LYNX POUR IT ON LATE, THUMP LIONS
Dyvig relishes being The Guy as NCC win streak increases to 24 straight
WEBSTER CITY — Zach Dyvig spent his first three varsity seasons as just one of the guys on the Webster City baseball pitching staff.
It was fun, there’s no doubt about that, he says. But he’s truly enjoying being The Guy during his senior season.
“It’s a whole lot different, but I love it so far,” Dyvig, who improved to 3-0 on the season with a complete-game five-hitter in an 11-1, 6-inning pummeling of North Central Conference rival Clear Lake at Lynx Field Wednesday night, said. “I love the responsibility and that my teammates are counting on me.”
After giving up three excuse-me base hits and allowing one run in the top of the first inning, Dyvig put it on cruise control the remainder of the way against the Lions. He struck out eight, giving him 31 in 20 innings of work, and lowered his ERA to 0.70.
“That’s a senior doing senior things,” WCHS head coach Adison Kehoe said of Dyvig’s performance. “Especially in conference games, you’re going to get everybody’s best shot, that’s what you’re going to run into, but he basically stayed stone-faced. He really doesn’t get flustered, which is really good.”
Three-time defending NCC champion WCHS (5-5, 2-0 NCC) increased its league winning streak to 24 games, a crazy figure when you consider the ups and downs that can occur on a nightly basis. The Lynx haven’t been beaten by an NCC opponent since early July, 2019, but the streak isn’t something that motivates the players or the coach.
Winning another league title, now that’s a different story.
“The specific number, I don’t think anyone cares about that,” Dyvig said. “But there’s an expectation to win conference games, and beating Humboldt and Clear Lake already, I think that sends the message that we’re the same team.”
The win was even bigger when you consider who the Lynx beat. Hard-throwing southpaw Jett Neuberger, a first-team all-NCC pick a season ago, was on the mound for the Lions. He eventually gave way to Wesley Wharton early in the sixth inning trailing 3-1, and the floodgate opened. The Lynx scored nine times in the sixth off just two hits, but took advantage of three errors, four walks and a hit batter to send Clear Lake home early.
Neuberger finished with 11 strikeouts in five innings, but Kehoe says his club improved with each at bat.
“Going against Jett, he’s one of the premier arms in (Class) 2A,” Kehoe said. “He throws strikes and he’s just tough. But that can only make you better as an offensive group going against a kid like that and offensively we did have some growth.”
Clean-up hitter Keegan Hisler went 3 for 4 and accounted for more than half of the Lynx five hits. He tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the first and then put WCHS in front to stay when he singled and then scored on Connor Hanson’s base hit in the third. Hisler also led off the marathon sixth with a single.
Devon Stoakes singled to plate a run in the sixth as well. Briar Klaver collected an RBI when he was plunked by a Wharton offering, and Matthew Tesdahl and Ty McKinney followed with back-to-back bases-loaded walks to increase the Lynx advantage.
The game ended when a Dyvig fly fall was misplayed and two runs raced to the dish.
The victory was also the 99th of Kehoe’s coaching career. In his first five seasons as the Lynx head coach, he led the program to four NCC championships.
WCHS will be back at home this evening to take on Clarion-Goldfield-Dows at 7:30 p.m.
KEHOE REACHES 100 VICTORIES: Webster City head baseball coach Adison Kehoe collected the 100th victory of his career last night when his team knocked off Newell-Fonda, 7-4, in a non-conference road contest.
Now in his sixth season in charge of the Lynx, Kehoe owns a career mark of 100-32. WCHS is 57-7 in the North Central Conference under his guidance and has won four of the past five league titles, including the last three in succession.
“(Reaching) 100 means we have done the right things on the diamond at least 100 different times,” Kehoe said. “It’s truly an achievement of all Lynx baseball players, current and past.”
Ty McKinney picked up the victory on the mound for WCHS (6-5), which won for the second straight night. The Lynx led 7-0 before Newell-Fonda (2-6) made a late push in the sixth and seventh innings.
Webster City 11, Clear Lake 1 (6 inn.)
Wednesday at Webster City
Clear Lake 100 000 — 1 6 8
Webster City 101 009 — 11 5 2
Jett Neuberger, Wesley Wharton (6) and Hudson Smith. Zach Dyvig and Devon Stoakes. W — Dyvig. L — Neuberger. Multiple hits — WC: Keegan Hisler (3). RBI — CL: Wharton; WC: Stoakes (2), K. Hisler, Connor Hanson, Briar Klaver, Josh Griep, Matthew Tesdahl.