Wolfpack get better, but still fall 10-5 to Lions

Carson Schubert | Writer

Isaac Kredit gets into his wind-up before tossing a pitch as Western Christian’s starting pitcher during non-conference baseball with Central Lyon Friday, May 25. The Wolfpack came up short to the Lions 10-5. (Photo/Carson Schubert)

Central Lyon           0-5-0-4-0-1-0  10

Western Christian 1-1-3-0-0-0-0  5

HULL-The Western Christian baseball team saw some improvements but it wasn’t enough to get their first win as they lost a non-conference game to Central Lyon 10-5 on Friday, May 25, in Hull.

The Wolfpack battled offensively and scored three runs in the third inning. Two of those runs came on a two-run double by Levi Vanden Bos. Overall, Dawson Feenstra, Isaac Kredit and Vanden Bos each had two hits. Feenstra also walked, stole two bases and scored two runs. Kredit scored a run and had an RBI. Vanden Bos had a stolen base, two RBIs and one of his hits was a double. Tyson Boer walked twice and scored a run. Zach Van Essen had a hit, an RBI and drew a walk. Trevor Anderson walked and had an RBI.

“Our offensive approach was much better than Wednesday,” said Western Christian coach Pat Sinnema. “So we improved in that area but as the game went on, we went into a little bit of a funk and we weren’t getting guys on base and we weren’t having great at-bats. If we can string together quality at-bats, one after the other, then we’ll be an OK offensive team, but we have to make that adjustment.”

Zach Van Essen started the game on the mound for the Wolfpack. He pitched 3-2/3 innings, allowed six hits, nine runs of which one was earned, three walks and three strikeouts. Isaac Kredit came in for relief and finished the final 3-1/3 innings. He allowed four hits, one earned run and had three strikeouts.

“Zach pitched better than what the score indicated,” said coach Sinnema. “He got hurt by a couple defensive miscues. We’ll lean on him to pitch quite a few innings for us. He does a nice job and then Isaac did a nice job coming in for relief too. He held them in check, for the most part.”

The key for Western Christian right now is to grow as a team.

“The biggest thing I tell them is we have to make sure we are developing,” Sinnema said. “Whether the score indicates it or not, they’ve got to know that they have to develop and learn throughout this year. They’re young and we’re not focused on the scoreboard.”

WC claims its first victory

Cherokee                 0-0-2-5-2-0-1  10

Western Christian 0-0-8-2-1-0-X  11

HULL-The Western Christian baseball team picked up its first win of the 2018 season in an offensive slugfest as the Wolfpack defeated Cherokee 11-10 in Lakes Conference action Tuesday, May 29, in Hull.

“It was nice for our guys to get their first win of the season, and in a close league game,” said Western Christian coach Pat Sinnema.

The Wolfpack offense scored 11 runs and had 10 hits. They used a big eight-run third inning to get the win. Four of the runs were scored on two singles. One of the singles was by Zach Van Essen who scored Mason Vande Hoef and Ty Van Essen. Another single by Levi Vanden Bos scored Evan Wibben and Dawson Feenstra. Zach Van Essen, Vanden Bos and Trevor Anderson all scored on the bases-clearing triple by Mason Stetson. Then Vande Hoef scored his second run of the inning and the team’s eighth run.

Overall, Van Essen was 2-for-4, two runs scored and had two RBIs. Wibben was also 2-for-4 and scored two runs. Feenstra scored a run and drew two walks. Vanden Bos had a hit, a run scored, had two RBIs and drew two walks. Anderson had a hit, a run scored, an RBI and a walk. Stetson had the triple and three RBIs. Ty Van Essen had two hits, including a double, two runs scored and a stolen base. Vande Hoef scored twice and stole a base.

“I thought our hitters did a nice job of being patient at the plate and getting pitches they could handle, which led to some timely base hits and an eight-run third inning,” said coach Sinnema.

Feenstra started the game on the mound for Western Christian. He went 3-1/3 innings, allowed six hits, six runs of which four were earned, one walk and had three strikeouts. Ty Van Essen came in for relief and pitched three innings, allowed one hit, three runs of which two were earned, three walks and five strikeouts. Zach Van Essen relieved him and pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowed no hits, no runs, walked two and had one strikeout. Isaac Kredit also pitched. He allowed one hit, one earned run and walked two batters. He failed to record an out.

“Ty Van Essen did a great job of coming into a really tough situation — one out, bases loaded and a one run lead — and getting out of it with a fielder’s choice and a big strikeout,” Sinnema said.

The Wolfpack committed two errors on defense but, overall, Sinnema was happy to get the win.

“Overall, we did a good job offensively all night of putting the ball in play and running the bases hard. We still have some things to shore up defensively, but nice to see a few of our bats starting to come around,” Sinnema said.

Western Christian finds positives in 11-1 defeat

Western Christian               0-0-1-0-0-X-X  1

Estherville Lincoln Central 2-1-1-1-6-X-X  11

ESTHERVILLE-The Western Christian baseball team lost 11-1 in five innings to Estherville Lincoln Central in a Lakes Conference baseball game Wednesday, May 30, in Estherville, but the Wolfpack and coach Pat Sinnema felt they competed and did a lot of things right.

Tyson Boer was on the mound for the Wolfpack. He pitched all 4-2/3 innings of the game, allowed nine hits, 11 runs of which five were earned, two walks and had one strikeout.

“We played a very tough team in ELC tonight, but to our guys’ credit we hung in there,” said Western Christian coach Pat Sinnema. “Tyson Boer did a good job of mixing pitches and keeping their hitters off-balance.”

The Wolfpack were held to just one hit in the game. Levi Vanden Bos had the hit and drove in Dawson Feenstra who scored the only run. Matthew Van Otterloo drew two walks.

