Oskaloosa Baseball Off to Solid Start in 2018

Keaton Dekock covering 1st in a pickle. (photo by Tasha Janssen)

Keaton Dekock covering 1st in a pickle. (photo by Tasha Janssen)

by Wade Steinlage

The Oskaloosa Indians baseball team won its fair share of games to get the 2018 campaign underway.

Oskaloosa (6-3) began the season Tuesday, May 22 with a doubleheader sweep of Knoxville, winning 8-2 and 7-0. The squad then split with Ottumwa the following night, taking the opener 7-2 before losing the nightcap 4-3. The Indians were also then knocked off by Martensdale-St. Mary’s 5-1 Thursday of that opening week before dumping Winterset 8-1 Friday.

Week 2 started ominously last Wednesday with a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Grinnell in the Little Hawkeye Conference opener. Oskaloosa rebounded with a sweep of fellow LHC foe Dallas Center-Grimes Friday, winning 7-2 and 2-0.

OHS, which is seeking to return to the state tournament, is ranked #6 in IHSBCA’s preseason poll.

OHS 8, Knoxville 2

The Indians were outhit 8-6, but took advantage of three Panther errors to claim the season-opening win.

Knoxville plated the first run of the contest in the top of the first, but OHS came back with two runs, both unearned due to a pair of Panther mistakes. Knoxville knotted the score at 2-2 in the top of the third, but OHS blew it open with a big bottom half.

After the third KHS error started the bottom of the third inning, the Oskaloosa bats went to work with four of its base knocks. Nick Harrington had a two-run double, while Keaton DeKock also drove in a run on a two-bagger as the Indians put five on the board.

Oskaloosa wrapped up the scoring with one final run in the fourth.

Alex Dejong was 2-for-4 at the plate, while Harrington finished with four RBIs and Tyler Miller rounded the pads three times. Tucker Nunnikhoven also scored twice.

Rian Yates pitched five strong innings, allowing just two runs (both earned) on six hits. He also struck out one batter without a walk. Colton Butler relieved him in the sixth and recorded two more strikeouts (two hits, one walk) in a pair of shutout frames.

OHS 7, Knoxville 0

Oskaloosa took a 1-0 lead after the second inning and never looked back. Harrington led off the frame with a double and was eventually plated by Cole Kraber’s single.

Two more came across in the third, beginning with Nunnikhoven singling home Wyatt Krier, while Miller touched home on a wild pitch.

Noah Van Veldhuizen opened the sixth with a double and the Indians eventually loaded the bases. The Indians then took advantage of a KHS miscue, leading to a four-run inning for the hosts.

The victors held an 8-3 edge in hits with Kraber going 2-for-2 and Miller finishing 2-for-3 with two runs. DeKock walked twice in the win.

Four hurlers combined for the shutout. Miller earned the win by striking out five (two hits, two walks) in five innings. Noah Van Veldhuizen (two strikeouts) and Krier (three strikeouts) each tossed 1 1/3 frames as well.

OHS 7, Ottumwa 2

The Indians outhit the Bulldogs 14-5 and were also helped by two Ottumwa errors in an easy win to open the twinbill.

Oskaloosa scored once in both the first and second and then erupted for four more in the sixth, all before the Bulldogs could produce an answer.

Blake Van Veldhuizen singled in Miller in the first, while Dejong drove in Yates on another one-bagger in the second.

The offense then took off in the sixth with six base knocks, paced by an RBI double from Noah Van Veldhuizen that brought in Butler.

The contest’s final run was tallied in the top of the seventh when Dejong’s sacrifice fly was deep enough to score pinchrunner Nick Dykstra.

Miller had a big day at the top of the lineup, going 3-for-4 (also walked) with a run scored. DeKock matched him with another 3-for-4 outing. Dejong finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Kraber was 2-for-4 as well. Dykstra also scored twice off the bench.

Harrington worked six successful frames, permitting one run (earned) on five hits, while striking out four and walking one. Krier gave up one run in an eventful seventh inning that witnessed him strike out two and walk two.

Ottumwa 4, OHS 3

Dejong posted the first run of the nightcap in the first, but the Bulldogs matched that in the second. The Indians then recaptured the edge 3-1 in the third, headlined by three walks, one of which brought in Dejong again. Ottumwa pulled to within one at 3-2 after three innings of action.

OHS had runners in scoring in the fourth, looking for some insurance, but could not come away with any runs and that was the last true scoring opportunity for the visitors. The home squad stayed within striking distance and eventually won it on a walk-off in the bottom of the seventh.

Oskaloosa was outhit 6-3 and also could not overcome five fielding errors. Miller topped the Indians with two hits, while Dejong scored on two occasions.

Kraber struck out three in five innings on the mound, while Dejong also had a trio of K’s in 1 1/3 innings as he was saddled with the loss in relief.

Martensdale-St. Mary’s 5, OHS 1

Pinchrunner Wyatt Schultz recorded the team’s lone run, coming in on a Yates’ single in the fourth. Unfortunately, despite outhitting M-SM 6-5, the Indians did not come out on top as the visitors scored three times in the fifth and twice more in the seventh.

Six different OHS players had a hit, while three Indians shared the pitching duties. Butler had some control issues, walking six again striking out three, but he did not permit a run in three innings as the starter. Dykstra went the other direction in 3 1/3 innings, however, with six strikeouts versus just one walk, but M-SM was able to plate four against him. Nunnikhoven also managed a pair of K’s in 2/3 of an inning out of the bullpen.

OHS 8, Winterset 1

OHS put four on the board immediately in the first, headlined by a Blake Van Veldhuizen single that brought in both Miller and Schultz. The Indians collected one more in each of the next four frames as they outhit Winterset 10-2.

Harrington topped the offense with a 2-for-4 showing that featured a home run and two RBIs. DeKock and Nunnikhoven also managed two base knocks, while Schultz, Miller, and DeJong all scored twice. DeKock and Miller reached the pads three times each.

Yates recorded four strong frames with a pair of strikeouts, while Noah Van Veldhuizen added four more Ks in two innings of scoreless work.

Grinnell 5, OHS 0

Very little went OHS’ way as it was no-hit by the Tigers’ Jayden Gibson. Blake Van Veldhuizen provided the lone baserunner with a first-inning walk.

Yates was unfortunately not successful in keeping pace with Gibson, despite striking out six in 3 2/3 innings. Butler also made an appearance and kept Grinnell off the board for 2 1/3 frames (1 K). OHS was outhit 9-0.

OHS 7, Dallas Center-Grimes 2

Back on home soil, the Indians took out their frustrations in the third inning with all seven of their runs. Noah Van Veldhuizen provided the biggest pop with a three-run double. He was 2-for-3, while Oskaloosa won the hits battle 8-6. Brother Blake was 2-for-3 as well.

Harrington produced five strikeouts against three walks in five innings for the win, while Kraber was good for an additional two frames of scoreless work.

OHS 2, Dallas Center-Grimes 0

The pitchers’ duel witnessed just four hits with OHS coming out on top 3-1. All three came in the fourth with Miller leading off with a single. He came around two batters later on a Blake Van Veldhuizen single. Schultz then came in to pinch-run for Van Veldhuizen and touched home plate on a double by DeJong.

Miller was also on the bump and struck out six (no walks) for the win, while Noah Van Veldhuizen earned the save with three scoreless innings that featured six more strikeouts (two walks).



Posted by on Jun 3 2018. Filed under School Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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