High School Baseball
By BRANDON HURLEY
It took the fearless efforts of freshman Austin Delp on the mound to jump start a resurgence for the Greene County baseball team Monday, June 24, as the Rams blanked Heart of Iowa Conference foe, South Hamilton in five innings, 10-0.
The victory was the Rams’ first in seven games, as they were in the midst of a six-game losing streak following their 12-run dismantling of Carroll June 9.
Defensively, Greene County relied on the arm of their youngest player to put the effects of a winless week behind them. Delp threw a complete game, five inning, one-hitter, allowing no runs while striking out four.
“He had control of his fastball and that worked really well,” Greene County manager, Mark Sawhill said. “He finally got control of his change up late in the game, but right off the bat had his fastball going and found the zone.”
After giving up a hit to the first batter of the game, the freshman used a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double-play to regain control, shutting down the Hawks offense the rest of the way. Delp pitched the next four innings without allowing a hit. He was dominant in all areas as well, only giving up one walk.
“He doesn’t have any fear. He’s going to go out there and throw well,” Sawhill said. “He’s got good mechanics and no fear of the negative, it doesn’t bother him.”
Delp bumped his record to 2-1 on the year and lowered his ERA to 2.21, third lowest on the team. Opponents are hitting just .213 against the freshman.
“We’ve seen him do it earlier this year, we’ve seen what he has, so we are kind of expecting it now,” Sawhill said.
The Ram offense was rolling early Monday, as they opened the scoring in the first on a throwing error then a bases-loaded balk to jump ahead 2-0.
Junior right fielder Logan Lansman opened the second inning with a double. Nine-hole batter, Chase Stoline stroked a single in the following at bat to give the Rams a comfortable 3-0 lead. The Greene County offense broke open the game in the third, running across six in the bottom half of the inning, led by sophomore Tom Gannon’s two-RBI single. A South Hamilton throwing error allowed the Rams to score two more runs as they entered the fourth up 9-0.
Delp kept rolling on the mound in the top half of the inning and the Rams added one more one in the fourth. A quiet fifth inning for both squads gave Greene County the shortened, mercy-rule victory (10-0),
“It was a mental thing, we were all ready to go (Monday night),” Sawhill said.
Gannon was two-for-three with two runs batted-in and a stolen base. Junior center fielder Chase Stoline was a perfect two-for-two driving in a run and drawing a walk.
Junior left fielder Calvin Skalla also collected two hits to go with an RBI and a stolen base.
Senior Reid Lamoureux continued his torrid hitting, going one-for-two on the night with an RBI, which actually lowered his batting average by six points. The shortstop is still batting .630 on the year with 29 total hits. Fellow senior Tyler Beger leads the Rams in RBI with 12. Beger and Lamoureux are both tied for the team lead in steals with seven apiece.
Monday’s win put the Rams back on the winning track, as they had fallen nine games under .500 entering the Heart of Iowa matchup with South Hamilton.
“We needed that one,” Sawhill said. “And we will build off of it. When you are always changing pitchers, it will effect what we do. We are going to have to stay on our offense as much as we can with our bats and let our pitching do what it can. I think we will be OK.”
Greene County has trotted out nine different pitchers so far in 2016, with six of those having tossed more than 10 innings.
The Rams followed Monday’s win with a 8-4 victory over Manson-Northwest Webster Tuesday night. Sophomore Wade Adcock led the Rams at the plate, stroking two hits, including a double, while knocking in two runs. Greene County fell behind 4-1 after two innings, but got two back in the fourth, one in the sixth and used a four-run seventh inning to seal the victory. Lamoureux came on to earn the victory in the sixth, tossing two innings of four hit ball while allowing no earned runs.
Sawhill feels his team can use these two victories as fuel for the remainder of the season.
The Rams next take the diamond after a day-off Thursday for a home Heart of Iowa Conference tilt against Gilbert. The Tigers are 10-9 on the year.
Saydel leads the conference with a 17-2 overall record and a .393 team average.
“They have to start believing in each other and I think sometimes they question whether somebody else is going to do what they are supposed to do. And then we have guys trying to do too much. Trying to take on two, three people’s roles instead of what they are supposed to do,” the manager said. “We need to relax, have fun with the game and not think too much. That’s the problem with us, I think. We are too big of thinkers and that gets us in trouble sometimes. Control what you can control and we will go from there.”
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