Playing the kind of complete game Midland baseball coach Dalton Harms knew his team was capable of, the Eagles demonstrated some pretty special skills in an impressive 8-3 triumph hosting Edgewood-Colesburg Wednesday, June 15.
Midland had it all working against the Vikings, with offense, defense and pitching all performing as the top of the Eagle order hit the baseball and the bottom worked their way on base with walks resulting in the five-run victory that saw the hosts score in four of their six times at-bat.
That offense started in the bottom of the first as well, as after Edgewood-Colesburg plated a first-inning run to take a quick 1-0 lead, the Eagles answered as Kael Cress and Zain Sauer worked back-to-back one-out walks ahead of Anthony Harrington, who blasted a long three-run bomb over the centerfield fence.
“This was a nice win to get,” said Midland co-head coach Dalton Harms. “Our eighth-grader hits a homerun to dead center to give us a 3-1 lead and we never looked back.”
Midland (5-12, 3-3) added three more runs in the second innings as Seth Bixler worked another walk before Jamisen Dodge and Cress singled to load the bases. Sauer followed with an RBI single plating Bixler before a sacrifice fly off the bat of Harrington scored Dodge. Cress crossed the plate thanks to an RBI single from Matt Sauer and the hosts had extended their advantage to 5-1.
It didn’t stay that way for very long as the Vikings plated two runs in the top of the third to pull with two runs of the hosts at 5-3, but Warren Etten who tossed a six-hitter on the mound for the Midland team, would not allow anything else the rest of the way.
The Eagle offense however, kept adding on.
Midland tacked on two more runs in the fifth when Matt Sauer singled and pinch-runner Sawyer House scored ahead of Kaleb Westphal, who reached thanks to an Edgewood-Colesburg error.
The hosts added insurance in the sixth when Cress walked and eventually crossed the plate ahead of a double play that ended the Eagle sixth.
Etten was fantastic not issuing a single walk in the game while tossing all seven frames striking out three Viking batters.
Harrington and Matt Sauer powered the eight-hit Midland offense ripping two each while combining for five RBIs.
The week opened with a narrow 3-1 setback hosting Alburnett Monday, June 13, as Dodge and Cress combined to toss a gem from the mound, but Eagle bats were held to just one Matt Sauer second-inning double.
“This game was similar to our MFL one a few days earlier,” Harms said. “We did a good job of making defensive plays behind our pitchers, but had a few runs get away from us and that was costly.
“We need to do a better job putting the ball in play offensively and put pressure on the defense.”
The Pirates plated a single run in the top of the first before Midland answered with one of their own in the bottom of the second when Matt Sauer doubled and scored thanks to an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Etten.
The Eagles would only have two more base-runners in the game as Bixler worked a fifth-inning walk as did Cress in the sixth.
Dodge worked the first three frames from the mound allowing six hits and two earned runs while striking out two Pirate batters before giving way to Cress who threw the final four innings of scoreless baseball allowing just one hit and fanning two.
Midland closed their week with a pair of tough 10-0, five-inning losses at Calamus-Wheatland Thursday, June 16.
“This was one of our worst nights of baseball,” Harms said. “We walked too many batters and then we had a lot of errors behind that. Being shutout in both games, it just wasn’t our night.”
The opener saw Eagle bats held to just two hits (Dodge and Zain Sauer) as the Warriors plated four in the second inning, two in the fourth and then ended the game early with a walk-off four-run fifth.
Seven Midland errors defensively led to five unearned Calamus-Wheatland runs.
The second game played out much like the first as this time the Eagle offense was held hitless and a six-run Warrior bottom of the fifth once again walked-off a victory for the hosts. Calamus-Wheatland started the scoring with a four-run first.