GRANGER — A slow start nearly undid host Woodward-Granger in the first of two games against Panorama Thursday, with the second game also requiring a Hawk rally, but the hosts eventually prevailed in each.
W-G moved to 9-5 overall and 8-2 in WCC play with wins of 12-5 and 2-1 over a game Panorama (1-9, 1-8) squad.
“We’ll obviously take two conference wins whenever we can get them,” W-G head coach Eric Evans said. “I never know which team is going to show up for us. Tuesday we score 16 runs against Earlham and tonight we were just lifeless. We did wake up, but we can’t afford to be flat against anybody, because anybody could beat us on any given night.”
W-G was the guest in the opener and scored single tallies in each of the first three innings, but Panorama scored twice in the first and second and once in the third to open a 5-3 lead.
A Hawk run in the fourth closed the gap to 5-4, where the score remained until the top of the sixth.
The lid finally came off the W-G offense at that point, with a series of hits and a pair of critical Panorama errors led to a seven-run frame, with eighth grader Bryce Achenbach’s two-run base hit a key part of the rally.
Fellow eighth grader Reese Jamison came on in relief of Brady Aunspach with one out in the bottom of the sixth and kept the Panthers at bay, allowing for the 12-5 win after a final Hawk run crossed the plate in the top of the seventh.
“Our eighth graders came through for us, big time,” Evans said. “Reese did his job, Bryce had a huge hit and then Brandon (Worley) came on and got the win in the second game after entering a 1-1 conference game.
“We played well enough defensively at times, but we just make sure not to let quality at bats go by early in ballgames,” he added. “We can’t have one-pitch at-bats.”
Aunspach earned the win with by persevering over 5.1 innings. He allowed five runs — four of them were unearned — on seven hits and three walks while striking out three. Jamison tossed the final five outs, walking one and striking out three.
Race Brant was 2-for-4 with three steals and a run scored, with Jackson Larson adding a single and a double while scoring twice and driving in a run. Jamison had three RBIs on 2-for-4 hitting, with Cole Theisen hitting a double and scoring three times while Aunspach swiped a base, drove in one and scored twice.
After 17 runs were scored in the opener only three crossed the plate in the nightcap.
The Hawks held a 1-0 lead until a Panther run in the top of the fourth knotted the contest. W-G scored in the bottom of the fifth to break the tie, then held on to prevail, 2-1.
Austin Ober started and lasted 3.2 innings, allowing an unearned run on four hits and three walks. Worley won in 3.1 stanzas of relief, during which he yielded but one hit while not issuing a walk. He finished with three strikeouts and Ober with four.
Brant singled, walked, stole a base and drove in one run while scoring once. His base hit set a new W-G record for career hits as his 124th safety topped Andrew McCune’s old mark.
Marcus McConahay was 2-for-3, with Aunspach and Achenbach each hitting singles while Hunter Pifer scored the other Hawk run.
W-G will host Des Moines Christian in a junior varsity/varsity set tonight in a game rescheduled from Monday. The Hawks have the weekend off before returning to action Monday when Ogden visits Granger.
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