Rapp’s gem all for naught

BLAIRSBURG – Nate Rapp’s latest performance on the mound could very well go down as his best in a Northeast Hamilton uniform, and yet he left the diamond with nothing to show for it Tuesday evening.

His numbers? Gaudy. His dominance? Impressive.

And it was still in a losing effort.

“It was definitely a good night for Nate. He came out and was ready to play,” NEH head coach Chace Pruismann said after his club was tripped up by Iowa Star Conference rival Clarksville, 3-1. “I really couldn’t have asked for anything else on the mound.”

Rapp, who will enter high school this fall, twirled a complete-game two-hitter that included 13 strikeouts and zero walks. All three of Clarksville’s run were unearned, thanks to six errors on the Trojan defense.

Rapp surpassed 100 strikeouts on the season and lowered his earned run average to 3.50, yet he owns a 3-8 record.

Pruismann says he’s frustrated, and no doubt his ace is as well.

“It definitely takes a toll on me as a coach and for Nate in general, it hurts him,” Pruismann said. “He feels like he lost the game and that’s frustrating to see.”

Back-to-back third-inning singles by Ben Waetjen and Dylan Ciavarelli were all that Clarksville (6-22, 3-15 ISC) could muster. Both circled the bases on errors and scored to put the Indians in front to stay.

Waetjen whiffed in the fifth inning, but reached base on a dropped third strike and eventually scored on a RBI grounder by Ciavarelli.

Rapp fanned multiple batters in each of the first four innings.

The slew of defensive miscues and an inability to string together timely hits were ultimately the demise of NEH (3-15, 3-13). The Trojans smacked seven hits, but left nine runners stranded on the bases, four of them in scoring position.

Clarksville southpaw Dakota Garretson went the distance as well and struck out 10 against just three walks. The Indians only made one defensive mistake behind him.

Kyle Pruismann went 2-for-4 out of the clean-up spot for the Trojans. He roped a lead-off double down the left-field line in the second inning and slapped a base hit through the right side in the third.

Austin Smith and Bryce Van Langen reached base on infield singles in the second. Smith eventually scored on a ground ball off the bat of Wes Wynkoop.

NEH had the bases loaded with just one out in the second, but managed to scratch out only the single run.

“Maybe we’re just trying to be too aggressive at the plate right now,” Chace Pruismann said. “For some reason, the last three nights it feels like we’ve loaded up off our front foot.”

Rapp, Andy Pate and Garrett Grady all added singles in the setback.

NEH played its final home game yesterday evening against conference rival North Tama.