Lynx punish ball, Cadets in league blowout
IOWA FALLS — The ebb and flow for a hitter at the plate can be maddening.
A slump can be one ground-out away. But a surge can be one line shot away too.
Caleb Olson understands this all too well. Just four days ago the Webster City senior was looking for answers as he toiled in a bit of a slide inside the batter’s box.
It’s safe to say he found those answers.
Olson’s hot streak reached three straight games Monday night, as he fell a home run short of the cycle by going 3 for 3 with three runs scored and four RBIs in the Lynx 13-0, 5-inning beating of North Central Conference rival Iowa Falls-Alden.
Olson is batting .800 (8 for 10) with 10 RBIs over his last three games.
“I was in a slump before and now I’m hitting hot, so I don’t know what’s going on,” Olson said. “It’s just practice and working on level swings I think.”
Olson stepped to the plate in the fifth inning knowing he needed to send one into orbit to hit for the cycle and he didn’t cheat himself on two swings. He was eventually plunked with a pitch.
“I was swinging for the fences until I got down 0-2,” he said while chuckling.
But Olson wasn’t the only WCHS player who found his power stroke. The Lynx (8-4, 3-0 NCC) blasted seven extra-base hits and 12 in all at the cavernous park. Several of the shots — perhaps as many as five — would have been out of Lynx Field.
“That’s by far the best we’ve hit this year and that wasn’t against bad pitching,” Dylan Steen, who went 3 for 3 with two doubles, two runs scored and one RBI out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup, said. “We were hitting the ball hard all over the place.”
Tyler Olson went 2 for 3 with a double of his own, one RBI and touched the dish four times out of the No. 3 hole, one spot in front of his older brother.
The Steen, Olson and Olson trio has been lethal all season. Steen leads the team with a .511 batting average, Tyler Olson sits at .415 and Caleb Olson at .390.
Sean Carver added a pair of hits, including a double, and two RBIs. No. 9 hitter CJ Hisler connected for a shot — and it was a shot — to deep center field that resulted in a RBI triple.
Consider head coach Adison Kehoe impressed.
“This was one of our better showings of the season, definitely,” Kehoe said. “Everything just seemed to click offensively.”
WCHS, winners of six of seven, put up a crooked number in four of its five at bats. Caleb Olson got the onslaught started with a two-RBI double to deep right field in the first inning. He drove in his third run with a triple to right-center in the third and Carver followed two batters later with a deep fly to right that resulted in a RBI double.
Caleb Olson, Beau Klaver and Carver laced consecutive RBI singles in the fourth.
Hisler’s blast ignited a five-run fifth inning that put the mercy-rule in play. Steen and Tyler Olson hammered back-to-back RBI doubles later in the inning, and Ty McKinney and Carson Struchen drove in runs on bases loaded walks.
IF-A (1-6, 1-2 NCC), meanwhile, simply had no chance at the plate against Steen, a returning all-state right-handed pitcher. With an overpowering fastball and a curveball that he was able to throw for strikes, Steen recorded 12 strikeouts and gave up just two hits, both to Cadet sophomore and losing pitcher Dylan Madden.
Able to spot his off-speed pitches, Steen had IF-A guessing. And when he came with the fastball, very few Cadets were able to make contact.
“I’ve been working with my coaches on my pace, how fluent I am through my wind-up and stretch, and making sure I’m mechanically consistent every time,” Steen said. “I think I took another step with that (Monday night).”
Steen, who didn’t issue a walk, fanned six consecutive batters during one stretch. He says the start WCHS has put together in the conference makes it a viable contender moving forward.
“It’s super early, but I think we’re in a good spot and we’ve got confidence,” he said.
WCHS will attempt to remain perfect against NCC foes this evening when it heads north to take on Clarion-Goldfield-Dows at 7:30 p.m.
Webster City 13, IF-Alden 0 (5)
Monday at Iowa Falls
Web City 202 45 — 13 12 1
IF-Alden 000 00 — 0 2 1
Dylan Steen and Devon Stoakes. Dylan Madden, McKade Eisentrager (5), Landon Lettow (5) and Sam Off. W — Steen. L — Madden. Multiple hits — WC: Steen (3), Caleb Olson (3), Tyler Olson, Sean Carver; IF-A: Madden. 2B — WC: Steen (2), T. Olson, C. Olson, Carver; IF-A: Madden. 3B — WC: C. Olson, CJ Hisler. RBI — WC: C. Olson (4), Carver (2), Steen, T. Olson, Hisler, Beau Klaver, Ty McKinney, Carson Struchen.