WEBSTER CITY - A Picasso painting it was not, but pretty or ugly, the how meant next to nothing to the Webster City baseball team last night at Lynx Field.
All the Lynx cared about was finally getting the chance to smile as they walked back to their dugout following the post-game handshake.
And smile they did.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City pitcher Dylan Fielder (17) collides with a sliding Chaz Nekola of Saydel during the third inning last night at Lynx Field. WCHS rallied to win its first game of the season, 9-8.
A two-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning vaulted WCHS into the lead and eventually past non-conference opponent Saydel, 9-8. Freshman Cole Reigelsberger came in on relief in a tough spot in the fourth inning and pitched the Lynx out of trouble, and he tossed 3 1/3 innings to secure the win.
"It felt good to get this one," WCHS head coach Troy Smock said of his first win in charge of the program. "We weren't perfect and it didn't need to be pretty ... the guys were excited."
Weather conditions more suitable for Week 6 of the prep football season, not to mention a constant drizzle that left every ball waterlogged, took its toll on both teams, the pitchers in particular.
WEBSTER CITY 9, SAYDEL 8
At Lynx Field
Saydel203 300 0-8 1 4
Webster City411 102 x-9 8 6
Mattingly Stone, Amos Wright (2), Alex Gustafson (5) and Andrew Holmes. Dylan Fielder, Cole Reigelsberger (4) and Doug Stoakes. W-Reigelsberger. L-Gustafson. 2B-WC: Fielder. RBI-WC: Ben Mossman (4), Alex Oswald.
The Lynx (1-5) and Eagles (5-3) combined to commit 10 errors. The pitching staffs hit eight batters - there were only nine total hits in the contest - and walked 13 others. The high volume of pitches led to a game time that exceeded three hours.
"It wasn't just the ball, but the mound was in rough shape, too," Smock said. "But Cole came in and did a nice job of throwing strikes, and I think the kids became confident in what he was going to do."
Reigelsberger allowed Saydel's only hit of the night - a single up the middle by Chaz Nekola to lead off the sixth inning; he struck out four, all looking, and maybe more importantly walked none.
WCHS finished with eight hits off three Saydel pitchers, keyed by a 2-for-3 night from Ben Mossman. Nelson Ball also cracked a pair of hits.
Hitting in the No. 9 slot, Daniel Halko picked up his first hit of the season at the most opportune time. Tied at 8 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, he hit a chopper down the first-base line. The ball ricocheted off the bag and jumped high in the air, allowing Tyler Lockwood to score the winning run.
A Saydel error on a Lockwood fly ball earlier in the frame brought Dylan Fielder around with the tying run.
"When you put the ball in play on a night like this, anything can happen," Smock said.
Mossman drove in four runs in the opening three innings. He plated two with a first-inning single, cashed in again with another base knock to left in the second, and then added another when he was plunked with the bases loaded in the third.
The Lynx had golden opportunities to bust the game open in the second and third, but left the bases loaded on both occasions.
Alex Oswald also laced an RBI single in the first to help WCHS race out to a 4-2 lead.
Saydel jumped ahead 8-7 with three runs in the fourth. Fielder, who got the start on the bump for the Lynx, walked the bases loaded and a WCHS errors turned into two Eagle runs.
Fielder didn't allow a hit in 3 2/3 innings of work, but the junior right-hander was noticeably frustrated with the conditions. He gave up three earned runs, walked seven, hit two batters and struck out five others.
"Dylan gutted it out and did what he could do," Smock said.
WCHS will jump back onto the field today at North Central Conference rival Algona at 7:30 p.m.