Hawks play another HOIC power close, only to come up short

Balderas in control on mound, Saydel capitalizes on defensive mistakes

DES MOINES — South Hamilton baseball coach Kyle Galetich knows he has a good team. Now he just needs to get his players to believe it, too.

Right now it’s the small things that are holding the Hawks back as they look for respectability inside the always tough Heart of Iowa Conference.

“The biggest thing right now is the guys have got to believe,” Galetich said following Friday night’s 3-1 setback against Saydel. “I believe we are good and can win, but the guys have got to believe and not question what they’re doing.”

It was the third consecutive loss for South Hamilton (3-4, 1-2 HOIC).

After falling behind 1-0 early on, Saydel (6-1, 2-1) scored the tying and go-ahead runs in the third inning. A botched pick-off move led to one run and a sacrifice fly moments later put the Eagles in front to stay.

Hawks’ right-handed pitcher Zeke Balderas had an otherwise stellar outing, as he limited the Eagles to just four hits. He struck out nine without walking a batter.

South Hamilton finished with six hits, led by Garrett Grady who was 2 for 3 with a double. CJ Hewitt belted a first-inning double that scored courtesy runner Marco Balderas with the Hawks’ only run. He was running for Zeke Balderas, who got the ball rolling with a base hit.

Sam Lewis and Cade Balvanz added singles.

Saydel 3, South Hamilton 1

Friday at Des Moines

S. Ham 100 000 0 — 1 6 2

Saydel 002 001 x — 3 4 0

Zeke Balderas and CJ Hewitt. TJ Stephenson and Craig Garrison. W — Stephenson. L — Z. Balderas. 2B — SH: CJ Hewitt, Garrett Grady; SAY: Cash Lee, Maxx Stanton, Ray Gist. Multiple hits — SH: Grady. RBI — SH: Hewitt; SAY: Stanton, Garrison.