The Maquoketa Valley baseball team slugged out 29 hits and scored 27 runs in its doubleheader sweep of Prince of Prince at Delhi June 6 just three days after their offense stalled when they were swept by North Linn in a doubleheader in Delhi June 3.
North Linn, ranked fifth in Class 2A, kept the Wildcat bats very quiet as the home team could only manage three hits in the opener. Jon Seibert had two and Andrew Holtz the other one as the Wildcats were beaten 8-0 in game one. Seibert took the loss but pitched a very smart game against the power sticks of the Lynx. He allowed 10 hits, walked two and all eight runs were earned.
Jake Hilmer toed the rubber for North Linn pitching the first five innings to get the win. Hilmer gave up just one hit, walked one and struck out 13.
In game two, the Wildcats lost 16-0 in a combined no-hitter by Nathan McEnany and Trey McEnany.
With the sweep, the Lynx improved to 13-1 and had won eight games in a row.
With a few days to get some practice in before their next game, the Wildcats’ coaching staff really worked with the team’s approach in the batter’s box. They know they need to be able to put the bat on the ball in order to score runs to win ball games.
“We were really focused on going the other way and hitting off speed pitches during batting practice,” said Eric Conner, head coach of the Wildcats. “We took that same approach onto the field, and I think our work in the cage really paid off because all of our at bats were very good.”
The Wildcats (5-3) wasted little time in jumping all over Prince of Peace (0-6) as they scored seven times in the home half of the second inning, five more in the third and four in the fourth to close out a 17-2 victory in game one.
A trio of Wildcats collected three hits. Parker Sternhagen was 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and scored three runs. Seibert was 3-for-4 with a triple, scored two runs and drove in four. Michael Schaul was also 3-for-4 with two doubles, four RBIs and scored twice. AJ Ambundo had two hits, two RBIs and scored once as Avery Holtz and Miguel Bojorquez both had two RBIs.
Sternhagen got the win as he scattered three hits over four innings, allowing two runs, only one earned. He did issue five walks and struck out five.
In game two, the Wildcats scored seven runs in the first to support Holtz on the mound as they coasted to a 10-4 win. Things did get a little stressful to close out the game as Holtz pitched the first five innings allowing five hits, two runs, only one earned. He walked just one batter and struck out six. He gave the ball to Owen Mensen who struggled to get it across the plate. Mensen gave up two runs in one-third of an inning as Tony Offerman came in and closed the door, getting the final five outs of the game.
Sternhagen again led the offensive attack with two more hits and scored twice. Ambundo, Bojorquez, Holtz and Seibert had two hits, an RBI and scored a run. Schaul and Tony Offerman had one hit, scored a run and drove in two runs.
“Parker Sternhagen was seeing the ball very well at the plate and Michael Schaul’s bat came alive for us in the four spot in our line up as he drove in six runs for us,” said Conner. “We also got two great outings on the mound from both Parker Sternhagen and Andrew Holtz. We look to take this same approach into the upcoming week and hope we continue to drive the ball well and find the gaps. Hopefully, we can have another winning week and we continue to play well.”