Central City ended a 13-game losing streak with a doubleheader sweep of Edgewood-Colesburg at Central City, July 1, winning the opener, 7-1, and the second 6-3. The Wildcats improved to 10-22 while Ed-Co fell to 6-22 heading to the final week of the regular season.
“We had some big hits, but they came in situations where we didn’t have any runners on base,” said Ed-Co coach Aaron Hamann. “We have been unable to drive in runs and it seems we need to string together multiple hits just to score a run or two.”
Central City broke open a scoreless game one in a four-run third inning, with a three-run homerun from TJ Ayers the big blow. The Wildcats added two more in the fourth to take a 6-0 lead before the Vikings got on the board in the fifth when Ethan Streicher’s RBI single scored Edmar Cipriano-Cruz.
Nick Reid’s RBI single in the sixth scored another run, making the final 7-1. Reid was the winning pitcher, dominating the contest in a 13-strikeout performance while scattering seven Ed-Co hits.
Quintin Hess started for Ed-Co and allowed six runs on eight hits in five innings before giving way to Cipriano-Cruz who allowed one run in an inning of work.
Offensively, the Vikings were led by Tony Wright at 2-for-3. Streicher was 1-for-2 with one RBI, Andrew Hoeger-Pint 1-for-2, Cipriano-Cruz 1-for-3, with Spencer Staner and Alex Jones 1-for-4.
The Vikings bounced back in the second game with a two-run first-inning lead, but that didn’t last long as Central City scored three times in the bottom of the inning to regain the advantage.
Staner started the game with a single and moved to second on a walk to Dayne Bergan. Jones singled to load the bases and Ed-Co got on the board when Hess drew a walk. Hoeger-Pint’s ground ball scored Bergan to make it 2-0.
A two-run double from Wyatt Starry got the Wildcats started in the first, and when Ayers doubled in the second to score a pair, it was 5-2 after two innings. A single Central City run in the fourth made it 6-2 before the Vikings answered with a fifth-inning run when Staner doubled and scored on a ground ball by Jones. Streicher ripped a two-out double, but was stranded at third to end the frame.
Central City’s Nile Coughlin got the win, going 6 2/3 before leaving due to pitch count restrictions, while Wright started and took the loss for Ed-Co — pitching three innings and allowing five runs on four hits — before Staner allowed one run on three hits to close.
Offensively, Ed-Co had five hits, with Staner’s 2-for-4 leading the way. Hess was 1-for-2 with one RBI, Jones 1-for-4 with one RBI while Streicher and Wright were 1-for-3.
“We need our top pitchers to continue to pound the strike zone and keep playing solid defense behind them,” Hamann said. “We need to find a way to jump start our offense right away instead of waiting until we are behind before we threaten on the base paths.”
“We continue to get solid pitching from Quintin Hess and Tony Wright,” Hamann added. “Spencer Staner has been consistent as a reliever.”