DENVER — Hoping to redeem himself following a squandered opportunity at the plate two innings earlier, Dike-New Hartford slugger Trent Johnson got exactly what he wanted and took advantage.
With the bases loaded and his team down 3-1 in the seventh inning, Johnson blasted a bases-clearing triple into the gap between left and center, sparking the Class 2A’s No. 6-ranked Wolverines’ doubleheader sweep of Denver in North Iowa Cedar League baseball play Friday.
Johnson’s three-run triple was the winner as D-NH took the opener, 4-3.
It was the second time in three innings Johnson was at the plate with the bases loaded in a two-run game. He nearly tied the game in the fifth, but a blooper he hit down the first base line went just foul. On the ensuing pitch, he hit into an inning-ending force out at third.
“I was pretty disappointed in myself when I got out with the bases loaded in the fifth inning,” Johnson said. “Nobody wants to do that. You just want to get the runs in for your team and thankfully I got to do that in the seventh inning.”
Denver looked to have things under control in the fifth, as starter Zach Miller was cruising. At that point, the bases were empty with two outs and the Wolverines had just two hits.
But a two-out rally, highlighted by a Drew Sonnenberg RBI single, helped spark the winning rally.
“We felt pretty good that we’d get to them,” Dike-New Hartford coach Sean Leonard said. “We’re kind of a second time through the order type team. Tonight it took us three or four times through.”
The top of the Dike-New Hartford lineup did most of the damage on the night, finishing with nine of the team’s 16 hits.
Already up 2-0, another late-inning surge helped the Wolverines put away the second game, which they won 8-0.
Dike-New Hartford put up six runs in the sixth, all of which came with two outs. A strong offense was complimented by poor defense, as the Cyclones committed fours errors in the inning.
The scoring was more than enough for starter Nick Durnin, who surrendered just three hits in 5 2/3 shutout innings.
Two outs away from earning an eighth straight win in the opener, the night quickly took an unpleasant turn for the Cyclones, who fell to 10-9 on the season.
“Losing the way we lost that first game, I think it took a lot out of us,” Denver coach Dustin Rewerts said. “We weren’t ourselves the second game. If you’re kind of down and out of it and not playing how you’d normally play, it’s going to have an effect.”
The two wins, the Wolverines’ sixth and seventh in a row, improved their record to 20-3.
DIKE-NEW HARTFORD 4-8, DENVER 3-0
Dike-New Hartford 000 010 3 — 4 7 1
Denver 200 100 0 — 3 7 1
Vanderlind, Mapel (6) and Johnson. Miller, Phelps (7) and Eagle. 2B—Sonnenberg (DNH). 3B—Johnson (DNH). WP—Mapel. LP—Miller.
Dike-New Hartford 100 006 0 — 8 9 2
Denver 000 000 0 — 0 4 4
Durning, Mapel (6) and Johnson. Farley, Krueger (6), Reiter (7) and Eagle. WP—Durning. LP—Farley. 2B—Mapel (DNH).