It is a share of this season’s WCAC title after the Woodward-Granger Hawks and the Van Meter Bulldogs’ baseball team split Thursday’s afternoon doubleheader.
The Hawks (26-2, 17-1) knew early that afternoon at Van Meter that after the last pitch was thrown they would at least be co-champions of the WCAC (West Central Activities Conference).
Playing as the road team the Hawks took game one from the Bulldogs (23-3, 17-1) in a 7-4 victory.
Spencer Hanson, one of the Hawks’ ace this season, recorded his eighth win and remained undefeated after tossing the complete game.
In his 99 pitches thrown he gave up just one earned run on seven hits, walked one and fanned another four. He helped himself with a 1-for-3 performance and an RBI.
As they’ve done for the majority of the season the Hawks took an early lead early with a run in the first and added another in the second.
In the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings the home team scored a combined three runs to take the lead temporarily.
After a scoreless sixth, the Hawks’ bats put together a 5-run seventh for a 7-3 lead and the eventual win and a chance at an outright claim as conference champs.
“We were on cloud nine and I wish we could have had a little more than 15 minutes to celebrate that win,” said Hawks’ coach Eric Evans. “We had a goal before the season during fall weightlifting and it was to be conference champs so we attained that goal!”
Three Hawks led the team in hits. Second baseman Marcus McConahay, third baseman Matt Rhodes, and shortstop Reese Jamison had two hits apiece. Jamison also belted his second home run this season.
In game two, the the Bulldogs - playing as the road team - squandered the Hawks hopes as the lone conference champs with a 4-1 win.
For three innings, Cole Theisen, Hawks’ starting pitcher, muzzled the Bulldogs bats.
It all changed in the the following three innings when the Bulldogs buried the Hawks with four unanswered runs.
Theisen pitched five innings where he allowed two earned runs on six hits, with zero walks and three strikeouts
At the plate Theisen recorded the squad’s lone hit and RBI when in the final inning his single allowed Hanson to score.
With all the conference games in the books, the Hawks turn their attention to their final four games and a chance to win them all as long as the team can continue to remain healthy, according to Evans.
The Hawks are at Baxter today against the Collins-Maxwell Baxter Raiders. On July 5, they are back home to host the Gilbert Tigers.
Regardless of who they play next the Hawks remain focused on what has been their ultimate prize this season.
“Our goal now is to make state,” Evans said.