RSM renews baseball rivalry with West Sioux

Thursday, June 7, 2018
Above, Remsen St. Mary’s Blaine Harpenau throws a pitch against West Sioux on Friday, June 1. Harpenau ended an out shy of a complete game shutout with nine strikeouts.
(Sentinel Photo By Allen Hamil)

REMSEN — With West Sioux jumping up to Class 2A this season in baseball, the Falcons and Remsen St. Mary’s won’t get a chance to meet up in the postseason. Both teams are likely breathing a sigh of relief at that fact. RSM kept West Sioux from the state tournament last season with a win in the substate final and two seasons ago denied the Falcons a state championship. The year before that, West Sioux kept the Hawks home from state with a 1-0 win in the substate final.

The two teams are set to meet up once more during the regular season, but knowing the Falcons won’t be lurking in the postseason may have let the Hawks play a little looser in a 3-0 win on Friday, June 1, according to RSM coach Dean Harpenau.

“It was a great baseball game,” Harpenau said. “We’ve got a lot of respect for them and they’ve got a lot of respect for us. They’re in 2A this year and they’re going to be a tough out for somebody. This year we don’t have to play them in postseason, so I don’t know, I think our kids came in relaxed tonight. Maybe that’s it, maybe because we don’t play them in postseason the kids came in more relaxed which is a good thing.”

RSM wasn’t able to get much going against Hunter Dekkers, but they didn’t need much either with ace Blaine Harpenau dueling him on the mound. Harpenau helped his own cause with a leadoff single to start the second inning and his courtesy runner, Jeremy Koenck, was brought home on Skyler Waldschmitt’s double to right field. Waldschmitt’s courtesy runner, Brayden Ricke, scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0. The next inning, Koenck, again running for Harpenau who reached via walk, scored on a passed ball for the only other run of the night.

“We got some key hits in some key situations,” Harpenau said. “They made some mistakes and we took advantage of it.”

From there Harpenau went to work on the mound, striking out nine Falcons while allowing just two hits and a walk. He was one out away from a complete game shutout before he reached his pitch count maximum for the game.

“He really commands,” Harpenau said of Blaine. “He commanded all three of his pitches tonight and kept them off balance against some really quality hitters. If you can command all three pitches and you don’t walk people, it’s going to be hard to put three hits together and tonight he did that. I think he gave up two or three hits at the most.”

David Grady came on to get the final out of the game by striking out Drake Millikan.

The next chapter in the RSM-West Sioux series will take place Wednesday, June 20 in Hawarden. That game will not count in the War Eagle Conference standings.

West Sioux 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

RSM 0 2 1 0 0 0 x 3

RSM: Hits- 6; Walks- 1; 2B- Waldschmitt; 3B- Kuchel; HR- None; RBI- Waldschmitt, Brody Ricke; Pitching: Blaine Harpenau (W)- 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 Ks; David Grady- 1/3 IP, 1 K.