Although Monday's home game wasn't pretty, the South Tama County baseball team continued its winning streak, which is now extended to five games.
The Trojans last lost on May 24 at Benton Community to the Bobcats, who currently are 10-3 on the season. Meanwhile, the Trojans improved to 7-1 with a home win over South Hardin on Monday.
"It wasn't pretty," coach Seth Koch said. "We were fortunate that they struggled iwth their pitching staff a little bit. I haven't looked at the book yet, but they were probably seven or eight walks and another half dozen hit batsmen. Fortunately we were able to take advantage of their miscues. We scored a lot of runs on passed balls. They had trouble keeping the ball in front of the plate."
South Tama took advantage of 10 walks and seven hit batsman as issued by South Hardin pitching in a 15-5, five-inning romp over the visiting Tigers in Monday's NICL West Division contest.
South Tama (7-1, 4-0) joined West Marshall at the top of the conference by breaking out to a 9-1 lead after just two innings against South Hardin (0-5, 0-4). Tank Keckler went four innings for the win, allowing five unearned runs with three walks, a hit batter and five strikeouts.
"Tank was throwing really well," Koch said. "He was doing exactly what he needs to do and then we decide we're going to start kicking it around a little bit behind him again.
"I feel bad for Tank and I told the kids, 'We have to learn how to play better defensively behind him, because right now we're not very good behind him,'" he added. "We had an error in right field and a couple errors at third. They put a hit together and the next thing you know, it's a 9-5 game."
South Tama responded in the fourth inning with four runs, while only giving up one as it took a 13-5 lead. The Trojans added two more in the fifth inning to finish the run-ruled victory.
"I challenged the kids a bit and told them we need to respond," Koch said. "Fortunately, we did and we got a couple timely hits. Clay Waterbury got a big base hit for us. Sam Kuhter got a base hit for us when we needed it. Kolton Smith hit the ball hard and put it in play.
"We were a little frustrated at the plate, because it wasn't quite the pitching we were used to seeing," he said. "We were out on our front foot a little too much. We just need to do a better job of adjusting."
Junior Kolton Smith was 2-for-2 with three RBIs to lead STC offensively. Sophomore Dalton Doyle had a two-run double, senior Clay Waterbury was 1-for-1 with two RBIs and senior Kaleb Davenport was 1-for-2 with an RBI. Doyle led the Trojans with four runs, while junior Nate Hala had three runs and sophomore Grant Koch and senior Sam Kuhter added two apiece.
South Tama's baseball team managed to avoid missing any players for the STC band and choir trip to New York City this week. However, the STC softball squad is missing seven players, including four starters.
"We were fortunate and we haven't been bitten by the band trip bug," Koch said Monday. "We are fortunate in that respect. We have a busy two weeks and we have to take it one game at a time. This one is over and we have to get ready for Ackley-Geneva tomorrow night."