June 19, 2024

C-M baseball falls short in pitching dual

Tigerhawks down English Valleys, earn forfeit win over Nevada

Jace Lewis

COLFAX — Cael Bracewell has surrendered five earned runs in his five starts on the mound this summer.

When he pitches, the Colfax-Mingo baseball team has been in a great position to win the game.

On June 3, Bracewell simply ran out of pitches in a pitching dual and the Tigerhawks fell 1-0 to Belle Plaine during a South Iowa Cedar League contest.

The Plainsmen scored their lone run in the sixth inning, one frame after Bracewell came out of the game.

“We want to be able to use Cael twice in a week and not just once so we limited him to 84 pitches,” Colfax-Mingo head baseball coach Joss Teed said. “I had confidence in Cam (Cunningham). He’s our No. 2 and pitched well.

“I kind of wish we had another walk-off. We had our chances.”

Konner Dalton

The last two times Bracewell pitched, Colfax-Mingo scored the game-winning runs in the bottom of the seventh.

The Tigerhawks put the first two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh against Belle Plaine, but a pair of strikeouts forced the game into Donnie Baucom’s bat and he hit a hard ground ball to shortstop that ended the game.

Colfax-Mingo has struggled with strikeouts all season and fanned another 11 times on Monday. Nine of those came against Belle Plaine’s ace, Wade Sankot, who tossed the first six innings and earned the pitching win.

“We are still striking out too much,” Teed said. “I think guys are freezing. I don’t know if it’s they can’t see it, but maybe they are guessing or hoping that it’s a ball and not swinging. They need to be more aggressive sometimes. That’s frustrating as a coach because we’ve worked on it. We need to foul off more pitches and work counts. That’s what others do to us to get our ace out of the game.”

Bracewell had to work to get through his five innings. He had to get four outs in the first after a Belle Plaine batter reached on a dropped third strike.

He walked the first batter he faced in the second. That Plainsmen ended up stranded at third after three consecutive strikeouts. Belle Plaine stranded another runner on second in the third.

Still, Bracewell finished with 13 strikeouts in five innings and walked just one. He has a state-best 75 strikeouts in 33 innings. The 33 innings are tied for the second most in the state.

“Today I had a hard time getting up in the count,” Bracewell said. “But when I’ve been up in the count, I just ride the curve ball.”

The Tigerhawks (5-7, 4-5 in the conference) out-hit Belle Plaine 5-3 but also had three errors.

Baucom had two-out single in the first, Bracewell doubled in the third and Joe Earles reached on an infield single and then stole second in the sixth.

Bracewell also walked and stole second in the fifth and then was hit by a pitch in the seventh after Xavier Woods drew a lead-off pinch-hit walk.

Logan Exley and Wyatt Jay had the other hits, Jay also was hit by a pitch and Konner Dalton walked once. Woods also stole second base in the seventh.

Colfax-Mingo also stranded the bases loaded in the fourth.

“We do leave a lot of guys on base,” Teed said. “We are focused on putting the ball in play and getting the right guys in the lineup to do that.”

Camden Cunningham entered the mound in the sixth and allowed the lone run of the game. Belle Plaine scored with a lead-off double and a bloop single to left field.

Cunningham (0-4) struck out two and allowed one earned run on three hits in two innings.

Sankot got the pitching win for Belle Plaine (4-4, 3-2) as he allowed no runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out nine, walked two and hit one.

Will Sankot doubled and scored in the seventh off an RBI single by Nate Hoover.

Colfax-Mingo 7, Keota 0, Forfeit

KEOTA — The Tigerhawks were limited to three hits and scored just one run during a road contest against Keota on Wednesday.

But after the hosts used a non-sanctioned umpire it was determined that the Eagles must forfeit the contest. It goes down as a 7-0 forfeit win for Colfax-Mingo but the statistics for the game do not change.

Keota scored one run in the first, two in the third and one in the fourth and went on to win the game 4-1 before the forfeit.

Both teams had three hits, but C-M had a 2-1 surplus in errors.

Kaden Dalton, Earles and Jay had the hits, while Baucom and Exley both were hit by pitches and Jace Lewis walked once.

Earles led the Tigerhawks with one RBI, one walk and one steal, Kaden Dalton doubled and stole one base and Cunningham scored one run and stole one base. Woods also stole one base.

Kaden Dalton (0-1) pitched the first five innings and allowed four runs — three earned — on three hits, three walks and three hit batters. He struck out four.

Cunningham tossed the final frame and allowed no hits and no runs with one strikeout and one walk.

Evan Vittetoe led Keota (4-6, 1-5) with two doubles and two RBIs. Tanner Waterhouse tossed all seven innings and allowed no earned runs on four hits with eight strikeouts.

Colfax-Mingo 10, English Valleys 0

COLFAX — Bracewell’s second start of the week produced another 13 strikeouts and the Tigerhawks thumped winless English Valley at home during SICL play on Friday.

Colfax-Mingo scored two runs in the first, fourth and fifth frames, plated one in the second and three in the third during a 10-0, five-inning victory.

The Tigerhawks had an 11-2 advantage in hits and did not commit an error.

Bracewell, Exley, Lewis and Alex Teed all had two hits to lead the offense, while Kaden Dalton, Anthony Camp and Cunningham registered the other hits.

Bracewell doubled twice, scored two runs, had one RBI, was hit by one pitch and stole one base.

He improved his team-best on-base percentage to .578 and also has a team-high 12 runs, 10 steals, five doubles and 20 total bases and he’s been plunked a team-most seven times.

Exley and Teed both scored one run and had two RBIs, Lewis added one run and one RBI and Camp doubled, scored two runs and was hit by one pitch.

Kaden Dalton scored one run and stole one base, Konner Dalton walked twice, scored two runs and stole two bases and Earles tallied two RBIs.

Bracewell improved to 4-0 on the mound. He allowed no earned runs on two hits and one walk and he struck out 13.

Bracewell needed only 66 pitches to get through five innings and he lowered his earned run average to 1.06.

English Valleys dropped to 0-8 and 0-8 in the conference.