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Big win for Eisenhower over Dakota PHOTO GALLERY

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The Eagles prevail in the MAC Red game, 9-8


It was time for Jason Gendreau and his baseball players at Eisenhower to take a big gulp of air and a well-deserved sigh of relief following the Eagles’ 9-8 MAC Red win over visiting Dakota Monday afternoon.

Eisenhower had lost 11 consecutive games to the Cougars prior to Monday’s contest. Seven of those losses had been by one run.

“We’ve been on the losing side of the vast majority of our games with Dakota,” said Gendreau. “We’d lost seven in a row and seven of those by one run. It has been a great series over the years. Both teams have played tremendously hard against one another.

“There’s been a 14-inning game, a 13-inning game and two 10-inning games. So, today’s battle was what we expected. We are very fortunate to be on the winning side today,” continued the Eisenhower coach.

The winning run was scored on a single by Andrew Szalkowski in the bottom of the sixth inning. Szalkowski stroked a sharp liner to left field to earn the RBI.

The game’s pivotal inning was the third, when Dakota came to the plate first and scored four runs. The host Eagles responded with eight of their own in their half of the third.

“We have a tough team with a lot of depth. Obviously the ball game was going down 4-0 and then coming back and scoring eight. That is ultimately what gave us a chance to win the game,” said Gendreau.

The big hit for the Eagles in that inning came from pinch hitter Jack Cervi, a junior outfielder. Cervi jumped on a fastball and smacked a bases loaded triple.

“I know it was a fastball, and it was a little outside. I just went with the pitch,” said Cervi. “It feels awesome. It’s the first time I’ve beaten Dakota in any sport.”

Cervi also plays football.

Still, the Cougars came back to tie the game by scoring one in the fifth and three more in the sixth.

Dakota’s leading hitter was senior shortstop James Spilko, who bats in the leadoff slot. He had three hits.

“James has been playing really good baseball, both offensive and defensively,” said Matt Carley, the Dakota coach.

His Cougars are 5-2-1. Eisenhower is 6-3. The teams convene Wednesday at Dakota.

Following Monday’s game, the Eisenhower players and coaches were going to grab dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.

No word on whether they hit a 7-Eleven on the way.

Last Updated: 4/18/2016 9:41:09 PM EST