The STC baseball team began their week as they do most Mondays, with a doubleheader. This time around the Trojans would travel just up the road to visit the East Marshall Mustangs at their home field in Gilman on Monday June 9. Going into Monday's matchup the Mustangs held a 9-3 overall record which was good enough for second place in the NICL West, behind Gladbrook-Reinbeck (6-1). The Trojans were hoping for some redemption as they came up short in both games against East Marshall last season.
On the mound for the Trojans was junior Dalton Doyle who was looking for his second win of the season. "Dalton Doyle pitched well enough to win, but we just weren't able to score enough runs to support him," said Head Coach Seth Koch.
Starting for the Mustangs was sophomore ace Nick Long. Through the early going, Long has lead his team on the mound with 2 wins, 10 strikeouts, and a 0.00 ERA.
First baseman Cody Kellogg stretches out for the ball against the Mustangs.
News Herald Photo/Darvin Graham
STC starting catcher Kolton Smith got his bat going at the top of the first with a screaming line drive double into left center field. Shortstop Grant Koch would later bring Smith around to score off a sacrifice fly ball to the outfield. Singles by Doyle and Cody Kellogg set the table for the Trojans but they were unable to capitalize as they went into the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead.
The Mustangs wasted no time in responding. After two batters walked, Long roped a single that brought both runners in to score and put East Marshall in the lead 2-1.
In the bottom of the third starting outfielder Nate DeBondt, who is the son of STC Middle School P.E. teacher Jeff DeBondt, hit a shallow fly ball to left field in the direction of Bailey Chyma. With a sizable distance between him and the ball, Chyma charged forward and made a diving, summersault catch for the first out of the inning. The Trojans continued to hold off the Mustang offense as Doyle struck out a batter and centerfielder Colson Frakes grabbed a fly ball to end the third inning.
The two teams continued to trade scoreless innings until the bottom of the 6th. Long kept his bat hot with a line drive double to start things off. Third baseman Zach Rubenbauer followed with a single that brought Long around to score and pushed the Mustang lead to 3-1.
In the top of the 7th inning the Trojans were looking for a comeback but came up empty. Frakes reached base with his first hit of the night (single) but the Mustangs remained focused as Long forced a fly out and struck out two STC batters to seal the win. Final score of the first game was 3-1, Mustangs.
"Offensively we swung the bat well all night outhitting East Marshall 8-4 in game one. Kolton Smith did not have a bad at bat all night. He hit every ball hard every time up even though the box score won't show it," said Koch.
The Trojans went on to trade wins with the Mustangs as they won the second game 2-1.
Starting pitcher for the Trojans was Cody Kellogg. "In Game 2 Cody really showed some toughness after getting hit with a line drive in the 5th inning and not allowing East Marshall to tie the game," said Koch, "then in the bottom of the 7th inning with the bases loaded and two outs with a 3-2 count he strikes out the clean up hitter to end the game. Doesn't get any more pressure packed then that."
Grant Koch scored a pair of runs for the Trojans that were driven in by Doyle. "Dalton Doyle drove in both runs in Game 2 with some clutch hitting and Mitch Thede seems to be getting on track at the plate too," said Koch.
"Both teams played good defense and got outstanding pitching. It really was good high school baseball in every sense of the word."