COLFAX — The Colfax-Mingo baseball team may not have entered Thursday’s game on a high note, but it sure left it that way.
Playing its best game of the season by far, the Tigerhawks shut down Lynnville-Sully and flew past it with an offensive barrage in an 11-1 non-conference win in Colfax in five innings.
Colfax-Mingo (3-7, 2-5 Heart of Iowa Conference) had a season-high 15 hits and committed a season-low one error in the win, bouncing back from losses on Monday and Tuesday. The Hawks dropped to 6-5 (5-2) on the season, having alternated wins and losses in their past seven games.
Lynnville-Sully scored the game’s first run in the top of the first inning, and then the Tigerhawks answered with two each in the first, second and third innings, four in the fourth and one in the bottom of the fifth that ended the game via the 10-run rule.
“This is what we’ve been looking for,” first-year Colfax-Mingo coach Steve Glenn said. “We knew we could do this tonight. This is our potential. Our defense was weak, so all we did was work on defense and get better. Then our hitting was weak, so we’ve been working on hitting. These guys are very coachable and working hard.”
The Tigerhawks got at least one hit from nine different players, and five had multiple. They had five extra-base hits, including four doubles. They also stole 11 bases.
No one had a bigger night at the plate than junior Jake Alexander, who went 3-for-3 with a single, double and two-run home run. He had three RBIs and scored twice.
“We’ve been working really hard and we’re starting to put things together,” he said. “We played great tonight.We’ve been hitting a lot better now. We almost had as many runs as we did the whole season in this one game.”
The Tigerhawks were 1-5 in their previous five games and were held to 15 total runs in that stretch. After committing 19 errors through their first five games, they’ve had just six in the last six.
Senior pitcher Tyler Annis led Colfax-Mingo’s defensive effort on Thursday, giving up only five hits and picking up seven strikeouts in five innings. After the first inning, he and the defense held the Hawks to three hits the rest of the way.
“They were on,” Annis said about his defensive teammates. “I trusted them getting the ball. I put it in their hands and that’s all I could do.”
Annis also had his first hit of the year with a pinch-hit single in the bottom of the fourth that scored a run.
“It felt good getting our confidence up,” he added. “We’re starting up now. We’re getting hot.”
Lynnville-Sully scored its lone run in the top of the first inning on an RBI single from senior Chris DeJong, and was in good shape to add a few more as it had the bases loaded with one out. But a strikeout was followed by a runner on a passed ball getting thrown out at home, and that was as close as the Hawks would come to scoring for the rest of the game.
Colfax-Mingo had three straight hits in the first inning to produce two runs, and scored its two in the second on a double from junior Connor Hainer. The Tigerhawks led off the bottom of the third with back-to-back doubles from Alexander and junior Chad McClain — the second of which scored Alexander. Senior Camden Borts had the third double of the inning, which scored junior Austin Yoakum to put Colfax-Mingo ahead 6-1.
The Tigerhawks’ four-run fifth inning started with an RBI single from junior Trent Pease, and Alexander followed with his two-run blast over right field that made the score 9-1 and had Lynnville-Sully swap pitchers — junior Austin Newell for DeJong. Colfax-Mingo added one more run in the inning on two hits, the second coming from Annis to score McClain.
In the bottom of the fifth, the game ended on a pinch-hit RBI single from Tigerhawks’ senior Alex Baylor that scored senior Mitch Larson.
Colfax-Mingo 11, Lynnville-Sully 1 (5 innings) 1 2 3 4 5 R H EL-S — 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 2C-M — 2 2 2 4 1 11 15 1WP: Tyler Annis (5IP, 1R, ER, 5H, 2W, 7K). LP: Chris DeJong (3 1/3 IP, 9R, 7ER, 10H, 2W, 1K). Left on base: LS 5, CM 2. LS hitting: Eily VandeKrol 1x3 (RBI), DeJong 2x3, Eily VandeKrol 1x3 (RBI). CM hitting: Jake Alexander 3x3 (2B, HR, 3 RBI), Trent Pease 2x3 (2B, 2 RBI), Connor Hainer 2x3 (2B, RBI), Chad McLain 2x3 (2B, RBI), Camden Borts 2x3 (2B, RBI).