WATERLOO — It was a reversal of fortunes in the second game of a home-and-home double header between Cedar Falls and Waterloo West Tuesday night.
The Wahawks (7-15) defeated the Tigers (9-11) in Cedar Falls Monday night, 9-3, then the Tigers avenged the loss with a 7-3 victory on Danny Van Syoc Field last night.
Cedar Falls built a 2-0 lead early, starting in the first with singles by Tanner Schiefelbein and Mitch Young. Tate Johnson drove both home with a single.
From that point both starting pitchers shut their opponent down, until the sixth frame when the game changed, with the Tigers sending eight men to the plate ans scoring three runs despite garnering just two hits.
West pitchers issued four walks while a balk and error contributed to the Tiger runs.
“We got rolling early and we felt that West was not going to get anything going,” Tigers manager Nick Klein said. “Things were going our way and the guys felt good about the play on the field. Plus we had Zach (Neese) pitching and he gets the job done. He is not about a lot of the hoopla he just goes out there and throws strikes.”
Neese stymied the Wahawks sticks allowing just one hit going into the sixth inning, that is when it became interesting.
“I struggled getting ahead of the batters tonight and I am not sure why,” said Neese. “I thank my defense behind me because they came up with some big plays. When I gave up that homer to Susong, I was thinking I might get pulled. Then I found out his run didn’t count and it was only two runs that scored, that made me feel better.”
Neese felt good enough to strike out the next batter ending the inning.
Things got a little crazy in the bottom of the sixth with an unusual call that halted a Wahawk rally, with West having two men on with just one out.
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Noah Susong stepped to the plate and launched what looked to be a three-run home run that would have cut the Wahawks’ deficit to 5-3. Instead, Susong had ran past Mitch Fordyce, who was on first, and therefore became an out.
“That’s baseball right there,” said Wahawks coach Chad Crosby. “We want to be aggressive on the base paths and this time it caught us. We just have to put that behind us and move on.”
The Wahawks were awarded two runs, however, and the game became a tighter contest.
The Tigers quickly answered back with two runs in the seventh when two wild pitches and a balk allowed two Tigers to score.
A late rally by the Wahawks was extinguished on a couple of deep fly outs to right field and a fielders choice that allowed Luke Fordyce to score.
“Sometimes this team plays too hard not to lose,” said Crosby. “We still have a long way to go, but these guys come out every day and they play hard.”
Cedar Falls 7, West 3
Cedar Falls 200 003 2—7 7 2
West 000 002 1—3 4 3Zach Neese and Casey Sole. Max Paxton, Luke Fordyce (6), Mitch Fordyce (7) and Chase Pabst. WP—Neese (2-3), LP—L. Fordyce (1-3). HR—Noah Susong (W).