Candor's home run capped another impressive night at the plate for the Le Mars Community baseball team, who defeated MOC-Floyd Valley 11-4 on Monday in Orange City.
The Bulldogs (11-0) got the bats going early. In the top of the first inning, Hunter Rowe and Jacob Lamoreux walked to start the game. Candor followed with a two-run double over the center fielder's head. After a flyout, Andy Heffner reached on an error, and the third run of the inning scored.
Le Mars threatened to bust the game open when Levi Te Brink loaded the bases with a single later in the inning, but the bulldogs stranded all three runners.
The second inning was the only one in which the Bulldogs didn't score. In the third, Heffner singled and scored on an RBI triple by Parker Rolfes. The fifth run of the game came on an RBI single by Conner Delfs.
The fourth inning started with five straight singles by Candor, Chris Eckstaine, Heffner, Rolfes and Delfs, respectively. The Bulldogs had a runner thrown out at the plate, so only one run scored on the five hits.
The bases were still loaded with two outs when Colan Borchers delivered a two-run single to make it 8-0.
In the fifth inning, Rolfes crushed a double to the warning track in left field that gave the Bulldogs a 9-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Hunter Rowe had a no-hitter through four innings for the Bulldogs. He ran into trouble in the fifth when he walked a batter, then hit another. The first hit he let up led to the Dutchmen's first run.
Another walk loaded the bases for the Dutchmen's Lawton De Jong. He cut the lead to 9-4 with a bases clearing double. Rowe got a strikeout to get out of the inning.
Rowe was pulled after the fifth inning. He let up four runs on two hits, while striking out six and walking four.
"Hunter's back started hurting him a little bit, but that's the second good performance we've had out of Hunter," Trent Eckstaine said. "He's around the zone and throws his off-speed pitches for strikes."
Levi Tebrink saw his first varsity action of the season on the mound in the final two innings. He allowed no runs on just one hit. He struck out two and walked one.
"Levi came in and threw strikes and got outs," Eckstaine said. "And we're playing good defense behind them."
The Bulldogs scored their 10th run of the game in the sixth when Rowe's triple was followed by an RBI single by Lamoreux. Candor's solo shot in the seventh was the Bulldog's final run.
"We saw three or four guys that weren't really overpowering," Eckstaine said. "Those can be some tough guys to face. They're hard to adjust to. Our guys are doing a great job of not getting pull happy. We come up and hit the ball the other way, we hit it on a line, and we're not giving easy outs."
Every Bulldog in the lineup got a hit. Candor led the offense with four hits and three RBIs. Rolfes also tallied four hits and an RBI. Heffner and Delfs had two hits apiece.
Le Mars will look to stay perfect on the season when it plays Wednesday at Estherville-Lincoln Central. As the season progresses, Eckstaine is concerned about his team's mindset on a daily basis more than anything else.
"You've got to make sure you go out and compete. Be ready to play," he said. "Right now I don't know if it's as much a physical game as it is a mental thing. You've got to make sure you get in that right frame of mind every day. I think that's the toughest part, the mental part."