Wolfpack struggle on the mound in defeat to Hawks

Nathan Broek | Sports Editor

Matthew Van Otterloo of Western Christian takes a big swing at a pitch during Class 2A District 1 baseball tournaments at Sioux Center Saturday, July 7. The Wolfpack fell to the Warriors 14-2. (Photo/Nathan Broek)

Western Christian  0-0-0-0-0-X-X  0

St. Mary’s 4-1-4-1-X-X-X  10

REMSEN-Western Christian did not pitch a clean game against one of the better teams in the state of Iowa and the Wolfpack paid for those mistakes in a 10-0 five inning non-conference baseball defeat to Class 1A fourth-ranked St. Mary’s of Remsen Monday, July 2.

The Hawks scored four runs in the bottom of the first, one run in the bottom of the second, four runs in the bottom of the third and one more in the bottom of the fourth. The Wolfpack were held scoreless in the top of the fifth to enforce the 10-run mercy rule.

Isaac Kredit was the starting pitcher, but was only able to record three outs. He gave up no hits, four runs of which two were earned, three walks and no strikeouts. Zach Van Essen came in for relief and threw two and one-third innings with four hits, five runs of which four were earned, one walk and no strikeouts. Matt Van Otterloo tossed the final inning with one hit, one run that was earned, one walk and one strikeout.

“Our pitchers didn’t do themselves any favors against a good St. Mary’s team by walking and hitting guys right from the get-go. It put us in a tough position and going forward our pitchers will have to understand the importance of throwing strikes,” said Western Christian coach Patrick Sinnema. “Once we did throw strikes we had the opportunities to limit the damage on defense, but our defense did not pick up the pitchers. All-in-all a tough night and we’ll have to rebound from it quickly.”

Van Essen, Evan Wibben and Tyson Boer had the hits for the Wolfpack in this game.

Western falls two runs short to Cherokee

Carson Schubert l Writer

Western Christian 1-0-0-1-0-0-0  2

Cherokee 0-1-1-0-0-2-X  4

CHEROKEE-Despite a close game, Western Christian couldn’t score in the last three innings and were defeated by Cherokee 4-2 Tuesday, July 3, in a Lakes Conference baseball game in Cherokee.

The Wolfpack found themselves in a tie game going into the sixth inning, but a go-ahead run scored on a passed ball and an insurance run by the Braves account for the final score. The Wolfpack had runners at second and third with only one out in the sixth, but couldn’t get the runners in.

“It was a close game and we definitely had some chances,” said Western Christian coach Patrick Sinnema.

Overall on offense, Zach Van Essen walked and scored a run. Evan Wibben had a single and an RBI. Dawson Feenstra had a hit, drew a walk and had a run scored.

Tyson Boer was on the mound for the Wolfpack. He pitched four and one-third innings, allowed five hits, two earned runs, one walk and had three strikeouts. Ty Van Essen came in for relief. He pitched one and two-thirds innings, allowed no hits, two unearned runs, three walks and had one strikeout.

“We made some nice defensive plays tonight, so it was a shame to let the go-ahead run score on something simple like a passed ball. I am glad to see our guys competing one pitch at a time down the stretch here though,” coach Sinnema said.

Poor defense costs Wolfpack against the Jays

Nathan Broek | Sports Editor

Gehlen Catholic 4-7-2-3-2-0-X  18

Western Christian 0-1-0-2-1-X-X  4

HULL-Western Christian had a tough time fielding the ball, which in turn put the Wolfpack pitching staff in difficult situations in an 18-4, five-inning, non-conference baseball defeat to Gehlen Catholic Thursday, July 5.

The Jays scored four runs in the first, seven in the second, two in the third, three in the fourth and five in the fifth. Western Christian scored one run in the bottom of the second, two in the bottom of the fourth and one in the bottom of the fifth but it was not enough to stop the mercy rule from being enforced.

On the pitching mound, Dawson Feenstra was the starting pitcher and threw one and one-third innings with nine hits, nine runs of which seven were earned, one walk and one strikeout. Zach Van Essen came in for relief and threw one and one-third innings with four hits, four runs, one earned, no walks and three strikeouts. Isaac Kredit tossed two-thirds of relief in place of Van Essen. He gave up three hits, three runs that were all earned, no walks and two strikeouts. Matt Van Otterloo came in to relief Kredit and he threw one inning with three hits, two runs that were all earned, two walks and no strikeouts. Mason Stetson came in to get the final two outs of the fifth inning and had no hits, no runs, no walks and no strikeouts.

On offense, Evan Wibben had one hit, one run and one RBI. Ty Van Essen had one hit and one RBI. Cody Hoogendoorn had one hit and one RBI. Feenstra had one run. Tyson Boer had one run. Levi Vanden Bos had one hit and one RBI. Van Otterloo had one hit and one run.

“A combination of errors and a lack of focus defensively put our pitchers in a tough spot early,” said Wolfpack coach Patrick Sinnema. “We really need to wipe this one from the memory bank and move on toward focusing on our preparation for Saturday at Sioux Center (for district tournament play.”

Western falls to Sioux Center in district play

Western Christian 0-0-0-1-1-X-X  2

Sioux Center 3-7-2-2-X-X-X  14

SIOUX CENTER-Western Christian’s pitching staff did not do all that bad in a Class 2A District 1 tournament baseball game at Sioux Center Saturday, July 7. But the Warriors found gaps in the Wolfpack defense and Western Christian also gave Sioux Center a few too many extra outs to result in a 14-2 five-inning defeat.

The Warriors scored three runs in the bottom of the first, seven runs in the bottom of the second and three runs in the bottom of the third. Western Christian then got its first run of the contest with a one-run single by Levi Van Den Bos that scored Zach Van Essen. Sioux Center countered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. The Wolfpack scratched across one more run in the top of the fifth off a one-run single by Ty Van Essen that plated Evan Wibben, but it was not enough to stop the mercy rule from being enforced.

Tyson Boer was the starting pitcher for Western Christian and he went an inning and a third with seven hits, 10 runs of which six were earned, one walk, two hit batters and no strikeouts. Ty Van Essen threw two and two-thirds innings with six hits, four runs of which three were earned, no walks, no hit batters and three strikeouts.

“On the pitching side of it I thought Tyson (Boer) and Ty (Van Essen) did what we wanted them to do: they mixed up pitches and they worked down in the zone. I thought Sioux Center earned some with hard-hit balls to the gap,” said Wolfpack coach Patrick Sinnema.

The final offensive numbers had Wibben with two hits. One of those hits was a double with one run scored. Ty Van Essen had one hit and one RBI. Zach Van Essen had one run as he got on base on a fielder’s choice play. Van Den Bos had one hit and one RBI.

Western Christian finished the 2018 season with a 1-23 overall record and a team that featured sophomores as their upper classmen.

“Our guys joked during a couple other schools’ Senior Nights that they were wanting to have ‘Sophomore Days’,” Sinnema said. “It was a growing season for them, but they’re getting a better (baseball) education than a lot of kids their age. They get to play against varsity competition, learn the speed of the game and then carry that forward into next year and the year after that.”

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