Home Sports Loucks’ walk-off home run sends Remsen St. Mary’s past top-ranked Akron-Westfield

Loucks’ walk-off home run sends Remsen St. Mary’s past top-ranked Akron-Westfield

A matchup between top-five teams in Class 1A baseball in Remsen did not disappoint on Friday night.

Fourth-ranked Remsen St. Mary’s won the matchup with top-ranked Akron-Westfield by a score of 3-2 on the walk-off home run by Daenon Loucks.

Starting at the beginning, Remsen St. Mary’s jumped on Akron-Westfield pitcher Nathan Gaswint early. Landon Waldschmitt cracked a double and Loucks drove him in later with a groundout. Remsen St. Mary’s head coach Dean Harpenau says getting to an early lead was an emphasis going into the game.

Things would stay with a score of 1-0 for a large portion of the game until the top of the fourth inning. The Westerners threatened loading the bases with two outs, and Arik Allard came through with a two-out two-run hit that gave the Westerners the lead. Akron-Westfield head coach Gordon Johnson says his guys battled a tough pitcher in Collin Homan and got better because of it.

Akron-Westfield got a stellar outing from Nathan Gaswint who was nearly lights out after allowing the first run of the game. He ended up striking out 12 total batters on his way towards finishing the game. Coach Johnson says, no matter the outcome, he was proud of the guys for how they competed.

Heading to the bottom of the seventh inning, Remsen St. Mary’s had struggled getting on base after getting that first run across to start the game. After a strikeout, a Brady Wurth hit by pitch, and another strikeout, it was Daenon Loucks’ turn to try and break through. He broke through in a big way with the game-winning home run. Loucks says he was extremely confident that he could make something happen with the team’s back against the wall.

Loucks ended up driving all three runs in for Remsen St. Mary’s in the victory going 2-4 with a run scored as well. He also finished the top of the seventh inning for Collin Homan who had hit the pitch count limit. He got two big outs with the bases loaded needing some help from his defense to seal the deal. Loucks says defense is where things have to start for the Hawks.

As a transfer from Cherokee, there has been a bit of a learning curve for Loucks who has fit in nicely with the Hawk lineup. Coach Harpenau says instilling a disciplined mindset at the plate has helped Loucks to have an impact with the team in big ways.

Loucks says the culture in Remsen is different and that makes it a great program to be a part of.

Remsen St. Mary’s has three big games to finish the regular season before tournament play begins. The Hawks take on Earlham for a doubleheader in Fort Dodge and host Class 2A No. 2 Underwood on Wednesday. Coach Harpenau says the guys will ramp things up for the tournament by treating these games like playoff games.

Remsen St. Mary’s first postseason game is set for July 9th in Remsen. They will play the winner of Newell-Fonda and Boyer Valley. Akron-Westfield also opens the postseason on July 9th, and they await the winner of South O’Brien and Harris-Lake Park.