PELLA — Wednesday night the Pella Christian Eagle baseball team hosted Dallas Center-Grimes, an upper tier team in the Little Hawkeye Conference. The Eagles took an early 4-2 lead only to see the Mustangs fight back and tied the score in the fifth and post a 6-4 win with a pair of seventh inning runs.
Pella Christian pitcher, Micah DeHaan, pitched a masterful game but after a ringing double by DC-G’s Clayton Campadilli in the top of the seventh his night came to a conclusion after throwing 110 pitches. Relief pitcher, Trevor Veenstra was greeted by a single by Casey Garton to break the tie and Garton would later score on an error.
Despite a spirited effort by the Eagles, it was their defense that was the thorn in the flesh in this contest. PC gave the Mustangs two unearned runs right out to the chute and those runs proved to be the difference. A hit batsman and two routine ground ball errors put the Eagles in a hole in the first inning.
“It all goes back to that first inning,” Eagle Coach Braden Shull said. “If we had gone 1-2-3 in that inning, I believe we would have been on our way to a win. I told the kids that you don’t get big moments if you don’t take care of the moments before. We did execute our bunt offense and got a runner over, but we couldn’t get him home. We hit the ball well and I am super proud of the effort Micah gave us on the mound.”
After spotting the Mustangs a pair of runs in that crucial first inning, the Eagles bounced back with a pair of runs of their own. DeHaan reached on an error to get it started and Kellan Shull drew a base on balls. Bennett Spronk ripped a double down the left field line scoring DeHaan, but Shull was cut down at the plate. Spronk moved to third on the play and he scored on a base hit by Caleb Belzer.
The Eagles grabbed a 4-2 lead in the second when Eliot Menninga was plunked by a pitch and courtesy runner Corbin Westerkamp swiped second. Collin VanderWall drove Westerkamp home with a base hit and VanderWall moved up on a drive up the middle by Ty Vander Molen. A sacrifice fly by De Haan plated VanderWall.
The score remained at 4-2 until the top of the fifth when the Mustangs tied the score with a pair of earned runs. The Eagles had only one base runner the rest of the way and they could not get him home. The stage was set for the Mustangs to pull out the win in the seventh.
The Eagles had only six hits against Mustang pitcher, Trevor Hamil and Vander Molen had two of them. Spronk had the lone extra base hit with a double. De Haan was tagged with the hard luck loss as he pitched six and two thirds innings allowing five hits, three earned runs, walking two and fanning eight.
The Eagles will look to rebound from the loss with a twin bill at Newton on Friday.
DC-G 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 6 7 2
Pella Christian 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 6 3
Pella Christian Battery – Micah DeHaan (LP), 6.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2BB, 8 K, Trevor Veenstra .1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, ) BB, 1 K and Eliot Menninga
Pella Christian hitting – Bennett Spronk 1-for-3, Kyle Branderhorst 1-for-4, Caleb Belzer 1-for-2, Collin VanderWall 1-for-3, Ty Vander Molen 2-for-3.
Pella Christian runs – DeHaan 1, Spronk 1, Corbin Westerkamp 1, VanderWall 1.
Pella Christian RBI – DeHaan 1, Spronk 1, Belzer 1, VanderWall 1
2B – Spronk 1