For the first time since 1981, Gehlen Catholic and Le Mars met up in a varsity baseball game last night. The Jays came away with the win in the historic meeting by a final score of 7-6. The offenses came to the ballpark right away as Le Mars opened up the scoring in the top half of the first on a two-out RBI triple by Carter Arens to put Le Mars up 1-0. Gehlen had an immediate answer scoring four runs in the bottom half of the inning including two on a home run by Derek Von Arb.
Gehlen Head Coach Kirk Kronaizl says that the four-run inning was a testament to the approach that his team has been taking at the plate as of late.
The game remained 4-1 until the top half of the fourth inning when the Le Mars bats woke up again and scored four runs in the top half of the inning. Cal Eckstaine hit an RBI double in that half of the inning to tie the game at four. Once again, the Jays had a quick answer as Gehlen responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning with Keaton Logan driving in the go-ahead run to put the Jays up 6-5 after four. Gehlen put up another run in the bottom of the fifth, and Le Mars scored one run in the top of the sixth while leaving the bases loaded. Le Mars Head Coach Trent Eckstaine says that the missed opportunity in the sixth really stung for his team.
The Jays got crucial pitching when they needed it with Connor Kraft getting the win while going 4 and one third, Dylan Lehmann picked up an inning and two-thirds in relief, and Zach Kraft shut the door in the seventh for the save. Coach Kronaizl says that his staff is good when they attack the strike zone.
Gehlen Catholic trailed entering the bottom of the fourth and Coach Kronaizl is pleased with his team’s ability to come back in that scenario rather than give up.
With the win, Gehlen Catholic improves to 6-5 on the year and is at home on Wednesday to play South O’Brien. Le Mars falls to 6-4 on the year, and the week does not get easier for the Bulldogs as they are on the road tonight at Bishop Heelan who is 2nd in the MRAC currently and receiving votes in the latest Iowa baseball rankings. Coach Eckstaine wants to see a different ball club when they take the field in Sioux City tonight.
As previously reported, this was the first meeting between the two teams since 1981. Coach Eckstaine’s competitive personality may lead to this matchup being renewed in the future.
Gehlen Catholic is now 4-0 against Le Mars since 1980.
Final Scores from Tuesday Night:
War Eagle Conference:
#4 Remsen St. Mary’s 12 Harris-Lake Park 0
Akron-Westfield 2 Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 1
Hinton 8 MMCRU 4
Unity Christian 13 Trinity Christian 3
Western Valley Conference:
#6 Kingsley-Pierson 6 Woodbury Central 0
Lawton-Bronson 12 MVAOCOU 5
River Valley 12 West Monona 8
OABCIG 8 Westwood 4
Missouri River Activities Conference:
Sioux City North 16 Harlan 9
Harlan 16 Sioux City North 1
Hinton 4 MMCRU 0
Akron-Westfield 12 Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 2
South O’Brien 11 West Sioux 4
Unity Christian 8 Trinity Christian 4
Kingsley-Pierson 13 Woodbury Central 8
Westwood 18 OABCIG 8
MVAOCOU 11 Lawton-Bronson 1
River Valley 3 West Monona 2