The Glenwood baseball team got a pair of complete-game pitching performances from Brian Harless and Drake Ruth and some clutch late-inning hitting to sweep Denison in a Hawkeye 10 Conference double header on Thursday.
Glenwood won the first game 5-4 and the capper 6-4.
The Rams (17-8 overall, 9-5 in the conference) got the complete-game victory from Harless (3-1) in game one. The junior right-hander allowed 10 hits but struck out eight and allowed just three earned runs.
“He probably didn’t have his best stuff but he competed every inning and every at bat and always managed to get away from big innings,” said Glenwood coach Brett Elam.
After the Monarchs took an early 1-0 lead, the Rams tied the game when Taylor Kaufman’s single scored Grant Loeffelbein and then took the lead when Nick Wells tagged up on Harless’ pop out.
Glenwood was up 3-2 heading into the top of the seventh when Harless began to show signs of fatigue. After Kerry Fineran lead off the inning with a triple, Cody VanNess scored him to knot the score at 3-3. A bunt hit by Bruck left runners at the corners. Harless managed to retire the next two Monarchs but Cody VanNess would score on Brandon Scherff’s fly out to give Denison the 4-2 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Denison starter Nathan Bruck struck out Ram lead-off hitter Kyle Wheeler to open the seventh before Grant Loeffelbein singled and Wells reached on an error. With two on and one out, Bruck was pulled for lefthander Kenny Nammany. Kaufman promptly tagged the senior for a sharp single up the middle to score Loeffelbein and tie the game.
Gage Comer then smacked a 1-2 pitch into right field that was caught but allowed Wells to tag up for the winning run.
In game two Ruth threw 137 pitches in a complete-game win.
The Monarchs plated three runs in the first and got just one run over the next six as Ruth (5-1) took control, said Elam.
“I hate to keep beating a dead horse here but those two (Ruth and Harless) were huge for us. We didn’t have a back up plan,” said Elam of his depleting pitching unit. “We needed them both to step up and pitch complete games and they did. It was as much of a mental challenge as physical. They really stepped up.”
Glenwood had 10 hits combined in the two games with Harless and Loeffelbein each having two.
The two wins over Denison put Glenwood in sole possession of third place in the Hawkeye 10 Conference behind Harlan (11-1) and Council Bluffs Lewis Central (10-3).
Red Oak 3
Glenwood pounded out 13 hits, including nine for extra bases, in a 13-3 Hawkeye 10 Conference win over Red Oak on Wednesday.
Drake Ruth was 3-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs. Kyle Wheeler, Taylor Kaufman and Josh Magnussen each had two hits. Kaufman drove in three runs on a pair of triples.
On the mound, Josh DeYoung earned his first varsity win in his first every varsity start allowing four hits and no earned runs while striking out five.
“He threw real well,” said Glenwood coach Brett Elam of DeYoung. “With as tire as our staff has been we needed him and he stepped up. It was huge for us because he set us up for the rest of the week. He was confident and had a lot of run support behind him.”
Red Oak 8
Nick Wells smacked a two-run double to tie the game and later beat out a play at the plate to give Glenwood a 9-8 non-conference baseball victory over Council Bluffs St. Albert last Tuesday.
After Glenwood took a 5-0 lead after three innings and appeared to have the Falcons on the ropes, St. Albert rallied to score eight runs over the final three innings. In the bottom of the seventh, Kyle Wheeler and Grant Loeffelbein each singled before Wells’ double scored them both. Andrew Brown then walked both Taylor Kaufman and Brian Harless to load the bases. A sharply hit grounder by Gage Comer was briefly mishandled by the Falcons’ second baseman who attempted to go home for the force but Wells slid in to beat the relay.
“We got up 5-0 and we were in total control but we commit and error, let them back in and next thing we know we’re down,” said Glenwood coach Brett Elam, whose team committed five errors in the game. “Down two in the bottom of the seventh isn’t where we wanted to be but we got lucky and I always say its better to be lucky and than good.”
Last-minute starter Matt Schulz threw five inning, allowing one earned run and four hits before giving way to Harless in the seventh, who earned the win.
“Matt threw really well on four days rest. We needed him to be good because we didn’t have a Plan B,” said Elam.
Rams split with Clarinda
The Glenwood baseball team split a pair of Hawkeye 10 Conference games with Clarinda last Monday.
The Rams dropped game one 7-6 but bounced back to win game two 8-7.
In the first game, Josh Magnussen struggled with his control on the hill, said Glenwood coach Brett Elam, walking 11 and allowing four hits in three inning.
“He was kind of all over the place,” said Elam. “He always throws a lot of pitches and gets guys into counts. Sometimes he tries to hard when we get down and ends up throwing too hard and gets wild and that’s what he did.”
The Rams out hit the Cardinals nine to five.
“Sure, we out hit them but we gave them 11 free base runners,” Elam said.
In game two, Glenwood took advantage of 10 Clarinda fielding errors but still still needed nine innings to pull out the 9-8 when Grant Loeffelbein stole home with two outs and the bases loaded.
Gage Comer started and pitched the first six innings, allowing five earned runs and five hits while striking out five before being relieved by Taylor Kaufman. Kaufman (5-0), who had been struggling with arm stiffness the last week, struck out five and didn’t allow a hit to earn the win.
“When he came out before the ninth we were planning to pull him because he couldn’t get loose but he said if we scored he’d find a way to tough it out and he did,” said Elam.
Wheeler had three hits and scored four runs in the double header. Kaufman had three hits and drove in three runs.