It was a tale of two games for the Glenwood baseball team in Hawkeye 10 Conference double-header split with Denison on Thursday.
In game one, the Rams committed a season-high 11 errors in a 19-18 loss won by a Grady Thies walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the seventh.
In game two, Glenwood bounced backed, thanks to a sterling two-hit shutout win by Taylor Kaufman, to post a 11-0 victory in five innings.
For Glenwood coach Bret Elam, his team’s Jeckyl and Hyde persona has been plaguing the Rams for the last two weeks.
“It was hard to stomach and hard to take,” said Elam of the game one loss. “Our slow starts have just killed us. I think its a concentration thing. Concentration and lack of focus because we’re making errors on bonehead plays and routine balls. We’re throwing to the wrong place at the right time, we’re late, we’ll look like we make a play and they we can’t get it across the infield. We’re just thinking too much.”
In the first inning alone the Monarchs plated four runs thanks to four Glenwood errors.
But the Rams fought back. Down 17-8 in the sixth inning, Grant Loeffelbein’s grand slam home run keyed an eight- run inning. After Denison added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, Josh DeYoung’s two-run home run blast knotted the score at 18-18 going into the bottom of the seventh.
“At that point (Matt) Schulz was throwing fine and we’re getting (Taylor) Kaufman loose to go in and their No. 8 hitter comes to the plate and hits a two strike walk-off home run. Schulz was trying to throw a low fastball and then come back with the curve ball and it caught too much of the plate and he made us pay.”
Twice, Elam said, his team ended an inning in the first game with the bases loaded watching a called third strike.
The loss was the Rams’ first in 14 conference games this season.
Kaufman struck out nine and walked one in the game two win.
“He continually got ahead hitters and threw strikes,” said Elam. “They had one hit in the first and one in the fourth and that was it. They didn’t come close on anything else.”
Glenwood also committed just one error in game two.
C.B. St. Albert 11,
Council Bluffs St. Albert jumped on Glenwood early for 11 runs in the first two innings and withstood a late Ram rally to post a 11-6 non-conference victory last Tuesday at Chuck Wolever Field.
“They got those 11 early and they didn’t score again,” said Glenwood coach Bret Elam.
The Falcons got to Ram starter Drake Ruth early smacking five singles and taking advantage of two walks and a hit batsman to score seven first inning runs. St. Albert stroked back-to-back home runs in the second inning to plate four more runs.
“We just don’t kow what Glenwood team is going to show up and the teams we play feel the same way,” said Elam. “We’re inconsistent and its shows in our play.”
Matt Schulz came on to pitching the final five innings for Glenwood and did not allow a run.
The Rams plated four runs in the fourth on back-to-back RBI doubles by Grant Loeffelbein and Taylor Kaufman. Loeffelbein also added a two-run home run in the sixth.
Josh DeYoung threw a complete-game three-hitter for Glenwood in a 17-3 Hawkeye 10 Conference victory last Monday.
“He wasn’t real sharp the first couple of innings but he settled down after the first inning and it was pretty uneventful for them after that,” said Elam. “He’s pitched well for us. When his arm feels pretty good and he can start and get loose, he’s done well. He’s got a decent curve ball.”