Nodaway Valley/O-M baseball coach Dan Jameson has been pleased lately with his team’s pitching staff and the defense behind them, but he’s hoping the group’s hitting will come along in the coming days.
The Wolverines got out to a 7-0 start to the season but weren’t able to recover from an early lead Mount Ayr took and lost on the road to the Raiders Friday, June 10, 13-3 in five innings.
Four runs in the first inning and six in the fifth from Mount Ayr were the difference in the game. NV/O-M had just four hits and the Raiders had eight.
“Things started out really well for us. We had been playing well in a lot of tight games and coming out on top in them,” Jameson said. “We were feeling good about the pitching and fielding, but we’ve just gotta get the bats up to par, I think, and get some guys fired back up now. We’re hitting that point where we need to start picking things back up.”
Matthew Weber had a walk, a sacrifice and an RBI against Mount Ayr. Boston DeVault had a single, an RBI and a walk. Jase Davidson had a single. Nathan Russell had a hit, a run scored and was hit by a pitch. Tyson Ross had NV/O-M’s other hit. No hits on the night went for extra bases.
Caelen DeVault went three innings, taking the loss on the mound. Weber and Russell each came in for relief. In all, they gave up the eight hits, 11 earned runs, eight walks, three hit batters and struck out 11. The Wolverines committed two errors.
NV/O-M beat Southeast Warren 2-1 last Tuesday in a key Pride of Iowa Conference game.
Boston DeVault pitched all seven innings, had six Ks and one walk. He was 1-for-3 at the dish with a run scored. Davidson was 1-for-3 with an RBI single. The Wolverines made strong defensive plays that led to the win.
“Boston pitched extremely well and we played solid behind him in the field. Caelen, I think had five plays at shortstop and Dax had a nice play at third. That gives your pitchers tons of confidence if you’re making the routine plays behind him,” Jameson said. “We only had two hits that night but ended up producing two runs out of it. That was a good, solid win there.”
Davidson had a good outing on the hill against Earlham, striking out six and giving up four hits. He helped himself with a double and an RBI groundout. Elliot Cooney had two walks, three stolen bases and two runs scored. Paul Berg was 2-for-3. Nathan Russell went 1-for-3 with an RBI sacrifice fly. Caelen DeVault was 1-for-2 with an RBI sacrifice fly and a run scored. Boston DeVault finished with a hit and a run scored.
“It was just about finding ways on base, getting moved over. The kids have a good concept of getting guys around the bases and moving them in,” Jameson said. “You’d always love to have a big hit, but a sac fly or a well-placed ground ball does the job too. Anything to get the runs in.”
NV/O-M, now 7-1 on the season and 5-1 in conference play, was entering the bottom of the fourth, trailing 2-0 to Bedford, in a suspended game that was scheduled to be finished at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Greenfield. After that, the Wolverines were to play Bedford again in their regularly-scheduled game. West Central Valley comes to town Wednesday. The Wolverines play at Southwest Valley Thursday and home Friday against East Union.
“We just need that focus at the plate and need to get back to hitting the ball well,” Jameson said. “We need to rely on the pitching and fielding that’s got us here and keep getting better all the time.”