Several clutch hits enough for West Central Area to get back on track
The West Central Area Knights scored all five of their runs with two outs in Tuesday's win over Browerville-Eagle Valley.
The West Central Area baseball team is hoping Tuesday's win over Browerville-Eagle Valley can be the turning point in an up-and-down season so far.
The Knights (5-7) scored all five of their runs with two outs in their 5-3 win over the Tigers (3-10). Junior center fielder Reubens Swanson led the way with three hits in the leadoff spot.
"Coach said the first batter always gets on base," Swanson said. "I go up there and I get on base. That's my job. I feel comfortable that I'll score with the guys behind me. Anthony (Sykora), Jordan (Lohse) and Colton (Lindquist) all hit very well. They know what they're doing up there."
Lindquist drove in Swanson for the game's first run with a two-out RBI single. The Knights piled on two more runs in the second inning with an RBI single from freshman Dane Anderson. Anderson, who played in his first varsity game on Tuesday, went 2-for-3.
"It was really exciting to see him have a good day in his first game," WCA head coach Andrew Koloski said. "He's got a bright future ahead."
On the mound for WCA was senior Trent Koloski, who threw five innings. He allowed just one earned run and three hits with five strikeouts. His funky sidearm motion threw off the B-EV hitters in the early part of the game.
"I haven't hit against Trent much in practice, but it's really hard for hitters to face him," Swanson said. "His fastball is really fast, and he likes to change speeds with it. Right when hitters think they've caught on, he'll throw him a curve or something. They're not used to seeing the ball come from the side. When I did hit against him, it took me seven or eight swings to see it right. Even then, it was challenging."
In the bottom of the fourth, Swanson drove in Anderson with his second hit of the game to take a 4-1 lead. One inning later, senior Ashton Danner scored from second on a wild pitch to make it 5-2. While thrilled his players were productive with two outs, coach Koloski joked about the lack of production in the other situations at the plate.
"I'm very happy with how today went, but we don't have to wait until there are two outs to score," he said, laughing. "It'd be nice to score some runs with no outs too, but it's nice they stay confident in those spots."
Sykora relieved Trent Koloski in the top of the sixth inning and recorded a six-out save.
"Anthony is just that kid," coach Koloski said. "He's an athlete. He's a heck of a wrestler and football player that's been in a lot of big moments already as a sophomore. The pressure doesn't get to him, which is why he's good for us there in those situations."
Swanson was 3-for-3 at the plate, but his most significant moment came in the top of the sixth inning when he laid out for a diving catch in center field. While the play turned heads for the visiting team and spectators, Koloski saw it as "just Reubens being Reubens."
"He's been doing that for us all year," Koloski said. "I think he's hitting about .600 for us on the season. The kid covers so much ground out there, and he's fun to watch."
Swanson is hoping he and his teammates are turning a corner just past the midway point of the season. After a big win on Tuesday and two competitive losses in Ashby last week, the Knights are heading in the right direction.
"Right now, after this win, our confidence is high," Swanson said. "We know we can definitely get better and get more confident. After seeing the potential we have today, we are confident that we can beat a lot of teams. We were all on board with our goals today. We all came to play instead of just some of us showing up. If everybody shows up and is ready to play, we can compete."
BEV 001 011 0 - 3
WCA 120 110 0 - 5
WCA HITTING- Reubens Swanson 3-3, R, RBI; Anthony Sykora 1-3; Jordan Lohse 0-3; Colton Lindquist 1-3, RBI; Ashton Danner 1-3; Cole Anderson 0-3; Trent Koloski 0-2, BB, R; Mark Adams 0-3; Dane anderson 2-3, R, RBI
WCA PITCHING- Koloski 5 IP, 5K, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 1BB, 1HBP; Sykora 2IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB