No. 10 Remsen St. Mary’s rolls past George-Little Rock
REMSEN — For the second consecutive Class 1A district baseball game, No. 10 Remsen St. Mary’s run-ruled their opponent, the latest victim being George-Little Rock in Tuesday’s (July 16) district semifinals. The Hawks needed just four innings to eliminate the Mustangs by a 15-0 score.
“Tonight we came out and we hit the baseball,” RSM co-Head Coach Dean Harpenau said. “I was impressed with our hitting. We hit it up and down the lineup. I saw this coming and now this team’s really starting to fall into place.”
G-LR’s season was bookended by losses to the Hawks as the first meeting was a 10-0 result in five innings in which Blaine Harpenau tossed a no-hitter.
Harpenau got off to a bit of a rocky start, issuing a rare walk, just his fifth of the season in nearly 70 innings thrown, and then gave up a base hit before getting out of the inning.
“Blaine hasn’t thrown for seven days and he was maybe a little bit rusty,” Harpenau said. “I think only having a few days rest is good for him. He thrives on throwing more. They’ve seen him before so they were prepared. We were trying not to maybe locate as much and try to just go after hitters. Sometimes then, you leave the ball over the plate a little more and even if you’re throwing hard, they’re going to barrel it up once in awhile. But, he came back and did a good job.”
By the time Harpenau took the mound the next inning, the pressure was off as the offense had plated 10 runs in the home half of the first. The first six batters all reached with Brady Homan’s bases-loaded ground-rule double over the fence in right field spelling the end of the day for Mustang starter Caleb De Kam who didn’t record an out and left with the score at 4-0. The Hawks added to the lead against reliever Nathan Klingenberg. Jeremy Koenck sent out a 2 RBI single and RBI base hits by Spencer Schorg, Harpenau and Brayden Ricke extended the lead to 10-0 by the end of the inning.
“I think everybody had a hit tonight,” Harpenau said. “I think people now understand that we’re starting to come together one-through-nine.”
RSM added two more in the second with the final three runs coming in the third. All three of the third inning runs came on one swing as Homan, who sent the ball over the fence on the bounce in his first at-bat, cleared it completely this time to make it 15-0. He finished with a team-best 5 RBI as the homer was his fourth of the season. After struggling the first part of the season, Homan has come on strong as of late thanks to some adjustments at the plate according to Coach Harpenau.
“Here’s a guy that struggled early, was in the lineup for the first maybe 30 at-bats and just really struggled,” Harpenau said. “We took him out, tried to retool him and now he’s really starting to come on. He’s getting confidence and you can see, he can hit it a long way. He’s a threat.”
Skyler Waldschmitt came on to record the final three outs on the mound. His first batter sent a ball to deep left field, but Xavier Galles was able to track it down for the out before Waldschmitt finished off the game with a pair of strikeouts.
“The left fielder made a great play,” Harpenau said. “Skyler knows his job and it’s to close.”
With a quick night, both pitchers will be available for Saturday’s (July 20) district final as the team will host their final game of the season at Marv Thelen Memorial Field against Woodbury Central.
“They’re very scrappy,” Harpenau said about his team’s upcoming opponent. “They will try to bunt the ball, put the ball in play. We understand that. They’re well-coached. It’ll be a fun game. Obviously, we’ve got to come out and do our job, score runs like we did tonight, but we have to be ready to play.”
Remsen St. Mary’s (24-7) beat Woodbury Central (21-13) once already this season in a 4-0 contest. Jaxon Bunkers and Skyler Waldschmitt combined to throw the shutout in that contest.
First pitch for Saturday’s (July 20) game is set for 7:00 p.m.
GLR 0 0 0 0 0
RSM 10 2 3 x 15
RSM: Hits- 12; Walks- 4; 2B- Homan; 3B- None; HR- Homan; RBI- Homan 5, Harpenau 2, Ricke 2, Koenck 2, S. Waldschmitt 1, Bunkers 1, Galles 1; Pitching: Blaine Harpenau (W)- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 Ks; Skyler Waldschmitt- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 Ks.