The first game at St. Mary's was a regular season game on Thursday, and the Bulldogs gave up 10 runs in the first inning, digging themselves a big hole. Angelo Mikos started the game on the hill and took the loss. Tanner Winterhof pitched 1 1/3 innings and freshman Dalton Jones finished up, striking out one, and giving up one hit and two earned runs.
The 'Dogs committed seven errors on the night, contributing to the final result. Jared Bruce and sophomore Jason Glienke both went 1 for 2 at the plate, and Tanner Winterhof was 1-3.
Against WLVA on Friday, Aurelia coach T.J. Schaefer said junior Jared Bruce "pitched a great game," going the six-inning distance and striking out eight, while giving up just two runs. WLVA scored in the first on a passed ball, and again on an inside-the-park home run by Steven Aschinger in the bottom of the 4th. Schaefer said the play at the plate on the homer was "very close."
The Bulldogs answered back in the top of the 5th. Kody Pinkerton walked, and 8th grader Cody Wilson pinch-ran for him. Jason Glienke sacrificed Wilson to second, and senior Ross Fitzgerald then doubled, sending Wilson home to make the score 2-1.
Schaefer was very pleased with the Bulldog defense which, at times this year, has been porous. In this game, though, the 'Dogs committed just one error, and he feels that is a big reason they were able to come so close to beating a good WLVA team.
Schaefer said, "We can be a team at the top if we step up our defense every game." WLVA started their number two pitcher against the 'Dogs "and we still hit."
On Saturday, the Bulldogs again played Storm Lake St. Mary's in first round Class 1A District Tournament action at Alta, and once again, the Panthers had a big first inning, scoring 12. Errors were again part of the problem, as the Bulldogs committed six miscues in the game.
Starting pitcher Tanner Winterhof had the 'Dogs only hit, and scored one of the two Aurelia runs on a St. Mary's error. Fellow senior Fitzgerald scored the other Bulldog run after he walked, stole two bases, and then was sacrificed in by Bruce.
The final score of the game was St. Mary's 16, Aurelia 2, ending the Bulldogs' season with an overall 2-21 record (1-13 in the Northwest Conference).
Schaefer said the leadership of Winterhof, a four-year starter, and Fitzgerald, who caught most of the games this year, will be hard to replace.
Winterhof led the Bulldogs in hitting this season with a .404 batting average, 12 RBI, a slugging average of .538, and a .508 on-base percentage. He struck out only four times for the entire season, and stole 14 bases. On the mound, he earned the two Bulldog wins, struck out 47 batters in 49 innings pitched, and had an ERA of 4.86. Junior Jared Bruce batted .355 and led the team with 19 stolen bases. On the mound, he struck out 40 in 35 1/3 innings pitched, and posted an ERA of 4.95.