South Tama's baseball team split two games to begin the week - winning in a blowout and losing a close game.
The Trojans started the week with a big first inning that propelled them to a 16-9 victory over AGSWR at home Monday. On the following day, they hung even with Gladbrook-Reinbeck, before a bad sixth inning cost them the game. STC lost the road game 7-4, dropping its record to 4-3 on the season.
"They're are things we can fix and things we can build on," head coach Seth Koch said. "Everybody learned something from last night. We'll get better and go play our next game."
South Tama’s Kolton Smith pitches early in Monday’s game against AGWSR. Grant Koch came in to close the game as he struck out seven batters during his three innings of work. STC won the game 16-9.
South Tama hosted AGSWR on Monday and came out making a statement early in the game. STC allowed one run in the first inning, but the Trojans responded strongly in the bottom of the inning. The Trojans scored eight runs to break the game open early.
Scoring runs for the Trojans were Chase Schuett, Jacob Clark, Kolton Smith, Tank Keckler, Grant Koch, Clay Waterbury, Dalton Doyle and Sam Kuhter. STC had five hits in the inning and four batters were walked.
However, STC gave most of those runs back to AGWSR in the third inning. AGWSR scored six runs in the third to close the lead to 8-7. Three batters were walked and four recorded hits
"We come out, jump on them and get eight runs in the first inning," coach Koch said. "We have to be able to smell blood in the water and bury teams like that. We stopped them before they went back on the field and said we need to get three outs and get right back in here. Instead, we came out booted a ball at short stop, dropped a foul pop-up at the plate. Then we had another mental mistake where we walked a guy with bases loaded and then threw the ball passed second and into center field. Good teams do not do those things."
South Tama came back with a two-run rally in the bottom of the third inning. Doyle hit a single and scored a run. Schuett was walked and also scored. Clark hit an RBI single for the Trojans.
AGWSR scored its final two runs in the fourth inning to once again pull within one run of the Trojans. Noah Bearden scored in the fourth inning for STC, before the Trojans took control for good in the fifth inning. Kaleb Davenport, who ran for Clark, Smith, Koch, Bearden and Waterbury all scored runs in the fifth inning. STC led 16-9 after the inning.
"We played some small ball and got guys on base," coach Koch said. "We bunted and sacrificed to move guys up. We benefited a lot from them having to make a change on the mound and behind the plate. We chased their No. 1 pitcher out of the game in the first inning. They have to bring their catcher in to throw. We scored several runs on passed balls."
Grant Koch came in to pitch the final innings for South Tama. He pitched three innings and struck out seven batters, shutting down any chance of a comeback from AGWSR.
"We finished well," coach Koch said. "Grant came in and did a nice job on the mound. I think he struck out seven of the nine guys he faced. We turned a nice double play ball. Good things happen when you throw strikes."
It wasn't the prettiest of games, but the Trojans were happy to win another game at home.
"It was sloppy," coach Koch said. "The kids even said that it was flat out sloppy. We know we have to clean it up and play better ball."
On Tuesday, the Trojans headed to Reinbeck for a game against the Rebels. Both teams played even for most of the game, but one bad inning by STC was the deciding factor. The Rebels won the game 7-4.
"We gave up four unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth," coach Koch said. "The game was tied 3-3 in the sixth and we had a couple of defensive miscues and that was the difference.
"It was a good high school baseball game," he said. "It was a lot more fun and a lot more fun to watch than the night before. It was very well played all the way through with good pitching on both sides. It was a good ballgame."
The Trojans' coach said his team played well. Doyle and Smith had important hits and RBIs for the Trojans during the game. Sam Kuhter pitched most of the game for South Tama.
"It boils down to we walked more guys than they walked and they got the big hit at the crucial time," Koch said. "It was a good overall game."
South Tama will play at home Friday. The Trojans host South Hardin at 5:30 p.m. for the junior varsity and 7:30 p.m. for the varsity.