman

Mike Hubel searched for the right words to describe Sam Lindsey’s pitching performance Friday, but the Cimarron-Memorial baseball coach kept coming up blank.

“I don’t know how to explain it,” Hubel said. “To do what he did is an amazing feat.”

Lindsey, a senior right-hander, held Bishop Gorman to five hits, and the Spartans snapped the Gaels’ 35-game winning streak with a 10-2 victory in the Sunset Region championship game at Sierra Vista.

Cimarron (31-5) advanced to next week’s state tournament. Gorman (36-4) must beat Las Vegas in a noon play-in game today at Green Valley to have a chance to extend its streak of three Class 4A state titles.

“(Cimarron) came with a lot of intensity and played a very good game, and we didn’t,” Gaels coach Chris Sheff said. “Now we have to dig ourselves out and try to win a game.”

Lindsey gave up three hits to start the bottom of the first inning, including a run-scoring single by Jeff Malm. But Lindsey then retired 12 straight batters and 15 of 16 overall against a Gorman lineup that had scored 10 or more runs in nine consecutive games.

Lindsey struck out four and threw 100 pitches, 64 for strikes.

“All I was trying to do was locate,” he said. “I knew if I pitched instead of just throwing the ball, we’d have a pretty decent chance to beat them. We can swing it, too, and we proved that.”

Gorman started senior left-hander Joey Rickard against a Spartans lineup packed with six left-handed hitters, but Rickard struggled to find the strike zone. He walked seven and hit three batters in 3 1/3 innings.

“That’s not typical of the way he throws,” Sheff said. “You’re not going to win games against quality teams when you put people on base.”

Cimarron senior shortstop Brad Oswald, one of those lefties, hit a three-run, opposite-field homer in the second inning to give the Spartans the lead.

Cimarron pushed its lead to 5-1 in the third when Kaz Smith scored on a wild pitch and Oswald drew a bases-loaded walk. Another bases-loaded walk to John King and an RBI single by James Carraway made the score 7-1 in the fourth.

Cimarron left the bases loaded in the first, third and fourth.

“Once we got ahead, we kept chipping away and buried them,” Oswald said.

“We played them earlier in the season and we were a little hyped up. This time around, we were more relaxed. Instead of playing our opponent, we played Spartan baseball.”

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