REINBECK — Two programs that have enjoyed plenty of baseball success will square off Saturday trying to keep their respective seasons alive.
Don Bosco put together a dominant 15-1 victory over AGWSR Thursday, and Gladbrook-Reinbeck followed with an 11-3 rout of BCLUW to set up a showdown for the District 5 title with a berth in the substate finals at stake.
After spotting AGWSR a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, the Dons exploded for 10 runs on seven hits in the bottom half of the inning, including an RBI double by Dylan Rottinghaus.
Staked to that big 10-1 lead, Don Bosco starting pitcher Lewis Havel and relievers Kendall Becker and Trevor Brown kept the Cougars off the basepaths over the final four innings.
The Dons (23-9) tacked on another run in the third, then finished it off with a four-run fourth that featured a two-out, two-run double by Logan Lutgen.
“We’ve always been a two-out hitting type of team,” said Lutgen, who is hungry for another trip to the state tournament to cap his high school career.
“I went as an eighth-grader and a freshman so now I just want to do it one more time,” said the Dons’ infielder.
Don Bosco coach Blaine Rhoads was happy he was able to get three of his top pitchers some work.
“You would rather have an ace but having four 2s isn’t bad, either,” said Rhoads. “If someone doesn’t have it early we can go to another and it’s nice to have that depth.
“It’s a bit higher of a mound here and we wanted to have them used to it,” Rhoads added.
The tone was set for the evening’s second game in the early innings, as well.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck (21-10) jumped out to a 7-1 lead after two innings with big hits from Walker Thede and leadoff man Tyler Tscherter.
“It’s fun to lead off because once one hit goes it kind of sparks the team to get everyone hitting and waving guys around,” said Tscherter, the Rebels’ shortstop.
In the fourth inning, Tscherter hit his second double of the night and eventually scored on a Bronson Wrage single. That was part of a four-run, five-hit frame that boosted the lead to 11-2.
BCLUW (15-13) struggled to figure out the crew of Rebel pitchers Kyle Koppen, Caden Kickbush and Mason Skovgard. That’s exactly what G-R coach Scott Kiburis was hoping would happen.
“BCLUW has been really good against Tyler (Tscherter),” said the Rebels coach. “We were able to do what we had planned and Kyle’s (Koppen) a good change of pace for them.”
Koppen only allowed two hits in four innings while Kickbush allowed the other two before Skovgard closed it out.
Now it’s on to a matchup of tournament-tested programs at 7 p.m. Saturday on Reinbeck’s Koch Field.
“We’re just going to try to keep them off the bases,” said Kiburis. “They have good baserunners and athletes and are an area traditional baseball powerhouse. Hopefully we can make the game competitive and have the opportunity to move on.”
DON BOSCO 15, AGWSR 1
AGWSR 100 00 — 1 3 3
Don Bosco (10)01 4x — 15 15 1
Luke Starr, Ben Macy (1), Josh Bartling (3) and Brody Roder. Lewis Havel, Kendall Becker (4), Trevor Brown (5) and Bryce Schares. WP — Havel. LP — Starr. 2B — Bartling (AGWSR), Dylan Rottinghaus (DB), Logan Lutgen 2 (DB), Schares (DB).
GLADBROOK-REINBECK 11, BCLUW 2
BCLUW 010 101 0 — 3 4 1
Glad.-Rein. 250 400 x — 11 15 1
Logan Mann, Caleb Keller (4) and Brad Barkema. Kyle Koppen, Caden Kickbush (4), Mason Skovgard (7) and Jackson Kiburis. WP — Koppen. LP — Mann. 2B — Walker Thede 2 (GR), Tyler Tscherter 2 (GR), Jack Garber (BCLUW).