Woodward-Granger boys drop two at own tourney

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Matt Buch is waved home by W-G head coach Eric Evans during their game with Centerville Saturday at the Hawk Invitational in Granger. Buch scored from first on a Race Brant triple.

GRANGER — The baseball started early and lasted late at Hawk Field Saturday, with six games producing a total of 101 runs in 37 innings.

Woodward-Granger (2-3) fell in both of their contests, dropping a 13-8 decision to Centerville in their first outing before an 8-2 loss to Newton closed the tourney.

Saydel’s offense created morning and early evening fireworks, as the Eagles ripped Glidden-Ralston, 23-1, in three innings and Centerville, 14-0, in five frames. The other two contests saw Madrid slip past G-R, 12-11, in eight innings, with Netown topping Madrid, 7-2, in their meeting.

W-G head coach Eric Evans said he found both reasons for optimism and plenty of room for improvement after his ball club’s first two games of the season on their own diamond.

“I like our approach at the plate,” he said. “We were aggressive, but also patient enough to take the walk when it was there.”

“I also liked the job our young pitchers did of keep the ball low and forcing ground balls,” Evans added. “We gave up 21 runs in two games and only eight of those were earned. We simply have to do a better job of turning ground balls into outs.”

Evans used two eighth-graders against Centerville and a pair of sophomores against Newton in the nightcap.

Reese Jamison was handed the ball for the start against the Reds and started well, allowing two runs in the second but otherwise keeping the ball low in the zone, as Evans had hoped.

The Hawks scored once in the third to halve their deficit, but Jamison lost the strike zone in the bottom half of the frame, with walks and a series of errors greatly aiding a four-run inning that pushed the Reds into a 6-1 lead.

W-G senior Race Brant pulls up at third base after crunching a RBI-triple.
W-G senior Race Brant pulls up at third base for a run-scoring triple.

Centerville scored once in the fourth and countered two W-G run in the top of the fifth with four tallies in their half of the frame for an 11-3 advantage. Each squad scored twice in the sixth, and despite trailing by eight runs, the hosts continued to battle, adding three runs in the top of the seventh to account for the final score.

Race Brant had a RBI triple for W-G, with Jordan Pierce driving in two runs with a pair of singles. Brady Aunspach drove in two runs, with Austin Scharlau, Jackson Larson and Matt Buch providing RBIs. Cole Theisen showed a good eye by drawing four walks, each of which came with the count full at three balls and two strikes, while Marcus McConahay finished with a pair of stolen bases.

Jamison went three frames, yielding six runs (two earned) on two hits and six walks while striking out four. Brandon Worley tossed three innings as well, surrendering seven runs — only one of which was earned — on four hits and a walk. He finished with three strikeouts.

The nightcap saw the Cardinals score twice in the first inning, but the Hawks crossed the plate twice in the bottom of the third to tie the game.

W-G's Marcus McConahay barely avoids being plunked in his second at-bat against Centerville Saturday.
W-G’s Marcus McConahay barely avoids being plunked in his second at-bat against Centerville Saturday.

Unfortunately for the hosts, Newton’s offense proved too potent, with two runs added in the fourth, two in the sixth and two more in the seventh as the Cardinals pulled away.

Theisen threw six innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on 11 hits and two walks while striking out four. He was relieved in the seventh by Matt Buch, who was tagged for two runs, neither of which were earned.

Brant was 3-for-3 at the plate, with Jamison hitting a double while McConahay, Aunspach, Theisen and Larson all had base hits. Theisen and Larson were each credited with a RBI, with McConahay and Aunspach scoring for the hosts.

W-G hosts Earlham tonight and travels to Guthrie Center for a double-header Tuesday that will include the rescheduled contest form May 26. The Hawks will play a varsity twinbill — first game at 5 p.m. — Thursday at the Woodward Academy, with a trip to Des Moines North slated for Friday.

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