A-P ends Hawks’ postseason run with small ball

Hewitt brilliant on mound in loss; Klonglan belts two doubles in Class 2A?District 13 final

South Hamilton senior CJ Hewitt (front) is consoled by his younger brother, Carter, following the Hawks’ 2-1 loss to Aplington-Parkersburg in Saturday’s Class 2A District 13 final in Story City. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

STORY CITY — Two younger brothers made saves Saturday night, one in victory and the other in defeat.

Riley Oberhauser, a sophomore, took over on the mound for his older sibling, Alec, in the seventh inning and closed out Aplington-Parkersburg’s nail-biting 2-1 victory over South Hamilton in the Class 2A District 13 final at Norsemen Field.

Carter Hewitt, a South Hamilton freshman, was there to save his dejected older brother, CJ, with a hug and shoulder to cry on as the Hawks’ starting pitcher slowly walked off the field following the final game of his prep career.

For six innings, CJ Hewitt pitched his heart out and kept South Hamilton (10-14) in the contest, but A-P (22-7) turned to old-school small ball to push the go-ahead run across in the bottom half of the sixth frame and it sent the Falcons into Tuesday’s substate at Marshalltown against ninth-ranked Van Meter (28-8).

The Hawks saw their season end in the district final round for the second straight season. They had hoped to take the next step, as head coach Kyle Galetich told his players in the moments before they trotted onto the diamond, but they came up short.

South Hamilton shortstop DJ Klonglan makes a lunging stop up the middle during the first inning against Aplington-Parkersburg on Saturday in Story City. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“It would be tough if we got 10-runned or we lost by one run,” CJ Hewitt, who allowed just five hits and walked only one with four strikeouts in a losing effort, said. “I pitched my heart out for the boys and I tried my best, but it just sucks having the season end. I love this team to death.”

Hewitt’s only free pass to Carter Cuvelier to lead off the sixth started the Falcons’ flurry. Alec Oberhauser followed with a bloop base hit to right to put two runners aboard with no outs.

And that’s when A-P went to small ball.

Ben Ogle laid down a sacrifice bunt in front of the plate to move both runners up, and Aaron Price put down another one moments later that allowed Cuvelier to race home and break up the 1-1 tie.

“They made their plays they had to make and we had our chances,” Hewitt said.

Hawks’ second baseman Mateo Balderas makes a catch as he collides with right fielder Quinton Grove during the fourth inning. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Oh, yes, South Hamilton did.

Following a DJ Klonglan double into the gap in left-center to open the game, the Hawks put runners at the corners with no outs in the first inning. They came up empty.

South Hamilton scored its only run and jumped in front 1-0 in the third on a bases loaded walk to Zeke Balderas with just one out, but Alec Oberhauser returned fire with back-to-back strikeouts to keep the damage at a minimum.

“We probably should have gotten (a run) in the first inning, and I really thought if we could get a crooked number on the board (in the third) and be up at least two or three, then I felt very good about how we were going to play,” Galetich said. “It hurts more that we didn’t get that one big hit and it seemed like we had two or three opportunities.”

A-P knotted the game at 1 in the fourth on a RBI single to right by Price.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Alec Oberhauser was touched for just three hits in his six innings on the mound. Klonglan belted his second double, this time to right-center, in the third inning and Cole Berg added a single up the middle in the sixth.

The Falcons’ lanky right-hander walked five, three of which came in the third frame, but he got himself out of jams with six strikeouts.

Oberhauser also came through at the plate with a pair of singles. Sam Nolte added a first-inning double to deep center field and Cuvelier singled in the fourth and eventually scored.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Hewitt, who has been a multiple-year rock on the mound for the Hawks. But Galetich said his outgoing senior has nothing to hang his head about.

“He pitched his butt off,” Galetich said.

A-P 2, South Hamilton 1

Class 2A District 13 Final

Saturday at Story City

S. Ham 001 000 0 — 1 3 0

A-P 000 101 x — 2 5 0

Alec Oberhauser, Riley Oberhauser (7) and Brodey Key. CJ Hewitt and Zeke Balderas. W — A. Oberhauser. L — Hewitt. S — R. Oberhauser. 2B — SH: DJ Klonglan (2); A-P: Sam Nolte. Multiple hits — SH: Klonglan; A-P: A. Oberhauser. RBI — SH: Z. Balderas; A-P: Aaron Price (2).