Lynx shell Algona, wrap up 2nd place in NCC
Steen and Hackbarth combine for 13 Ks; Tyler Olson locked in at plate
ALGONA — Winning a second straight North Central Conference title was the one and only regular season goal for the Webster City baseball team. It didn’t come to fruition, but the consolation prize may be just what the Lynx needed as they gear up for the postseason.
WCHS (15-5, 11-3 NCC) wrapped up second place in the league Monday evening with perhaps its most dominant effort of the campaign in a 9-1 shelling of Algona. The Lynx reeled off nine hits, three of which went for extra bases, received a dominant pitching effort from their top two hurlers and played error free.
“All games considered, this was by far our most complete game as far as pitching, defense and hitting,” WCHS head coach Adison Kehoe said. “We clicked on all cylinders and we were a good team to watch.”
WCHS closed out the NCC portion of its schedule one game behind conference champion Clear Lake. They split their two meetings; the difference came down to the Lynx two losses to Humboldt, while Clear Lake went 1-1 against the Wildcats.
Algona (17-14, 9-5 NCC), which finished third in the league race, managed just four hits off Lynx starting pitcher Dylan Steen, who earned the win, and reliever Max Hackbarth. Steen tossed three innings and struck out three, while Hackbarth went the rest of the way and fanned 10 over four innings of work.
Steen will take a 7-0 record and 1.36 ERA with 80 strikeouts into the postseason. Hackbarth stands at 4-2 with a 1.39 ERA and 82 punch outs. One of them will be on the mound to start Friday’s Class 3A district opener against Perry.
WCHS took the lead with one run in the second inning on a bases loaded walk to Cameron Moen, and increased the advantage to 3-0 in the third. The Lynx put the game out of reach with five runs in the fifth, keyed by a two-RBI triple into the gap by Romel Martinez. He went 2 for 5 at the top of the order.
Tyler Olson led the way offensively with a 3 for 4 performance that included a double and RBI. Hackbarth smacked two hits, one of them a double, and plated one run. Steen and Caleb Olson added singles, while Jordan Tanner collected one RBI.
Algona pitchers Carson Devine, Matt Grein and Hunter Thompson struggled to find the strike zone, which led to 12 walks. Kehoe was pleased that his team made the Bulldogs pay for their mistakes.
“They struggled a little bit as far as throwing strikes, but we made an impact,” he said. “Up 2-0 or 3-1 in the count, our kids were looking for some damage pitches and when we got the counts that were favorable, we made sure we did something with them.
“This was a team win and the bottom of our order produced. I told the guys before the game that we need one or two of you to step up in certain situations and be that guy right now, and we had several people do that.”
Collin Sexton drove in Algona’s lone run in the bottom of the fifth on a double. Thompson also had an extra-base hit for the Bulldogs.
WCHS closed out the regular season last night against Boone, a potential substate opponent next week if the two teams are able to win their respective districts.
Webster City 9, Algona 1
Monday at Algona
Webster City 012 150 0 — 9 9 0
Algona 000 010 0 — 1 4 1
Dylan Steen, Max Hackbarth (4) and Jordan Tanner. Carson Devine, Matt Grein (4), Hunter Thompson (5) and Nick Goche. W — Steen. L — Devine. 2B — WC: M. Hackbarth, Tyler Olson; ALG: Thompson, Collin Sexton. 3B — WC: Romel Martinez. Multiple hits — WC: T. Olson (3), M. Hackbarth, Martinez. RBI — WC: Martinez (2), M. Hackbarth, T. Olson, Tanner, Cameron Moen; ALG: Sexton.