GILBERTVILLE — When Iowa Star Conference baseball foes Don Bosco and North Tama square off, it’s usually a battle to the final out.
Wednesday night, Class 1A’s fifth-ranked Dons (16-4) surprised the Redhawks in a 12-2 rout. North Tama (13-5) surprised many people, as well, with an unthinkable nine errors that contributed to 10 Don Bosco runs.
The shaky fielding started early, after the Redhawks grabbed a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, two errors and a hit batsman set the table for Fischer Ohrt, who hammered a triple for a 2-1 lead.
North Tama tied the game in the second with Parker Hulme taking a walk and later scoring on a Hale Hulme single.
Another error contributed to another Don Bosco run in the third and Bryce Schares singled in a teammate as the Dons took the lead for good at 4-2.
“We haven’t been putting the ball into play lately and tonight we did a little bit better job of that,” Don Bosco coach Blaine Rhoads said. “I think the guys saw what could happen when you make the other team have to play the ball.
“I was a little shocked at the outcome here because we usually play a little chippy game with these guys. Our pitchers did a great job tonight not walking anyone and making them put the ball in play. This was a big confidence-booster game for us.”
The Dons had dropped a pair of games over the weekend and needed to rebound.
The Redhawks were still in the game at 5-2 going into the last half of the fifth frame when the night turned into a nightmare.
Schares led off with a single, then five of the next six batters reached due to errors as the Dons’ lead ballooned.
“We have been struggling all year on defense and I don’t know why,” Redhawks coach Dan Kopriva said. “We only lost one guy from last year, but we have been so inconsistent this year. I’m confused by this.
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“You cannot play a team like Bosco and make those mistakes. There is a lot of baseball to be played and we just need to work on better defense.”
Ironically, Cael Frost delivered the game-ending blow with a three-run home run.
An inning earlier, Frost jacked one deep to nearly the same spot in right field, but Redhawks’ right fielder Parker Hulme snagged the ball off the top of the fence to rob Frost of a three-run shot.
“I honestly was just trying to get a hit and keep the inning going,” said Frost. “I got a good pitch and knew right when I hit it, it was over. I guess it was a little justice from my last at-bat.
“This was such a big conference win for us, but we cannot look too far ahead,” added Frost. “We struggled last weekend and we did not want to get into a slump. With this win we are hoping it gets us on a roll and we can keep it going.”
Don Bosco 12, N. Tama 2
North Tama 110 00 — 2 4 9
Don Bosco 202 17 — 12 8 0
Hale Hulme, Izach Henson (2) and Luke Pennell. Bryce Schares, Easton Larson (4) and Cedric Yoder. WP — Schares (4-1). LP — Henson (4-2). 3B — Fischer Ohrt (DB).