Dominant pitching performances and solid offensive outputs helped the South Tama County baseball team move on from its wild game Friday that never officially ended.
On Friday, the Trojans hosted West Marshall for what was supposed to be a doubleheader. The opening game endured a 95-minute lightning delay and went into 10 innings before more lightning suspended the game for the night. After dropping a pair of games before Friday, they got back on the winning track with two North Iowa Cedar League West Division road contests.
"It was nice to have the weekend off," STC coach Seth Koch said. "You have to have a short memory in this game. You can't dwell on what happened Friday. You have to go to the next one and win it."
South Tama sophomore Grant Koch hits an RBI single Tuesday night that scored senior Kaleb Davenport from second base. Koch led the Trojans with three hits on the night. Three other players recorded two hits against BCLUW. South Tama won the game 8-0 behind a strong pitching outing from sophomore Dalton Doyle.
The Trojans (9-3) traveled to Grundy Center on Monday and two big innings helped them overcome a 2-0 deficit. The Trojans beat the Spartans 11-3. On Tuesday, the Trojans played BCLUW, a team that they needed two runs in the eighth inning to beat at home on June 3, in Beaman. Behind dominating pitching from sophomore Dalton Doyle, the Trojans had two big innings on offense to beat the Comets 8-0.
Doyle went the distance for SouthTama. During his seven inning outing, he struck out 11 batters, gave up four hits and walked two batters. Three of those hits came during the first three innings. It was Doyle's second-straight victory.
"Pitching and defense were the two things here," Seth Koch said. "Dalton had a little rust in the first couple of innings and then kind of found the groove. I think he got a little tired near the end. He hadn't really thrown for 10 days so it was nice to see him come out and throw well.
"We had a couple boots behind him in the infield to give them base runners, but I don't think they advanced a guy to third base," he said. "That was nice to shut them down offensively and you have to give Dalton credit for doing that."
South Tama committed two errors Tuesday night. Both errors came during the fifth inning, but a pair of strikeouts by Doyle helped the Trojans get out of the inning.
Offensively, the Trojans had 11 hits in the victory. Grant Koch led the offense with three hits, while Clay Waterbury, Doyle and Colson Frakes each had two hits. Kolton Smith and Kaleb Davenport had the other two hits for the Trojans.
Davenport's lone hit was a three-run double that broke a scoreless tie in the four-run second inning. His hit scored Tank Keckler, Frakes and Smith. Koch singled after Davenport to score him from second base.
In the fifth inning, Noah Bearden, Justin Suchanek (courtesy runner for Doyle) and Nate Hala scored for the Trojans, giving them a 7-0 lead. Koch scored the final run of the game in the sixth inning.
"We put up four runs in the second inning and we got a couple of big knocks when we needed them," coach Koch said. "Teams are obviously pitching around Kole and he's been hotter than heck lately. He got hit a couple of times tonight, so he still got on base. We got kids hitting behind him and the middle of our lineup came alive tonight.
"Clay Waterbury has hit the ball well the last two nights and moved some runners around," he added. "Colson Frakes is hitting the ball hard and putting it in play. As long as we keep swinging, being aggressive and moving guys up on the bases, we should be fine."
South Tama's batting also took a couple of innings to get hot on Monday night at Grundy Center. The Spartans scored two runs in the bottom of the third to grab the first runs of the game. They hit a two-run home run over the left field fence.
"The two-run home run (Grundy Center) hit kind of woke us up," Koch said. "It told us that we better get going. Fortunately, we did."
STC responded with three runs in the fifth inning and six runs in the sixth inning as it broke open the game taking a 10-2 lead. Grundy Center scored once in the sixth inning before STC scored one more run in the sixth and seventh innings.
Smith led the Trojans with three runs, while Davenport and Koch each added two runs apiece. Hala, Tankler, Bailey Chyma and Suchanek also scored once. Waterbury, Smith, Davenport and Koch recorded two hits each.
"We finally had our bats wake up," Koch said. "We talked about that before we got off the bus tonight. We kind of struggled on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with scoring some runs, but we faced some pretty good pitching on those nights. We said we needed to be a little more aggressive at the plate in certain counts and be a little more selective in other situations. We responded. Kaleb and Grant came up with some big swings with runners in scoring position. I think that was key."
South Tama also benefited from good pitching Monday. Smith started and gave up two earned runs during this three innings of work. Then Frakes came in to relieve Smith. He pitched the last four innings, walked four and struck out five batters.
"I have to give a lot of credit to Colson Frakes," Koch said. "For a freshman, he came in and did an outstanding job. It's only a 3-2 lead when he goes to the mound and he holds them the rest of the way by giving up only one run. Fortunately, we gave him some run support. Colson really threw well for his first real pressure situation that we threw him in this year. It was nice to see him be successful on the mound."
South Tama traveled to East Marshall on Wednesday and then hosted the Mustangs on Thursday.
"We always talk about winning the week and right now we're 2-0," Koch said. "We're going to face a tough East Marshall team the next two nights. We have Grant pitching tomorrow and Sam on Thursday night. We have to go out there and pitch well, and if we do that, everything should take care of itself."