Schofield had the biggest hit of the opening game. Facing EBF’s ace pitcher, senior Christian Bambrook, the Albia junior outfielder began his night with a second-inning single before grounding out and striking out in his next two at-bats.
After one-out singles by Austin Luse and Griffin Osing set the table for Albia to win game one in the seventh, Schofield watched as Bambrook recorded his eighth strikeout against Bryce Leshen to move within one out of extra innings. Schofield didn’t want to wait any longer, however, hitting a sharp grounder past Rocket first baseman Levi Johnston just down the right field line for the winning hit.
“I went 0-3 the first time I faced (Bambrook), but I picked up on the fact he likes to throw fastballs,” Schofield said. “If it was close to the strike zone, I knew it might be the best pitch I was going to get to swing at. I thought it might go foul and once I saw it was staying fair, I thought (Johnston) might make a good play on it. Once I saw it got through, I was just really excited.”
Leshen may not have come through in the seventh inning of game one. That didn’t mean the sophomore wouldn’t play a huge role in the Albia sweep. After striking out in his first opportunity, with the bases loaded and two outs in the third, Leshen made the most of a second chance against Bambrook by drilling a two-out go-ahead two-run single into right center field.
“I kind of knew what it was going to be like against (Bambrook), so I just stayed back and waited for my pitch to drive,” Leshen said. “Bambrook’s one of the best pitchers around, but I felt confident in what I could do against him.”