The Southwestern baseball team pushed its season mark to 7-15 after a busy five-day stretch spanning from Thursday through Monday, capped off by picking up two wins over Grand View’s junior varsity team.
“Finally got a couple,” head coach Brian “Bull” Smith said. They’ve been running few and far between so far.”
The Spartans won a 15-5 game in six innings over the Vikings in the first game on Monday and followed that up with a 5-3 win in game two.
Brett Ramey took the mound in the first game and pitched well until being relieved by Corey Williams.
The Spartans hit well as a team in the 15-5 win. Seth Lieser led the way, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles.
Tyler Engelhardt pitched the second game and had a no-hitter going through four innings before getting extended and giving up three unearned runs following an error behind him.
Williams came back in the second game and earned the save pitching in relief of Engelhardt.
“In the second game, they had a kid we recruited,” Smith said. “They stuck him out on the mound and he’s pretty tough. A little lefthander. We did well enough to win the ballgame. Trent Dooley and Yariel Alvarez had a couple of hits for us.”
Smith said it was nice to pick up a couple of wins with a tough Southeastern team coming to town this weekend as the Spartans resume ICCAC play.
“I think what it did was it got our guys to relax a little bit,” he said. “Those two games are games we should win. At least they got to relax a little bit. Some guys got some decent swings in.
“Hopefully we get some momentum going again,” he continued. “But I always say this — momentum is only as good as your next day’s starting pitcher. At least we got a little confidence maybe.”
The Spartans started their five-day stretch with a 15-11 loss at Indian Hills on Thursday.
Michael Cendrowski got the start for Southwestern, as several pitchers came in in relief to keep innings down.
“We couldn’t throw enough zeros,” Smith said. “It was a sloppy game by both teams. We outhit them on the day. Both teams had some big innings in there. We just couldn’t throw zeros up there to give us a chance.”
Southwestern then traveled to Estherville for a pair of doubleheaders against Iowa Lakes on Saturday and Sunday.
Iowa Lakes won Saturday’s games by scores of 12-4 and 9-6, and swept the weekend with 5-1 and 6-2 wins on Sunday.
“The first day, it was crazy,” Smith said. “Every time you look up, they had a little bleeder fall in. We hit six or so balls right on the nose, and it went right at people. Brock Daniels hit a missile right at the third baseman. We had second and third with one out and the kid doubles up.”
Seth Lieser gave the Spartans a quality start on Sunday, but the Spartan offense couldn’t give him enough run support to pick up the win.
The Spartans host Southeastern with doubleheaders at 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
Redshirt freshman pitcher Ethan Westphal learned from his MRI that he has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, and will miss the remainder of the season.
It’s another blow for the talented pitcher, who missed last season after having back surgery.
“He’s going in for a second opinion (today),” Smith said. “The doctor from Des Moines said he didn’t think he’d need to do surgery, but he couldn’t pick up a baseball for six months. He’s trying to find somebody to do the Tommy John surgery. If he has the surgery, he’s full speed in six to nine months. If he doesn’t have the surgery, he couldn’t start throwing for at least six months.”
In other injury news for the Spartans, Karlin Palidwor is also out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury that will likely require a surgery that will keep him out for six to eight months.