Norsemen pull away from Tigerhawks
COLFAX — Steve Glenn knew his Colfax-Mingo baseball team would have some growing pains this season.
And evidenced by the Tigerhawks’ first two games, they’re going to have to just work through them. Especially in the early part of the schedule.
Colfax-Mingo hosted Roland-Story on Wednesday night in a Heart of Iowa Conference matchup, falling 9-2 to the Norseman. And while the Tigerhawks are off to a rocky start, having also lost 13-3 at Gilbert on Monday in the season-opener, Glenn likes that his squad is improving.
“In the first game, we had eight walks and five errors. This time we had zero walks and cut the errors down,” the first-year Colfax-Mingo coach said. “Hopefully we’ll get them taken care of.”
Three Tigerhawks (0-2, 0-2) errors in the first two innings helped Roland-Story (2-0, 2-0) out to a 4-0 lead early, as the Norseman had two hits and scored twice in each inning. They added a two-out run on a passed ball in the third to put Colfax-Mingo in a 5-0 deficit it couldn’t come back from.
The Tigerhawks got back in the game by scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth, but Roland-Story pulled away with two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings, totaling 12 hits in the game.
Colfax-Mingo managed eight hits of its own, but couldn’t get them when it needed them most. The Tigerhawks’ best chance to rally came in the bottom of the sixth inning while trailing 5-2 and the bases loaded with one out. A strikeout and a fly out ended the inning, all but extinguishing hopes of a comeback.
“We dug a big hole and we really couldn’t get out of it,” Glenn said. “We didn’t come up with the big hit with guys on base. That’s all there was to it.”
Colfax-Mingo scored its two fourth-inning runs on an RBI-single from junior left fielder Chad McClain and an RBI groundout from junior right fielder Caleb Anderson. Junior third baseman Jake Alexander got the inning started with a double.
Alexander finished 2-for-3, as did McLain along with a double. Junior first baseman Trent Pease also had a double. Junior Austin Yoakum took the loss on the mound, pitching the first five innings, giving up seven runs — only three earned — eight hits and striking out three. Senior Tyler Annis pitched the final two innings, giving up two hits and striking out four.
Alexander and senior center fielder Justin Fisher are the Tigerhawks’ only returning full-time starters from last year’s team that went 11-10 overall and 8-7 in the HOI Small Division. Alexander was a second-team all-conference selection after producing 30 hits, 27 RBIs and carrying a .469 batting average.
The team graduated six senior starters at the end of last summer, losing seven of its top nine batters.
Along with a new coach, there’s plenty of cohesion still to be had.
“It’s basically a new varsity team,” Glenn said. “I’m new to them, they’re new to me. We’re sorting stuff out. We improved from Monday night and are looking to improve more on Friday.”
Colfax-Mingo hosts Nevada on Friday.
Roland-Story 9, Colfax-Mingo 2
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
RS 2 2 1 0 0 2 2 9 12 0
CM 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 7 3
Losing pitcher: Austin Yoakum 5IP, 8H, 7R, 3ER, 2BB, 3K, 2HB. Tyler Annis 2IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K.
C-M leading hitters: Chad McLain 2x3 (2B, RBI), Jake Alexander 2x3 (2B), Trent Pease 1x4 (2B).