W-G baseball falls behind DMC in doubleheader despite strong bats
After being assigned the No. 1 seed in their bracket, the Hawks (17-7) had a doubleheader preview of a potential divisional title matchup with Des Moines Christian (20-7). Two losses was not the showing the Hawks had in mind. But keeping it perspective, coach Eric Evans said the team’s in a good spot for the season.
“Going into the season, I wanted to win 20 games and finish top-three in the conference,” Evans added. “We gotta figure out a couple of (the games going forward).”
Woodward just wasn’t able to figure out how to take down the Lions, each game a part of a whole different look.
In the first outing, the Hawks had them on the ropes through three innings with a blank score before letting up the first run with Brandon Worley pitching. The pressure mounted as DMC notched another run, each inning taking advantage of a Woodward error to advance the runners.
Responding to the sudden deficit, the Hawks got the sticks moving, pushing Bryce Achenbach in for a run in the fifth but came up short 2-1. A rally nearly came in the sixth with runners on second and third but were left stranded after a strikeout — one of eight times — to close the inning.
“We just strikeout,” Evans said looking at the team’s total hits throughout the doubleheader. “We got 15 hits in a doubleheader, you should probably take at least one of them.”
Worley pitched a complete game, recording three strikeouts in the process. The next game took a turn in a different direction with five Hawks taking a crack at the job.
“We saved some guys for the end of the week, so no need to have a guy out there to ride on the mound when it’s just not working out,” Evans said. “We got arms. Get em some experience when they’re young.”
Unlike the first low-scoring affair, Woodward was tasked with learning how to regain and control momentum. Through two innings, DMC put up five runs and in response, the Hawks had a miracle five-run inning to strike back. That was followed by a shutout inning by the Lions’ bats, leaving room for the Hawks to pounce.
“We had a meeting. Teach them what momentum is like,” Evans said about the fourth inning potential. “Now we gotta answer.”
Taking the lead seemed imminent after Reese Jamison found his way to third following two wild pitches. Evans told him that ultimately “his run doesn’t matter” and didn’t want to wipe the bases clean. After a strikeout to end the inning, Jamison and Joe Rhodes were left on base, the closest they’d come to scoring again as the Lions put another five runs on the board without an answer in a 10-5 loss.
At the end of the day, after interviewing, Evans pointed to his dugout. He said “that’s what it’s about,” watching his players having fun with the team that just beat them, “Baseball’s more than a game.”
Five games remaining in the regular season, the Hawks next gear up for CAM (18-2) in Anita for a crucial 7 p.m. matchup