ANAMOSA - Jumping out to a quick 3-0 first-inning lead hosting Northeast Thursday, June 25, Anamosa baseball coach Bryan McCray was hoping that early success was going to be a sign of things to come for the rest of the game against the Rebels.
In the end, the Raiders (2-4) would score just one more run, but it would be all the hosts would need taking a 4-3 triumph over the Rebels, notching their second victory of the 2020 summer.
“A win is a win, and I hate to seem upset at the way we played, but this was a game we should have put away early on, and we didn’t do that,” McCray said. “When have our opponents down early we need to be able to take advantage of that situation and take control of the game and never let go. That didn’t happen Thursday night, but we were able to hang on and get the win. Like I said, a win is a win, but there are easier ways to go about it and I guess we’re still learning how to go about doing that.”
Sam Wilt got the scoring started in the very first inning jacking a line-drive two-run home run over the left field fence that plated teammate Wyatt Bickford, who had opened the game with a single.
The hosts weren’t done yet however, as Trae Klatt walked and came around to score thanks to a two-out RBI double off the bat of Grahm Humpal.
“Thankfully, with the way Eli (Lehrman) was pitching, we wouldn’t need a whole lot more runs to win this game,” McCray said. “Eli’s slider was moving all over the place and he was keeping Northeast batters off-balance all game long. He may have thrown a few more pitches than I would have liked (108), but he competed going the distance with 10 strikeouts.”
Lehrman was sensational tossing a two-hitter while allowing a mere one walk and one earned run in working the compete game.
Anamosa added a run in the fifth when Wilt walked and scored thanks to a Humpal single that handed the hosts a 4-0 lead.
The add-on run proved to be huge, as the Rebels rallied in the top of the seventh scoring three runs before the Raiders worked out of the jam leaving Northeast’s tying and go-ahead runs on the base paths.
Humpal’s two hits led a six-hit Anamosa offense.
“Outside of offense, we were awesome,” McCray said. “We had pitching and defense and we pretty much played a perfect game until the seventh. Then we made three straight poor plays that allowed Northeast to get back into it.”
Anamosa was back on the field the very next night traveling to Tipton Friday, June 26, where the team was edged in a 5-3 final.
“For some reason, I have never had a good day as a coach at Tipton,” McCray said. “And it didn’t change Friday night. We did do a better job at the plate than we did the night before against Northeast. Our approaches were better than they have been and we were hitting the ball. We got guys on bases on a regular basis, but we struggled getting them in leaving 10 guys out there.”
The Raiders knotted the score at 1-1 plating a fourth-inning run before the Tigers broke the game open scoring twice in the fifth and sixth frames to lead 5-1.
Anamosa showed no quit however, scoring two in the top of the seventh before coming up just short.
Lehrman had a big night at the plate going 3-for-4 with two singles and a double while Bickford added two more hits while also scoring a run. Jake Jess and Devin Brophy also crossed the plate for the visitors.
Jess tossed all six frames from the hill allowing seven hits and just one earned run while striking out three.
The week opened with a tough 10-6 setback hosting Cascade Tuesday, June 23.
Trailing 9-2 in the fifth, Anamosa rallied scoring four of the game’s final five runs, including three in the bottom of the seventh as Bickford, Wilt and Klatt all crossed the plate.
“Overall, this was an ugly game,” McCray said. “We did not play well at all, and I don’t think I coached very well either. The final was 10-6 but it might as well had been 20-0 with the way we played. We didn’t hit or pitch well. This game just left a bad taste in my mouth because it was one we could have won, and to be so far off from that was disappointing. We are better than this.”
Anamosa bats were limited to five hits while Lehrman, Klatt and Jared Nelson all came through with RBIs for the hosts.