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Trojans, Bobcats split double header

June 7, 2017
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

After a tough game one, the STC Trojans bounced back for a 6-0 win over the Benton Bobcats.

The Trojans hosted Benton for a WaMaC conference double header on Tuesday, May 30. The night started out with an 11-1 landslide victory in favor of the Bobcats behind a complete game performance from senior pitcher, Skylar Freese. Last season the Bobcats held STC firmly in check with two shutout victories in Van Horne. The Trojans had not captured a win over Benton in at least over a decade. But that streak came to an abrupt end as the two teams faced off in the nightcap.

STC junior Rian Simpson took the mound against the Bobcats and their senior starter Nash Martensen in game two. Simpson spent much of the 2016 season as a middle infielder for the Trojans and although he never recorded a start (or a win) on the mound, he led his team with 12 relief appearances in 2016. The innings and the batters faced last season paid off for Simpson as he came out looking sharp in his first appearance. After the dust settled, Simpson walked off the mound at the end of the 7th inning having captured not only the first win of his career but also a no hitter.

Article Photos

STC pitcher Lucas Wilkerson scoops up an infield ground ball and connects with firstbaseman Carter Kriegel for an out at first.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham

"After the first few innings Coach (Koch) and I both noted that Rian was looking particularly strong," said assistant varsity coach Darvin Graham. "It wasn't until about the sixth inning when I looked up and realized, "holy smokes, this kid has a no hitter going here. When a pitcher is able to start his at-bats with strikes and also keep his walks low like Rian did, it really sets up the defense for quick and efficient innings. Hats off to him for an exceptional performance."

Simpson got the win on 95 pitches, throwing eight strikeouts and giving up just one walk. This was the first no hitter performance by a South Tama pitcher since the 2013 season when senior Sam Kuhter and sophomore Dalton Doyle each pitched a no hitter against NICL competition.

At the plate the Trojans had five hits. Cam Klostermann led with two, Colton Vest had 1, Cael Kellogg had one and Kaiden Buffalo had one. Scoring runs were Vest, Klostermann, Lane Koch, Buffalo, Jake Wilkerson and Tanner Walz.

"It was really encouraging to see our team respond to a big loss by making plays and scoring runs in the second game," said Graham.

The Trojans travelled to Anamosa on Thursday, June 1 for a double header. The Trojans kept to their winning ways and swept the Blue Raiders with 9-2 and 4-2 victories behind strong pitching performances from Jonah Bearden and Carter Kriegel. The wins left South Tama with a 4-1 record going into the second week of June, their best start to a season since 2013.

South Tama travels to Vinton-Shellsburg and West Delaware on Monday and Wednesday before hosting for a varsity double header on Friday, June 9.



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