After starting the year with four wins, the West Delaware Hawks found themselves losers of four straight after 10-3 and 4-1 loses to Marion at home June 3.
That was snapped with a 7-2 win over Dubuque Senior at home June 4. Two nights later the Hawks split a doubleheader at home with South Tama, winning the first game, 6-2, and losing the second, 13-7.
West Delaware took a 3-0 lead after an inning of play against Marion and still led 3-1 heading into the top of the fifth. But the Indians scored six runs in the fifth and added three more in the sixth for the 10-3 win.
The Hawks managed only two hits, singles from Ben Ridenour and Sam Loecke.
Lukas Meyer was the losing pitcher, throwing the first 4 1/3 innings. He allowed only two hits, but walked four and allowed four runs. Conner Funk relieved Meyer and gave up six runs on five hits. Christopher La Rosa threw the final frame and allowed no hits.
The second game saw Nick Casey strike out 11 Marion batters, but the Hawks gave up two unearned runs and could only manage two hits in the loss.
Casey’s solo home run accounted for the only Hawk run. Luke Kehrli added a single for West Delaware.
Zach Goebel threw 1 1/3 innings of relief and allowed three hits and two runs.
Against Dubuque Senior, Chad Bishop made his varsity pitching debut for the Hawks, earning the win with his complete game, 85-pitch effort. Bishop scattered nine hits, struck out three and walked no one.
“No walks from Chad was huge,” said head coach Nate Lahr. “That helps out our defense. The ball is in play and there is no lull in the action. It helps keep the guys engaged.”
The Hawks led 6-2 after two innings of play and were never threatened by the Rams.
Kyle Cole was 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. Logan Woellert was 1-for-1 with a double. Jared Voss and Kehrli each had a single and an RBI.
A three-run homer by Ridenour gave the Hawks an early 3-0 lead in their opener against South Tama. Ridenour added another hit and two more RBIs as the Hawks added three more runs in the fourth.
South Tama mounted a small rally in the seventh when they scored both their runs.
Voss pitched the complete game, allowing eight hits and striking out four. WD had 10 hits, with Cole going 3-for-4, Voss 2-for-4 and Meyer 2-for-3. Casey was 1-for-3.
In the nightcap, poor defense gave South Tama seven unearned runs. West Delaware jumped out to a 4-0 lead after an inning, but South Tama responded with three in the second and six in the third. The Hawks answered with a pair of runs in their half of the third to cut the deficit to 9-6. The Hawks got another run in the fourth, but South Tama put the game away with four runs in the fifth for a 13-7 lead.
West Delaware committed five errors in the game.
Cole, Voss, Kehrli, Woellert and Isaac Fettkether singled for the Hawks.
The up and down week for a young team is something Lahr said he expected.
“We had winnable games this week, no doubt about it. There will be learning experiences with this young team. It was nice to see us rebound with a win against Senior and to come out right away on Thursday and jump on South Tama. Hopefully as the season progresses the kids will learn how to focus and keep the same attitude and intensity every game.”