July 12, 2024

L-S baseball waves goodbye to rival Montezuma in district semifinals

Fifth-ranked Hawks fly past Braves again

Carson Maston

SULLY — There were no secrets between South Iowa Cedar League rivals Lynnville-Sully and Montezuma on Tuesday.

The Class 1A No. 5 Hawks dominated the Braves during two games in the regular season, but head coach Scott Alberts made sure his team put those meetings in the rearview mirror.

The postseason is a different animal, but the result on the field in their 1A District 13 semifinal matchup was similar to the first two contests.

The end result was a 10-0, five-inning victory for the Lynnville-Sully baseball team.

“My message to them was the two previous games didn’t matter,” Alberts said. “We didn’t take this game lightly. They just put up 18 runs against Wayne on Saturday. We knew they would be coming in with a lot of confidence.”

Lannon Montgomery

The victory sends the Hawks to the district championship game where they will host SICL rival North Mahaska at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Sully. The Warhawks advanced after a 3-2 win over host Twin Cedars.

The Hawks were able to squash any confidence Montezuma might have had early with a pair of runs in the first and six more in the second.

That was more than enough run support for Lucas Sieck, Carson Maston and Jack Bowlin, who combined for a four-hitter on the mound.

The Hawks (24-3) improved to 21-0 against 1A programs this season. They are outscoring those opponents 238-46.

It was Lynnville-Sully’s sixth straight win overall. It’s outscoring its foes 71-8 during that stretch, including three shutouts.

“You have to show up and swing the bats, throw good pitches and play good defense and I thought our kids did that tonight,” Alberts said. “They felt loose, comfortable and in control.”

Corder Noun Harder, who leads the state with a .587 batting average, led off the bottom of the first with a walk. He stole second and third before scoring on C.J. Nikkel’s RBI ground out.

Lannon Montgomery doubled with two outs, went to third on a balk and scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.

Davis Utech

Montgomery finished with two hits, one double, one run and one RBI in the win. He leads the Hawks with 33 RBIs.

“I had been struggling a bit coming in to the postseason so the hits feel nice,” Montgomery said. “I had two hits on Saturday and two more today. My confidence is back. I feel good at the plate.”

Lynnville-Sully sent 12 batters to the plate in the second. Jaiden Richards was hit by a pitch on the helmet to open the frame. He took second on an error and then moved to third on Terran Gosselin’s bunt single.

Gosselink stole second to move into scoring position. Davis Utech plated Richards on an RBI infield single and Blake Van Wyk’s RBI ground out made it 4-0.

Noun Harder was intentionally walked after that and replaced on the bases by Bowlin. After Nikkel was hit by a pitch, Maston laced a bases-loaded, three-run double to the gap in right-center field.

Montgomery capped the scoring in the frame with an RBI single.

“As soon as we got runs on the board, we just continued to build on that,” Utech said. “I think this team is really good about treating every game the same. That team is totally different than the last time we saw them. It’s the same guys, but it’s postseason baseball. But I felt really good coming into this game.”

Nikkel drew a two-out walk in the third, stole second, went to third on a balk and then scored on Maston’s RBI ground ball to third.

Lucas Sieck

Gosselink walked with two outs in the fourth, took second on a passed ball and then scored on Utech’s RBI single.

Utech finished with two hits and two RBIs, Maston doubled and had four RBIs and Nikkel walked, scored two runs, had one RBI and stole one base and was hit by one pitch. Nikkel leads the Hawks with 22 walks.

Noun Harder walked twice, stole two bases and scored one run, Gosselink had one hit, one walk, two runs and one steal and Richards tallied one hit and one run and he was hit by one pitch. Richards has been hit by a team-most eight pitches this summer.

Noun Harder leads L-S with 40 runs, 24 stolen bases and 83 total bases and his on-base percentage is .673.

“It’s all about survive and advance,” Montgomery said. “We came out prepared and focused. We were ready to play.

“The second inning we really jumped on them. We adjusted on our second time through the order and were able to get a big lead.”

Sieck walked once and was hit by one pitch, Van Wyk had one RBI and Bowlin and Wyatt Mathis each scored one run.

Sieck (9-1) earned the pitching win after allowing no runs, two hits and one walk. He struck out seven in three innings and lowered his earned run average to 1.53.

Jaiden Richards

Maston tossed 1 1/3 innings and surrendered no runs and two hits while striking out three. He dropped his ERA to 1.33.

Bowlin got the final two outs but not before hitting two batters. He also struck out one and lowered his ERA to 1.95.

All three pitchers will be available for Saturday’s district championship game.

“We’re going to keep everyone available. You never know what could happen before Saturday,” Alberts said. “We want to put ourselves in the best position possible to win ball games.

“It felt like they were in control of the situation from the start. It was good to see.”

Garrett Watts had one of Montezuma’s four hits and took the pitching loss. The Hawks extended their win streak over the Braves (5-13) to seven games and outscored them 35-5 this summer.

Lynnville-Sully is 2-0 against North Mahaska (12-14) this season. The Hawks won those games 10-0 and 10-1. They’ve claimed 10 straight wins over the Warhawks.

“We just need to keep doing what we do,” Utech said. “Coach tells us every day he doesn’t care what the color of the jersey on the other side is. We have to treat it as a postseason baseball game. I think we did that in big games during the regular season. We just need to keep doing that during our playoff run.”

Corder Noun Harder