After two tough losses on Thursday, South Tama's varsity baseball team got back on the winning track Friday at Grundy Center.
The Trojans were riding a three-game winning streak before they were swept in a doubleheader at Grinnell on Thursday. The bounced back, beating Grundy Center on the road and sweeping GC this season. South Tama (8-6) won the game 6-4.
"The kids responded after losing to Grinnell and played well enough to win," head coach Seth Koch said of Friday's contest. "We had only one bad inning. Tank (Keckler) threw six strong innings. Clay Waterbury came in to a tough situation with runners on base and pitched the final inning."
Tank Keckler pitched the first six innings on Friday. He allowed only five hits and two earned runs, while throwing four strike outs. Waterbury entered the game in relief in the seventh inning. Grundy Center scored one run, but it was unearned.
South Tama jumped on top of the game early. STC scored twice in the first inning. However, Grundy Center answered in the bottom of the second inning with three runs.
STC responded back with two runs in the third inning and one in the fourth inning, taking a 5-3 lead. STC added one in the top of the seventh inning.
Chase Schuett led the Trojans with three runs on Friday. Kolton Smith, Jacob Clark and Waterbury had the other three. Grant Koch and Noah Bearden each had two RBIs for South Tama, while Smith and Schuett had one apiece.
"We had one bad inning, but we came back the next inning," coach Koch said. "Grant got a big hit to give us the lead back in the third. Then we played small ball after that and got out with a win."
On Thursday, South Tama traveled to Grinnell for a doubleheader. The Tigers run-ruled STC in the opener, 12-2, in five innings. The Tigers continued to roll in the second game as they scored six runs in the first two innings. South Tama scored one in the third and three in the last inning, but lost 9-4.
"It's one of those things where we played really well Monday and Tuesday and it's hard to maintain that intensity," coach Koch said. "I don't care what level you are playing three games in a row.
"We had a little letdown in the first one and let it get the best of us," he said. "Fortunately, we showed some life in the second one. We had some guys hit the ball late in the game."
Koch went on to explain that the players' focus is more on the North Iowa Cedar League games and that might have been the case on Thursday.
"I think the big thing is our focus is on the conference games," Koch said. "We lose our focus for the non-conference games, even with Grinnell. We can't do that. We can't lose our focus for a moment."
STC hosted East Marshall on Monday and played at AGWSR on Tuesday. South Tama will be back home on Thursday against Gladbrook-Reinbeck.