SPRINGVILLE - Rivalry games usually bring out the best in athletes, on both sides of the field.
That was certainly the case as the Springville baseball team hosted Central City Thursday, June 13.
“The boys didn’t give up and just kept clawing and stayed in there and worked their way to a win,” said Oriole baseball coach Tony Dlouhy, as his team rallied to claim a thrilling nightcap to the Tri-Rivers Conference doubleheader taking a wild 5-4 decision.
“Central City is one of our biggest rivals, along with Alburnett, so for us to be able to win is not only big for the boys, but for the program. Central City has a very solid team, but we showed that we do too.”
Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Oriole Luke Menster stepped to the plate and jacked a three-run home run over the left-center field wall handing the hosts a 5-4 lead that pitcher Will Strait made stand in the top of the seventh.
“Luke really stepped up and delivered right when we needed him to,” Dlouhy said. “Will did a wonderful job on the mound going the distance and struck out the last batter of the game after falling behind by a 3-0 count. That’s the kind of refuse to lose mentality I like to see, and it helped us get this big win.”
The game went back and forth with each team trading runs before the Wildcats scored two in the top of the sixth to take a 4-2 lead.
Bryce Wilson powered a six-hit Springville (6-13, 5-11) offense coming through with two hits while Strait was sensational on the mound tossing a complete game five-hitter while striking out an impressive nine Central City batters.
The opener saw the Orioles handed a tough 11-4 defeat as the Wildcat offense scored in every inning but one.
“This was just one of those games where things just never seemed to go our way,” Dlouhy said. “We had five errors and left seven runners on base. Those are things that we just cannot allow to happen, and it cost us the game.”
Kyle Koppes tallied two hits for the hosts while driving home runs in the fifth and seventh innings.
Central City crossed the plate at least once in every inning but the first, and blew the game open with a three-run top of the seventh.
Springville was at Maquoketa Valley Monday, June 10, and after falling into an early hole against the host Wildcats in the opener, a late rally came up short in an 8-5 defeat.
Maquoketa Valley led 7-1 through four frames and appeared to be cruising before the Orioles came marching back.
Trailing 8-2 in the sixth, Alex Koppes, Caleb Christiansen and Zach March all crossed the plate to trim the Wildcat advantage to three, but it would be all the team would get in the three-run loss.
“This was a frustrating game,” Dlouhy said. “We easily could have been in it but errors and leaving eight guys on base really came back to haunt us.
“I know these kids know what they’re doing and what they’re supposed to do. They just need more confidence in their own ability that they can go out there and make plays and win.”
The second game played out much like the first, with the Orioles falling into a 5-0 hole before coming back to make a game of it in what ended as a 5-3 loss.
Maquoketa Valley scored four first inning runs then added another in the third to take their big early lead.
Alex Koppes and Menster each scored in a two-run Springville fifth before March scored in the seventh as the team had the game-tying run in scoring position.
“We easily could have swept this doubleheader,” Dlouhy said. “We’re that close. Hopefully we can find what we’re looking for and get the confidence we need before the season comes to an end.”