“At the plate, we were able to get quite a few base runners on, but unfortunately left guys at third base three innings in a row,” coach Sinnema said.

The defense has some improvements to make.

“We still have had a few too many defensive miscues that are leading to big innings for our opponents, and that caught up with us again tonight in the six-run fifth inning for Estherville Lincoln Central,” Sinnema noted.

Western falls to Storm Lake 20-0

Storm Lake            3-3-10-4-X-X-X  20

Western Christian 0-0-0-0-X-X-X  0

HULL-It was a long night for the Western Christian baseball team Friday, June 1,as the Wolfpack lost 20-0 in four innings to Storm Lake in a Lakes Conference baseball game in Hull.

The Wolfpack only had three hits as a team. Zach Van Essen, Dawson Feenstra and Mason Stetson each had a single.

“It was tough to get some momentum offensively with long defensive innings,” said Western Christian coach Pat Sinnema. “If pitchers don’t throw strikes, it creates a lot of standing around and frustration for our defense. I thought we had pretty good at-bats for the most part. We faced a pretty good pitcher who probably threw harder than anyone else that we’ve seen.”

Isaac Kredit was on the bump to start for Western Christian. He went two innings, allowed four hits, six runs of which two were earned, four walks and a hit batter. Stetson came in for relief. He pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowed nine runs of which three were earned, six walks and one hit batter. Levi Vanden Bos relieved him. He pitched one inning, allowed one hit, five unearned runs and walked five batters. Kyson Van Vugt pitched the final one-third of an inning. He allowed no runs, no hits and walked one batter.

“The three relievers that we threw tonight, it was their first time pitching in a long time. They haven’t had a lot of practice doing it so they were kind of getting thrown to the wolves. The biggest thing for improvement is to learn how to throw strikes,” Sinnema said.

The Wolfpack had six errors in the game defensively.

“We made a few plays, but definitely left a few out there,” Sinnema said. “I was OK with some of the errors because they were physical errors, not mental errors and I can live with that. The mental errors, when we’re not mentally focused, is frustrating for us as coaches. But we’ll get better.”

Wolfpack drop two at MOC-FV tourney

Nathan Broek | Sports Editor

nbroek@ncppub.com

Game 1

Western Christian 0-0-0-0-0-0-0  0

Unity Christian       1-1-1-0-1-0-X  4

Game 2

Western Christian 0-0-2-0-3-0-0  5

MOC-Floyd Valley 1-0-2-3-0-1-X  7

ORANGE CITY-Western Christian had good defense in game one, but were unable to get any offense while in game two the Wolfpack had offense but not enough defense as they dropped both games at the MOC-Floyd Valley tournament Saturday, June 2.

Game one for Western Christian was against arch-rival Unity Christian and the Wolfpack fell 4-0. The Knights scored one in the bottom of the first, one in the bottom of the second, one in the bottom of the third and one in the bottom of the fifth. Meanwhile, Western Christian only managed to get three hits from Evan Wibben, Mason Stetson and Trevor Anderson. Stetson and Anderson also drew walks. Zach Van Essen reached base twice on two walks and Isaac Kredit also drew a walk.

Van Essen was the starting pitcher in game one and he threw 4-1/3 innings with four runs that were all earned, four hits, five walks, two hit batters and three strikeouts. Dawson Feenstra threw the final 1-2/3 innings with no runs, three hits, one walk and two strikeouts.

“Zach (Van Essen) dug himself a little hole on the mound, struggling to find the strike zone. He pitched OK to keep us in the game,” said Western Christian coach Patrick Sinnema. “At the plate we weren’t able to generate much. Evan Wibben has been hitting the ball hard and I hope to see him continue that.”

Overall, Sinnema said his team continues to go through some growing pains.

“This tournament provides our team another chance to get some game action and see more live pitching, which will help us develop,” he said.

The Wolfpack saw some dividends in the hitting department in game two. Western Christian faced tournament host MOC-Floyd Valley and they fell 7-5. The Dutch scored one in the first before the Wolfpack countered with two in the top of the third to take their first lead of the afternoon. MOC-Floyd Valley, however, countered with two runs in the bottom half to reclaim the advantage.

The Dutch added to the lead with three more runs crossing the plate in the bottom of the fourth. Western Christian clawed back in the top of the fifth with three runs and were within one run of MOC-Floyd Valley, but the Dutch scored one in the bottom of the sixth to increase the lead back to 2. The Wolfpack were unable to score again in the top of the seventh to result in the 7-5 final.

Overall on offense, Western Christian was led by Stetson with a hit and one RBI. Ty Van Essen had a hit and a run. Tyson Boer had a run, Dylan Zomermaand had a run, Wibben had a run and Treyton Sandbulte had a run. Van Essen, Feenstra and Anderson had the final hits.

“It was nice to see our guys improve their base running and start taking advantage of some errors on the other side. Our at-bats were better in the second game of today’s tourney and that was good to see,” Sinnema said. “Evan Wibben had a good aggressive approach at the plate all day and Trevor Anderson had another good two-strike hit.”

Van Essen took the mound to start the game and threw 3-2/3 innings with six hits, six runs of which two were earned, one walk and one strikeout. Feenstra tossed 2-1/3 innings with no hits, one run that was unearned, no walks and one strikeout.

“For most of the game we did a great job of throwing strikes and making plays. However, an error on a short ground ball rolling foul that we ended up throwing to the outfield proved to be the difference and will be one we’ll wish we had back,” Sinnema said. “Credit to our pitcher, Ty Van Essen, for throwing a lot of strikes and doing a better job of managing the game from the mound.”

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