TITLE TOWN, 50595
WCHS blasts Cadets, wraps up 2nd outright league title in 3 years
WEBSTER CITY — On Friday, Tyler Olson talked his mom, Tami, into bleaching his hair. He was going for a blond look, but ended up with a golden head of hair against his dark-complected skin.
As it turns out, the new ‘do was quite fitting.
Gold hair to cap a golden season.
“I didn’t even think about that,” Olson, a sophomore, said following Webster City’s 11-3 victory over Iowa Falls-Alden at Lynx Field Monday night. “I’ve just always wanted to do it and so I did.”
Olson updated his all-state resume with his 10th pitching victory in 11 decisions, and WCHS (19-9, 12-2 NCC) pulled away with a six-run sixth inning to clinch its second outright North Central Conference championship in the past three seasons.
The Lynx finished one game in front of Humboldt (20-11, 11-3 NCC), which beat Algona, 7-5, on Monday. The league rivals, who split their two regular season meetings, will square off again on Friday in a Class 3A district semifinal in Slater at 5 p.m.
WCHS head coach Adison Kehoe is now batting .667 inside the league. He directed the Lynx to the top spot during his rookie season in 2017 and a runner-up finish in 2018.
“Everything goes to the boys because we put them through the ring of fire starting in January,” Kehoe said. “They did a great job all season.”
IF-A (3-18, 1-13 NCC), losers of eight straight games, didn’t roll over and play dead though. In fact, the Cadets caused some nail-biting in the WCHS dugout following a two-run sixth inning that trimmed the Lynx lead to 5-3.
But like all good teams do when cornered, WCHS responded.
With just three hits through five frames, the Lynx rattled off four in the sixth inning alone. Twelve batters stepped to the plate with Caleb Olson and Beau Klaver providing the key hits — two-RBI singles. Olson blistered a McKade Eisentrager offering into center field to increase the WCHS lead to 9-3, and Klaver turned on a pitch and roasted it into left field to bring two more around for the eight-run cushion.
“(The Cadets) record wasn’t the best and we came in here thinking we could go through the motions and get the win, but that wasn’t the case,” Caleb Olson said. “We woke up there in the sixth inning.
“It wasn’t our best game, but it was a win.”
Klaver, one of seven underclassmen in the lineup for WCHS, was the only player for either team to generate multiple hits. He also singled in the second inning and eventually scored on Devon Stoakes’ two-run base hit that squirted into right field.
Ty McKinney belted an RBI single in the third to give the Lynx a 3-1 lead.
WCHS didn’t necessarily tear the cover off the ball, but patience was a virtue. The Cadets walked 10 batters, six issued by starter Luke Kloetzer, who took the loss after working four innings. Two of the free passes came in the Lynx two-run fourth, a frame in which it expanded the cushion to 5-1 without a hit. Connor Hanson and Zach Dyvig both scored on wild pitches, and they combined to touch the dish four times in all.
Tyler Olson, meanwhile, owned the IF-A bats. The Cadets plated an unearned run in the second inning, but otherwise the right-hander was in command. Olson allowed just two hits and fanned 10 in five innings. He’s now 10-1 with a 0.54 ERA in his first year as a full-time starter.
“Yeah, I’m surprised,” Olson, who also had a base hit in the win, admitted. “But I wouldn’t be 10-1 without my defense. It’s always there to help me.”
Dylan Steen and Caleb Olson, two of the three seniors in the lineup, took care of the sixth and seventh innings.
Steen, pitching for the first time in a week, gave up a bloop single and infield single, which allowed IF-A to score twice in the sixth and pull within 5-3 at the time.
Steen and Caleb Olson both struck out two.
Dyvig added a sixth-inning single to center in the win.
Note: The Lynx scheduled regular-season finale at Spirit Lake, which was on the docket for Tuesday night, was cancelled.
Webster City 11, IF-Alden 3
Monday at Webster City
IF-Alden 010 002 0 — 3 4 3
Web City 021 206 x — 11 7 1
Luke Kloetzer, McKade Eisentrager (5), Henry Cruz (6) and Sam Off. Tyler Olson, Dylan Steen (6), Caleb Olson (7) and Devon Stoakes. W — T. Olson. L — Kloetzer. Multiple hits — WC: Beau Klaver. RBI — IF-A: Cruz, Landon Lettow; WC: Klaver (2), C. Olson (2), Stoakes (2), Ty McKinney (2).