CEDAR RAPIDS — The pitching and defense was there for an upset but the bats would be held silent by the fourth-ranked Xavier Saints as Oskaloosa saw their season end on Friday in Cedar Rapids in a 3-0 loss.
It ended up being a quick game with five total hits between the two teams.
The game was scoreless heading to the bottom of the fourth where the Saints would finally break through to open the scoring. Xavier’s Myles Butkowski would single to center but the artificial turf of Mount Mercy University Field would speed the ball up and past center fielder Carson Genskow and to the fence to allow Butkowski to scramble all the way to third.
The next batter was Jack Lux, who would ground out to second as the run would come in to score on the play.
Xavier continued that momentum into the fifth inning with the first four batters reaching base while two more runs came across in the inning on an Oskaloosa error and a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
Oskaloosa eyed a rally in the sixth inning. Genskow would reach with one out after getting plunked by a pitch. Aiden North would later reach on a Saints error to put runners on the corners with two outs for Landon Briggs. But Briggs would become one of 13 strikeout victims for Alex Neal, who ended up pitching seven shutout innings allowing just two hits with those 13 punch outs.
Colin Snitker started the seventh with a bang as he laced a leadoff double to left center. But once again Neal would shutdown the Osky bats as he rung up the next three batters to end the game.
Alex Christ got the start on the bump for the Indians and pitched very well going six innings while giving up three unearned runs on three hits with one walk and one strikeout. North and Snitker had the lone hits for the Osky offense.
Oskaloosa finishes the year with a 7-23 record. They will say farewell to one senior in Wes Wilcox.