Baseball: Rams ride hot-streak entering postseason play
By BRANDON HURLEY
The Greene County offense has caught fire as of late, guiding the Ram baseball team to a 9-2 victory over South Central Calhoun last Thursday, July 7 in Lake City.
Senior Tyler Beger tossed a gem, pitching a complete game, three-hitter, allowing just one earned run while striking out four.
It was the right-hander’s third win of the season and lowered his ERA to 4.92. He’s struck out 31 batters in 42 and two-thirds innings and maintains a .235 batting average against.
The Rams opened the road contest with a run each in the first and second innings. They added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a comfortable 4-0 lead in the sixth. When the Titans pushed across a run in the bottom half of the inning to end the shutout, the Rams returned the favor putting up a four spot in the top half of the seventh. SCC (19-12) did manage one more run in their final at bat, but it wasn’t enough.
Lead-off batter and junior center fielder Chase Stoline collected two hits in the win to go with a run batted in, three stolen bases and two walks. Freshman Austin Delp also scattered two hits to go with an RBI.
Sophomore Tom Gannon and senior Reid Lamoureux each aided the run total with two RBI apiece. Lamoureux was one-for-four with a stolen base.
The Rams showed patience at the plate, drawing 12 walks. They took advantage of those free opportunities, swiping 12 bags in total.
Junior Calvin Skalla tied for the game-high in steals, swiping three bags to go with two runs scored and a single. Stoline leads the team in steals with 17.
Greene County played their final regular season game Wednesday night, a road showdown with Heart of Iowa Conference-leading Saydel (26-6, 14-0). The third-ranked Eagles have scored 312 runs this year, which is second in Class 3A and have maintained a sterling .376 team batting average.
Saydel is tough to hit off of as well, boasting a 1.94 team ERA to go with 215 strikeouts.
Results from Wednesday’s game were not available at press time.
The Rams were 11-15 on the year as of Tuesday, carrying a late season surge into the district tournament. The Rams have won eight of their last 11 games after starting the season 3-12. Lamoureux continues to lead the team in batting with a .486 average on 36 hits. Stoline, since moving to the lead-off spot a few games ago, has raised his season average to .344 and is now third on the team in total hits with 22. Senior Branden Miller holds the team lead in runs batted in with 17. Beger and sophomore Wade Adcock are tied for second with 16 each.
Delp has been the Rams’ most effective starter on the mound, boasting a 3-1 record and a 2.06 ERA to go with a .221 batting average against in 34 innings.
District play gets underway Friday as the Rams face eighth-ranked Boone at 7 p.m. in Boone in Class 3A district four.
The Toreadors (25-6) finished second in the Raccoon River Conference with a 12-2 mark and are coming off a state tournament appearance in 2015
They’ve stumbled a as of late, going just 3-3 in their last six games after the opening the season winning 22 of their first 25 games. Their three most recent losses have come on the road at the hands of a shutout loss to 7-21 Ames (8-0) a narrow loss to Dallas Center-Grimes (4-3) and a loss to Ballard Friday in Slater (6-3).
The Toreadors corrected themselves a bit this week and have won two straight, with home victories over Norwalk (7-0) Monday and Webster City (6-1) Tuesday.
Boone boasts a blistering 1.90 team ERA led by sophomore Dresden Wilson, who is 7-2 with a 1.35 ERA in 52 innings.
Junior Tanner Schminke leads the Toreadors in hitting with a .409 average to go with 45 hits and 24 runs batted in.
Drew Wilber is the team leader in RBI with 27 and boasts a .390 batting average.
Prior to Wednesday’s game, the Rams were in the midst of a five-day lay off.
“We are going to go out and do the best we can, hopefully we get some hits and the defense plays the best it can,” Greene County head coach Mark Sawhill said.
Friday’s winner will play the victor of Ballard-Gilbert Monday, July 18 in Boone.
Gilbert boasts a 17-12 record and swept Greene County this past season, with a 8-7 win June 3 in Jefferson and a 4-3 victory June 24 in Gilbert. The Bombers of Ballard are 18-10 on the year and split with Boone.
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