ALMA — In just its first contest of the 2018 campaign, the Glenwood City baseball team achieved what last year’s squad could not – a victory.
In a high scoring affair, the Hilltoppers, under the direction of new head coaches Jim Celt and Shane Strong, beat the Pepin/Alma Eagles 22-11 in a Dunn-St. Croix match-up played last Thursday in Alma along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi.
[emember_protected] It was also Glenwood City’s first conference win since a 7-6 victory over Elmwood on May 16, 2016.
“This was the first time we have been outside this season, so it felt good to just get on a field. We were happy with how our kids played with limited opportunities to work kids on our defense,” said co-head coach Shane Strong.
“We anticipated that our bats would be ahead of our defense because of the amount of time we have put into hitting indoors,” added Strong.
“Our pitchers pitched well for a first game,” continued Strong. “We did walk more kids that we would like, but overall we were happy with their first outing of the season.”
Leading 10 to 7 entering the seventh and final inning, Glenwood City’s bats exploded helping the Hilltoppers plate a dozen runs.
And a good thing too, as the host Eagles scored four runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
Glenwood City got an early jump on Pepin/Alma scoring three in the first and six more runs in the second to take a nine to nothing advantage.
Junior Hadin DeSmith had a solid start for the Toppers on the mound, blanking the Eagles in the first inning.
But Pepin/Alma slowly pulled back into the game, scoring a pair of runs off DeSmith in the second and third frames before putting three across home plate in the fourth.
Senior Jacob Kopacz relieved DeSmith and pitched a pair of scoreless innings before the Eagles plated their final four runs in the bottom of the seventh.
DeSmith got the victory surrendering just three hits and seven runs, all earned, with eight walks and a strike out. Kopacz also gave up just three hits while striking out four and walking three.
Marcus Hurtgen had a great game at the plate leading the locals with a 5-6 (all singles) night at the plate with a pair of RBIs. Kopacz added a pair hits and collected four RBIs.
DeSmith supported his pitching effort with his bat, collecting three hits, two RBIs and scored four runs in six plate appearances. Tanner Davis also went 3-for-6 batting and scored four times.
Jake Nadeau and Pete Hill each had a pair of hits with Nadeau picking up four RBIs and Hill two.
In all, the Hilltoppers collected a whopping 20 hits compared to just six for the Eagles.
“We have areas we need to improve on in order to compete with the top teams in our league,” noted Coach Strong.
“The challenge will be keeping the kids focused and motivated when we look to be practicing indoors for another week or more.”
With this past weekend’s snow storm the schedule will remain in flux as contests are rescheduled.
GLENWOOD CITY 22, PEPIN/ALMA 11
Glenwood City……3 6 0 0 0 1 12 – 22
Pepin/Alma…….…..0 2 2 3 0 0 4 – 11
Glenwood City (AB-R-H): Marcus Hurtgen 6-2-5, Hadin DeSmith 6-4-3, Bryce Fayerweather 4-0-1, Tanner Davis 6-4-3, Jake Kopacz 4-3-2, Carson Strong 3-3-1, Jake Nadeau 4-0-2, Pete Hill 6-1-2, Gavin Janson 5-2-1. Totals 44-22-20.
Pitching: GC, Hadin DeSmith (W), 4 IP, 3 H, 7 R (7 earned), 1 K, 8 BB; Jake Kopacz 3 IP, 3 H, 4 R (3 earned), 4 K, 3 BB. [/emember_protected]