With six games last week, the Waconia baseball team held its own going 3-3, picking up wins over Holy Family Catholic and Orono, while being bested by Delano and Glencoe-Silver Lake.
Waconia 2, Holy Family 1
The games began Monday, May 6 as the Wildcats battled Holy Family Catholic in 11 innings for the 2-1 victory.
Much credit can be given to senior pitcher Josh Lenz, who threw eight innings for WHS, only allowing two hits and one run, which was unearned. Perhaps his biggest achievement was striking out 11 Fire batters.
Jake Stevenson relieved Lenz to throw the last three innings for WHS. Stevenson also tallied an impressive six strikeouts in his innings and only allowed one hit.
Hitting for Waconia came from a stellar plate performance from Roch Whittaker, who was 3-5 with an RBI. Cole Hanson was 1-3 with one RBI, while Stevenson and Cody Clark also had hits.
The ‘Cats two runs came eight innings apart. In the top of the third, Clark reached the bags on error. Later in the inning, Hanson singled to center field, driving in Clark.
It would be eight long innings before either team would see a runner cross the plate. But in the top of the 11th inning, senior Dan Butz walked before Whittaker singled to center field to score what would be the game-winning run.
Delano 6, Waconia 2
Tuesday brought losses for WHS, as the ‘Cats dropped both games to Delano, the first 6-2 and the second 8-4. In the first of two games, the Wildcats had five hits, but only managed two runs to Delano’s eight.
Most likely a factor in the loss was the three WHS errors that plagued the game.
Butz started at the mound for WHS, throwing four innings and allowing eight hits and four runs (two earned). Dylan Lindner relieved Butz to throw two innings, giving up one hit and two runs.
Lenz led the ‘Cats at the plate, going 2-3 with two doubles. Butz was 2-4, while Nick Hukriede grabbed the other Wildcat hit, a double. Hukriede also drove in both Waconia runs.
Delano 8, Waconia 4
Batting improved on game two on May 7, as the ‘Cats had 11 hits over Delano’s nine. Unfortunately, Delano’s were better timed for the eight runs. Waconia also had three errors.
Whittaker threw 6.1 innings for WHS, allowed eight runs (six earned) on seven hits, including a two-run home run. He struck out five and walked four. Lindner relieved for the last .2 of an inning, allowing two hits.
At the plate, Butz and Hunter Baumann were both 2-3. Lenz was 1-4 with a double, while Hanson, Whittaker, Hukriede, Clark, Sam Schiffman, and Mitch Green all collected hits.
Waconia 7, Orono 3
After a one-day break, Waconia returned to action May 9 sweeping Orono 7-3 and 15-4 at home.
In game one, the Wildcats jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after grabbing four runs in the bottom of the first inning off a combination of Waconia hits and walks. WHS would throw up another two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth. Orono scored all three of its runs in the fourth inning.
Three Wildcats had multi-hit days, including Hanson (2-4, double), Stevenson (2-4), and junior Jacob Herd (2-3).
Lenz was hot on the mound, throwing all seven innings for WHS and allowing just three runs on two hits. He struck out nine and walked just two.
Waconia 15, Orono 4
Headed into the seventh inning of game two against the Spartans, the Wildcats led 4-2. But an 11-run final inning for Waconia would split the game wide open for the large WHS victory.
Hit after hit came for the Wildcats in that seventh inning, split only by various walks. Butz started the rally with a single passed the short stop, which was followed by a Hanson double, Whittaker walk, and Lenz single, before an Orono error drove in another run. Herd then continued the rally with a single to center field, and two Wildcat runners would score on passed balls. Green walked and Schiffman singled before Butz and Hanson singled again before out number two. Stevenson singled and Herd reached on error to score Hanson, before the Orono beating was ended with a line drive to the Spartans’ third baseman.
Five Wildcats had two hits on the night including Butz, Hanson, Lenz, Stevenson, and Schiffman. Lenz and Stevenson led with three RBIs a piece, while Hanson drove in two.
It was a three-man pitching effort for WHS, started by Butz who threw four innings, allowing eight hits and two hits with two strikeouts.
Stevenson followed for two innings, allowing one hit and striking out two, before Lindner closed the game for Waconia by pitching the seventh inning and allowing two hits and two runs (one earned).
The Wildcats exhausted Orono through three pitching changes and picked up multiple runs during all of the Spartans’ time on the mound.
G-SL 5, Waconia 4
After the sweeping of Orono Thursday night, the Wildcats fell in a close 5-4 contest Friday at Glencoe-Silver Lake.
The ‘Cats scored four runs on six hits. Butz (2-4, double) and Whittaker (2-3) were the strongest batters of the night, while Green and Clark also had hits.
Whittaker and Herd split the six innings pitched for WHS. Whittaker started and allowed five runs (one earned) on five hits. He struck out four and walked four. Herd relieved, allowing just one hit, striking out and walking one.
The Wildcats wrap up the conference season this week at Mound-Westonka on Friday, before hosting New London-Spicer on Saturday. The regular season ends Monday at Big Lake, with sections scheduled to start May 24.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com