Oskaloosa Baseball Stars Hot, Cools Off at End of First Week

by Wade Steinlage

The Oskaloosa Indians baseball team picked up a trio of wins, but then had a couple of tight setbacks as it opened the 2018 campaign this week.

Oskaloosa (3-2) began the season Tuesday with a doubleheader sweep of Knoxville, winning 8-2 and 7-0. The squad then split with Ottumwa, 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.

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.

Next Up: The Indians travel to Winterset Friday for non-conference action starting at 7:30 p.m.

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Posted by on May 26 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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