IT AIN’T OVER ‘TILL IT’S OVER
3-run rally in 7th lifts Lynx past Algona
WEBSTER CITY — In maybe a weird way, Webster City head baseball coach Adison Kehoe got to have his cake and eat it too Wednesday evening at Lynx Field.
His club got the win, that’s the headline. But the still young leader of the Lynx program also had many chances to scribble down teachable moments, things he’s hopeful will aid his team as the season progresses.
Because defending North Central Conference champion WCHS wasn’t good, not over the first six innings anyway. The Lynx made mistakes — a lot of mistakes — particularly defensively, but were still composed enough to plate three runs in the seventh inning for a 7-6 victory over Algona.
“I’ll be honest, we basically stole that one,” Kehoe said. “(Algona) wanted it more for six innings, so hopefully this is a wake-up call for us. But I hope this also showed the guys that they have the tools and talent to overcome a lot of deficits.”
Trailing 6-4 entering the last half of the seventh, WCHS (2-0) rattled off four hits, the last of which being a walk-off single to the left side off the bat of CJ Hisler that plated Tyler Olson with the winning run.
Connor Hanson led-off the seventh with a base hit and eventually scored on a Devon Stoakes ground ball. Stoakes reached on a fielder’s choice and later trotted home to knot the game at 6 when Ty McKinney was plunked while the bases were loaded.
Hisler put the finishing touches on the improbable win two batters later.
WCHS out hit Algona (2-1) 10-6, but five errors made things problematic, particularly in the early innings. But Kehoe says one of the biggest lessons his team can learn is that it has a bull’s-eye on its chest whenever it meets a conference rival. That’s what happens when you win two league titles in a three-year span.
“That’s how it’s going to be all season,” Kehoe said. “Now it means something to play Webster City and now it means something to beat Webster City.”
The Lynx had no trouble offensively early on, as they touched Algona starter Miles Goche for six hits and took a 4-1 lead after two innings. McKinney roped a two-RBI single into right field in the first, Rattenborg floated an RBI single into right-center in the second and Stoakes followed with a bomb into the gap in left-center for an RBI triple.
And then the wheels fell off defensively.
WCHS committed its third, fourth and fifth errors in the third inning, and Algona was more than happy to take advantage with a five-run outburst to take a 6-4 lead. There were also two occasions where the Lynx missed the cut-off man and allowed runners to take an additional base, rudimentary baseball things that Kehoe says simply can’t happen.
“We addressed all of those things religiously in practice (on Tuesday), so it’s just a matter of making the plays and we definitely didn’t do that in the early innings,” he said. “That was 100 percent mental.”
Lynx starting pitcher Zach Dyvig threw well, but was left alone on an island. Over five innings of work, he surrendered only four hits and struck out five. All six Algona runs were unearned.
“Zach got zero help, but that’s the best I’ve seen him throw in two years,” Kehoe said. “He just ran into an absolute buzzsaw where, for six innings, we just weren’t there. But if he does that every start, I’ll take that for the next three years. He did his job and then some.”
McKinney came on in relief with two aboard in the sixth and slammed the door on his way to the win.
Rattenborg went 3 for 4 at the top of the order and scored two runs. The junior is back on the diamond for the first time since middle school and Kehoe couldn’t be happier.
“It was a pleasant surprise when he contacted me (last) fall about going out,” Kehoe said. “I remember watching him when he was little and he’s a baller. It didn’t take him many reps to get comfortable and he’s been a welcome addition.”
Olson and Hanson both contributed two hits, while McKinney and Stoakes combined for five RBIs.
The Lynx first game that will count towards the NCC standings is set for Monday when they make the trip north to take on Clear Lake at 7:30 p.m.
Webster City 7, Algona 6
Wednesday at Webster City
Algona 015 000 0 — 6 4 0
Web City 220 000 3 — 7 10 5
Miles Goche, Garrett Goche (7) and Wyatt Streit. Zach Dyvig, Ty McKinney (6) and Devon Stoakes. WP — McKinney. LP — G. Goche. Multiple hits — WC: Chase Rattenborg (3), Tyler Olson, Connor Hanson. 2B — ALG: Carlos Gomez. 3B — WC: Stoakes. RBI — ALG: Gomez, Aaron Weringa, Andrew Hamilton; WC: McKinney (3), Stoakes (2), Rattenborg, CJ Hisler.