Baseball: Wolverines backup Barthel’s performance on the mound in win against crosstown rival New York Mills
Clutch hits came in late for the Wadena-Deer Creek baseball team in its victory over the Eagles on Friday.
WADENA – The crosstown rivalry between Wadena-Deer Creek and New York Mills is always exciting no matter the sport. The Park Region Conference showdown took place in Wadena after the Eagles won the first matchup earlier this month on a walk-off bunt in the seventh inning.
The Wolverines served revenge on a silver platter in a narrow 5-2 victory to secure their 10th conference victory and third win in a row.
“It is good to get a win against a good baseball team like New York Mills,” WDC head coach Kyle Dykhoff said. “They have had a great season and it is a great rivalry. The kids know each other very well. They have played a lot of baseball against each other whether it has been during the summer or high school seasons. It is good to come out on top against a good team. I was happy our guys got some clutch hits later in the game to back up Tyson’s (Barthel) performance on the mound.”
Barthel started the game by retiring the first eight New York Mills batters before giving up a single in the top of the third. WDC finally gave Barthel some cushion with one run in the bottom of the third. The Eagles responded with a two-run RBI single from Rowland Dykhoff in the top of the fourth to give New York Mills a 2-1 lead.
The Wolverines opened things up in the bottom of the fifth with Kobe Synder singling to start the inning. Hamann reached first on a fielder's choice to set up an RBI double by Connor Davis. Barthel was called safe at first base after a bad throw which allowed Davis to make it home safely and give WDC a 3-2 lead. Evan Lunde forced a walk and Peyton Church blasted a two-RBI double to left field expanding the Wolverine’s lead to 5-2.
Dykhoff was happy to see his team get those clutch hits that have come sparingly in the season.
“They just kept swinging it,” he said. “They were aggressive for the most part, especially late in the game with runner on. I kept telling the boys to go out there and get that clutch hit. Fortunately, we were able to get some big hits down the stretch from Connor Davis then Peyton Church to put the final nail in the coffin.”
Barthel finished out the game surrendering one hit to the final seven batters he faced. He pitched a complete game striking out three and giving up three hits, two runs and two walks.
“He’s had back-to-back great performances on the mound for us,” Dykhoff said. “Last week against Albany was a big pick-up for us after a tough week. It was nice to finish on a strong note. To come back this week and build off of that performance, he came out and threw a lot of strikes and allowed the defense to work behind him. For the most part, we played pretty good defense and made the plays that needed to be made.
Davis went 2-3 from the plate with an RBI, a forced walk, and one run accounted for. Church finished the game with a pair of RBIs and two hits in three plate appearances. Barthel also did some work at the plate with an RBI and a forced walk.
The win puts WDC in second place in the conference. With how the rest of the season pans out for the Wolverines, repeating as conference champions might be out of reach but that is in the back of Dykhoff's mind.
“The conference is a little bit of a stretch with where OTC is at,” he said. “It is always nice to win the conference but our priority is to set ourselves up in the section. No matter what the win is, they are all big QRF and we want to put ourselves in a spot to succeed come playoff time. That is priority one for us.”
As the season nears its end and playoffs loom closer than ever, Dykhoff wants to see his team come up with more games like the one.
“What we need is consistency,” he said. “We have had games where we looked really good and others not so much. If we can stay consistent, have quality at-bats, and our pitchers throw strikes, then we will be where we want to be going into playoffs.”
NYM- 0 0 0 2 0 0 0- 2
WDC- 0 0 1 0 4 0 X- 5
WADENA-DEER CREEK PITCHING- 7IP, 3H, 2R, 0ER, 3K, 2BB
WADENA-DEER CREEK HITTING- Kobe Synder: 2-3, R, BB; Isaac Hamann: 1-4, R; Connor Davis: 2-3, R, RBI, BB; Tyson Barthel: 0-2, R, RBI, BB; Evan Lunde: 0-2, R, RBI, BB; Peyton Church: 2-3, 2RBI; Brandon Wheeler: 0-2; Carson Davis: 0-3; Simon Kreklau: 0-3