DES MOINES - The setting was picturesque. The defense was not.
With Principal Park as the backdrop on a sun-drenched Saturday afternoon, the Northeast Hamilton baseball team continued to struggle with making the routine plays in the field and Clarion-Goldfield took advantage on the home turf of the Iowa Cubs.
The Cowboys (6-6) scored in every inning and made the Trojans (3-9) pay for seven errors in a 10-0, 5-inning non-conference victory. Clarion-Goldfield scored five times in the last half of the fifth to put the game away; it ended on an error on the infield that brought Dominic Brandt racing to the plate with two outs.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Northeast Hamilton third baseman Austin Smith (left) has Clarion-Goldfield’s Dominic Brandt caught in a pickle as he tosses the ball to a teammate during the first inning on Saturday at Principal Park in Des Moines.
"That's kind of been the story all year and it's getting frustrating, especially playing in such a nice place like this," Northeast Hamilton head coach Brandon Kelley said. "We've got young kids, but that excuse is getting old now because these guys have played enough varsity games where they've got to start making plays. That's the name of the game; if you're going to win games, you've got to make the plays."
Sophomore right-hander Logan Seiser was handed the loss on the bump. The Cowboys rocked him for eight hits, including two that went for extra bases, but only three of their runs were earned.
Seiser walked one and struck out one.
Northeast Hamilton000 00- 0 5 7
Clarion-Goldfield211 15-10 8 1
Logan Seiser and Gabe Rapp. Ryan Waters and Matt Odland. W-Waters. L-Seiser. 2B-C-G: Logan Reichter. 3B-C-G: Jake Haberman. RBI-C-G: Haberman (2), Waters (3), Reichter (2).
Northeast Hamilton0(13)0 03-16 7 1
CAL0 00 00- 0 0 4
Marcus Mechaelsen and Gabe Rapp. Eli Dorhmann, Zach Vanness (4) and Joel Johnson. W-Mechaelsen. L-Dorhmann. 2B-NEH: Mechaelsen. RBI-NEH: Mechaelsen (3), Logan Seiser (3), Rapp, Jacob Ratzke (3), Andy Pate.
"Logan threw well enough, but it would have been nice if we would've given him a couple of runs to work with early on," Kelley said.
Brandt, the Cowboys' lead-off stick, was a pest throughout the afternoon. He reached base four times - he had a single, a walk and jumped aboard twice on errors - scored four runs and swiped three bases. He opened the bottom of the first with a base hit to center field.
No. 2 hitter Jake Haberman went 2 for 3 with a single and triple. He drilled a fastball to straightaway center field that eventually rolled to the wall, scoring Brandt, in the fourth to put Clarion-Goldfield ahead 5-0.
Ryan Waters - the Cowboys' starting pitcher - helped his own cause by roping two singles; he collected three RBIs out of the No. 6 slot in the lineup. Designated hitter Logan Reichter bashed a two-run double to left-center in the fifth - a frame in which Clarion-Goldfield ripped Seiser for three hits.
NEH had its opportunities against Waters. The Trojans left the bases loaded in the first inning, runners at first and second in the second, and a guy at second in the third. They stranded a total of eight base runners.
Marcus Mechaelsen lined a pair of base hits at the top of the order. The senior smoked a pitch to center to open the first and followed it up with a line-drive base knock to right in the third. He belted a shot to deep center in the fourth that was caught on the run by Haberman.
"The positive thing is we hit the ball well at times," Kelley said. "Marcus is starting to come around with his bat and some of our younger guys are starting to get their technique down, and hopefully the hits will start coming."
Gabe Rapp added a first-inning single, Mark Frohwein hammered a liner up the middle in the second, and Nick Jeffers recorded a bunt single in the fourth.
Waters went the distance to secure the win. He worked his way out of the first-inning jam with back-to-back strikeouts, and followed it up with two more Ks to open the second. His five-hit shutout included nine strikeouts against just one walk.
Trojans shell CAL
ALEXANDER - A 13-run second inning and a no-hitter on the mound by Marcus Mechaelsen propelled Northeast Hamilton to an easy 16-0, 5-inning victory over CAL in Iowa Star Conference action here on Friday.
The Trojans (2-4 ISC) piled up seven hits and took advantage of a slew of second-inning walks to keep the Cadets (0-8, 0-7 ISC) winless on the season.
"We did what we needed to do (Friday night)," Trojans' head coach Brandon Kelley said. "We were patient at the plate and we had some good at bats."
Mechaelsen allowed just two base runners - one on a walk and another on an error. The senior right-hander sat down eight batters on strikes.
Mechaelsen also had the game's only extra-base hit, a double, and he drove in three runs. Logan Seiser went 2 for 3 with three RBIs, and Jacob Ratzke had one hit and three RBIs.
Jacob Brim, Kyle Pruismann and Nick Jeffers all singled as well.