James Curbow went the distance on the mound for the Warriors, giving up two earned runs, while striking out three, walking two, and hitting two batters. Jaden Holton was 2-2 at the plate, with with three RBI; Jalen Henningsen had a double and one RBI; Neil Marshall 1-3 with one RBI; Austin Delp was 2-2 with two RBI; Cody Cameron was 1-2 with one RBI; Alex Stephan was 2-3, including a triple, and drove in two runs; and Jayson VanHaaften and James Curbow were each 1-2 and drove in a run apiece.
Coach Dan Wendel felt the game was a huge turning point for his team. " We have been struggling to score runs so far this year," he sid, " and we seemed to put it all together tonight. We have really good hitters up and down our lineup, and it was just a matter of time and seeing some pitches before something like this happened. "
On Saturday, the Warriors traveled a few miles to the east to play in a tournament in Storm Lake, and in their first contest, the Warriors really came out and hit the ball well, taking a 13-6 victory over a previously undefeated and senior-laden East Sac County team. Jaden Holton was 3-4; Jalen Henningsen was also 3-4 with a doiuble and four RBI; Neil Marshall 1-4 and two RBI; Austin Delp 3-5 and three RBI; Alex Stephan was 3-4 with a triple and one RBI; and James Curbow and Ross Friedrich each added a hit
A.J Lange started on the mound for A-A and he went 2 2/3 innings before suffering an injury. Lange gave up two hits, four runs and two earned runs, striking out three and walking five. Jaden Holton came on in relief, and he pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits while striking out six and walking one.
Coach Wendel said, "We are starting to play the way I thought we would coming into the season. We are finally seeing the ball well, and our running game is taking off as well. We are really showing signs of coming around in all phases of the game."
Next up, the Warriors took on the host Storm Lake team, and came away with another victory against a perennially tough opponent, as they topped the Tornadoes by ascore of 8-2. Jayson VanHaaften started on the mound for A-A and pitched 1/3 of an inning, giving up three hits and one earned run. VanHaaften was hit by a line drive and had to leave the game, so Jaden Holton pitched the next 3 2/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out five; and Neil Marshall threw the final three innnings, shutting out the Tornadoes on no hits,and "looking the best I've seen him all season," said Coach Wendel. Jaden Holton was 2-5 with a double; Jalen Henningsen was 2-3 with a double and one RBI; Neil Marshall was 2-4, including a triple, with three RBI; A.J Lange was 2-3 and Ross Friedrich and Austin Delp added one hit apiece.
Coach Wendel was very pleased wih the win, saying that he has great respect for the Storm Lake program. " I was really impressed with their players," he said, " and they will surely be a force in the Lakes Conference this season. There were several twists and turns to this game, and we were very fortunate to come out ahead. I am very proud of our team and the effort they provided in this game."
On Monday, the Warriors traveled to Fonda to play Newell-Fonda and A-A came out on top by a 10-3 score. Jason Van Haaften "pitched a great game for us tonight and did what we needed him to do," said Coach Wendel. "He really stepped up well in his first varsity start. Our hitting continues to be outstanding, and we were very aggressive on the bases. We seem to be putting everything together as we head into the conference season. I am extremely proud of these kids ,and we have had some young players really step up with injuries to our older players. Our focus is much better and we are really playing well as a team."
Van Haaften pitched seven innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits, while walking four and striking out eight. On offense, Jalen Henningsen was 2-3 atthe plate, stole two bases and scored five times. Austin Delp was 3-4 and drove in three runs and freshmen Ross Friedrich and Zach Sliefert shone, with Friedrich going 3-5 and driving in two runs and Sliefert stealing three bases.
The Warriors hosted Storm Lake St. Mary's on Wednesday, and behind the five - hit pitching of Austin Delp and some timely hitting, A-A rolled to a 10-1 Twin Lakes Conference victory, as the Warriors broke open a close game with five runs in the 4th inning and tacked on three more in the 5th. The first four hitters in the Warrior lineup - Jaden Holton, Jalen Henningsen, Neil Marshall and Delp - each drove in two runs, and Delp went the distance on the mound, fanning 11 Panther hitters while walking just one.
A-A Coach Wendel said, "We were able to move runners and hit the ball well for the most part. We seem to be putting things together and are playing good baseball right now. St. Marys is always a tough game and they are always prepared well, so we feel very fortunate to come out with a win tonight."
The win boosted the Warriors' record to 6-5, and they are on a five game winning streak.