By Michael S. Hoey

Correspondent

The Delavan-Darien baseball team split two games with Elkhorn last week. An invitational in Edgerton on Saturday was rained out.

The Comets beat the Elks 7-1 on May 8 at home to earn their first Southern Lakes Conference win. Noal Brouwer pitched six shut-out innings to earn the win in relief. Brouwer arrived at Veteran’s Park just before game time because he was finishing an Advanced Placement test, so Seth Sybesma started the game and threw one inning.

Elkhorn scored its lone run in the first inning. Zach Hunter led off the game with a single and later scored on a double by Mason Buelow. Eric Gonzalez threw Buelow out trying to steal third to end the inning.

D-DHS got that run back in the bottom of the first. Sam Grover walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ben Butke. Gonzalez brought Grover home with a single to tie the game.

Brouwer entered the game to start the second inning and held the Elks to five hits over the next six innings. Brouwer struck out 11 and walked just three.

“He shut them down,” Coach Mike Grover said.

Grover said everything was moving for Brouwer as he threw his fastball, curveball and slider well all day. Grover said Brouwer arrived at the game a bit frustrated at being late, so he had an edge to him when he got in.

D-DHS took a 3-1 lead in the third inning. Brouwer singled with two outs. Gonzalez singled with Brouwer moving to third. Ryan Hoey singled, scoring Brouwer. Sybesma singled, scoring Gonzalez.

The Comets scored three times in the fifth. Brouwer singled and moved to second on a single by Gonzalez. Hoey reached on a fielder’s choice. Brouwer made it to third but Gonzalez was out at second. After Hoey stole second, Trent Hernandez walked to load the bases. Oliver Hetzel doubled, bringing home Brouwer and Hoey. Hernandez then scored on a wild pitch.

The Comets scored once more in the sixth. Grover reached on an error. Butke moved Grover to second with another sacrifice bunt. Grover scored on a double by Gonzalez.

The Comets outhit Elkhorn 13-7. Gonzalez led the way with four hits and two RBIs. Hetzel had three hits and two RBIs.

Grover said the big difference between the game and many others was the team played good defense with zero errors.

“We played fantastic defense and only gave them three outs an inning,” Grover said.

Along with the 13 hits, Grover said it was one of the best games a D-DHS team has played in a while.

“It was a whole lot of fun to watch,” Grover said. “They are a young team, so it’s nice to see them put it together at the end of the season.”

Grover said the hitting was timely and the Comets got good solid hits, not bloopers.

“They were ripping shots and hitting it square all day long,” Grover said.

Gonzalez had a career day, Grover said, with his four hits and a great defensive game at catcher. Grover said Hetzel and Hoey also had solid days at bat along with the lower half of the line-up.

Grover said the game was a good glimpse of what the team is capable of as the WIAA playoffs approach.

“We play in a brutal conference, so to beat a good team like Elkhorn, who knows what can happen (in the playoffs),” Grover said. “You want to play your best baseball at the end of the season.”

D-DHS (2-10, 1-9 SLC) lost the re-match 7-0 in Elkhorn on May 10. The Comets managed just one hit by Trent Hernandez. Grover said Elkhorn pitcher Ryan Marks was just as dominant against the Comets as Brouwer was against them.

Elkhorn (4-9, 3-8) also struggled to score early in the game with Sybesma pitching. The Elks failed to score until the fifth inning but then exploded for six runs.

“Seth pitched a heck of a game,” Grover said. “They got some seeing-eyes base hits that were not hit hard and, with two outs, we just couldn’t get the third out (in the fifth).”

Grover said the score was much closer than the final score indicated, noting that the Elks had one good inning. Even though the Comets hitters managed just one hit, Grover was pleased they only struck out four times and routinely put the ball in play. He said the offense hit the ball hard at times, but right at the Elks. Defensively the Comets committed just one error.

Noah Anzalone led off the fifth inning with a single. Marks was hit by a pitch. Hunter reached first on a bunt single to load the bases. Anzalone scored on a single by Taylor Kawczynski. Marks scored on a wild pitch, and Hunter and Kawczynski both moved up on a double steal. Hunter scored on a single by Nick Rockweiler. Dakota Biefield cleared the bases with a triple and scored on a single by Anzalone.

The Elks scored one more run in the sixth. Hunter started the sixth with a single and moved to second on a groundout. Hunter stole third and then scored on a bunt by Buelow.

 
 

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