Osky Boys Continue Tailspin Now 12-10 On Season
by Matt Saville
For the Oskaloosa boys baseball team the season has been hit or miss. They have played great ball against some of the state’s best teams, but come up short against some of the lesser teams on the schedule. This week proved to be more of the same, as they went 2-3 for the week and 1-3 in the Little Hawkeye Conference.
Monday night Osky traveled to Knoxville to take on the Panthers in conference action. Osky found the going good right out of the gate, jumping on the Panthers for a 3-0 lead. The Indian bats then fell silent for the remainder of the game and that seemed to awaken the Panther bats, along with the weather as the game was halted due to thunder and lightning. Knoxville had taken a 4-3 lead prior to the delay and tacked on 3 more runs to end the game with a 7-3 win.
Leading the way for the Indians was freshman Bennett Spry with a 1-4 night, with 2 RBI’s. Senior Travis Gile 1-3 with a double, senior Nick Rutledge 2-3, and freshman Peyton Crouse and junior Logan Lundsford each with a single.
Taking the loss was Crouse, who just couldn’t find his groove, as he went 4 innings allowing 7 hits, 1 earned run and 4 walks. Gile threw 2 innings giving up 3 hits, 3 earned runs and 1 walk.
Tuesday night found a non-conference game at home with Mid Prairie Wellman. It was what the Indians needed, as their bats came to life and they took some recent frustrations out on the Hawks for an 11-2 win.
Osky sent freshman Ethan Arnold to the mound in his first start, and he had a solid showing as he was mixing his pitches and kept the Hawks off balance. Arnold went 3 2/3 innings giving way to senior Travis Gile, who went the final 3 1/3 to close it out for the victory. “Ethan threw well. We needed him to give us some innings and he did that for us tonight. Travis came in like he has all year and helped us out in providing innings and helping out the team,” Coach Gingrich said. “It really helps a lot when kids can do that.”
Leading the Indians on the offensive side was senior Nick Rutledge, going 3-4 with a double, triple and single and 3 RBI’s, plus a stolen base. Junior Nate Van Veldhuizen was 2-4 with a double. Sophomore Joe Sterner 1-4 with an RBI. Junior TJ Boyle had an RBI and freshman Spry, senior Gile, and junior Logan Lundsford all with singles. Junior Mitchell Schaffner had a great night on the bases as he had 4 stolen bases.
Wednesday night brought LHC rival Pella Christian to town and Oskaloosa was looking for the all-important season sweep of the Eagles. Eagles pitcher Dillion Brandonhorst had other ideas as he baffled the Indians for 6 innings, with the Eagles holding a 3-0 lead on Oskaloosa pitching ace senior Nick Rutledge.
A hard line drive knocked the PC pitcher out of the game. However, he did still make the play to get the out, showing that he was going out on his terms. Osky rallied in the 7th on RBI hits by Spry and Boyle. However, Spry was thrown out at home on a hit by Schaffner for the 3-2 loss for the Indians. “It was a tough one for us. This was one that was on me,” Coach Gingrich said. “I threw the stop sign up too late.”
Osky came out in the second game focused and ready to go. Senior Jesse Van Dalen took the ball, and you could tell he was bound and determined to get the job done himself, as he struck out 11 Eagle batters while walking just 2 and allowing just 2 earned runs. Osky went to work on the Eagles as junior TJ Boyle got the bats going, hitting 3-3 with a double and RBI. Spry was 1-3 with 2 RBI’s, and Rutledge had an RBI with 3 stolen bases. Gile and Sterner both had singles, as the Indians walked away with the win of 8-3 and a split of the double header.
The final game of the week for the Indians was at home, but it was at the Charlie Kentfield Fields at Lacey Complex in Oskaloosa as the field at the high school was too wet. The Indians welcomed the Grinnell Tigers to town for a LHC game. What happened for the next 2 plus hours was like a bad after school special, as the Indians could do no right in figuring out the Tiger pitcher. He allowed only two Indian hits and that, coupled with 15 Tiger hits, spelled doom for the Indians as they fell 9-1.
Junior TJ Boyle was roughed up for 9 hits over 5 innings while walking just 1 batter. Only 2 of those runs were earned, as Osky had some miscues in the field. Freshman Bennett Spry threw 2 innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 earned run and 1 strikeout; all together 6 runs were unearned. Juniors Boyle and Colton Swanson had the only two Osky hits.
Osky looks to get back to winning ways Monday night as they travel to Dallas Center Grimes for a Little Hawkeye Conference double header.