Mustangs send Hawks to 3rd straight setback

Life without Lewis even harder than SH imagined

JEWELL — What started so promising has quickly turned frustrating, and it’s now up to the South Hamilton baseball team to figure out how to make corrections.

After a 4-0 start in which they outscored their opponents 34-5, the Hawks have been outscored 31-3 in three consecutive losses, the most recent a 7-3 setback at the hands of Heart of Iowa Conference rival Prairie City-Monroe Monday night at the Mike Penning Athletic Complex.

The loss of senior Sam Lewis to a season-ending knee injury was no doubt significant, but is that the lone reason for the recent struggles? Head coach Kyle Galetich is trying to figure that out.

“It hurts not having Sam in the lineup and just his overall leadership is also missed,” Galetich said. “The other two seniors (Zeke Balderas and Cole Berg), they’re doing what they can, but it’s always kind of been those three. When one of the three isn’t there, it makes it harder.”

Lewis had surgery to repair a torn PCL on Friday and was not with the team on Monday. Galetich expects him to rejoin the team in the dugout soon.

“Even if Sam doesn’t play, just his presence on the bench will help,” Galetich said.

South Hamilton (4-3, 3-3 HOIC) had six hits, but also six errors in the loss to PCM (6-2, 3-2 HOIC). Four of the Mustangs’ runs were unearned.

Balderas took the loss on the bump after he allowed two earned runs and walked four to go with four strikeouts in three innings of work. Tycin Barkema pitched the final four frames and fanned eight. Barkema was charged with two hits, one earned run and three walks.

“He pitched well,” Galetich said of Barkema.

Balderas roped a double and drove in one run in the loss. Brock Galetich had a RBI single.

Ethan Young found the gap for a triple, while Barkema, Cade Balvanz and Quinton Grove all singled.

PCM 7, South Hamilton 3

Monday at Jewell

PCM 132 100 0 — 7 7 1

S. Ham 101 000 1 — 3 6 6

Andrew Mitchell, Beau Webb (5), Gabe Steenhoek (7) and Caleb Duinink. Zeke Balderas, Tycin Barkema (4) and Elijah Balderas. W — Mitchell. L — Z. Balderas. Multiple hits — PCM: Sage Burns, Brayton Van Dyke. 2B — PCM: Olin Meinders, Derek Brown; SH: Z. Balderas. 3B — SH: Ethan Young. RBI — PCM: Meinders, Duinink, Brown, Reed Worth; SH: Z. Balderas, Brock Galetich.