In six innings on the mound, Viking pitcher Jace Johnson recorded six strikeouts Tuesday at Charles City. (Photo by Becky Walz)
In six innings on the mound, Viking pitcher Jace Johnson recorded six strikeouts Tuesday at Charles City. (Photo by Becky Walz)

The Decorah baseball team (2-7, 0-4 NEIC) had its hands full earlier this week versus some of the best opponents in the Northeast Iowa Conference, dropping a trio of games but showing improvement in all aspects of the game.

Ranked opponent

In a make-up contest, the Vikings hosted Class 2A No. 7 New Hampton (11-0, 5-0 NEIC) Monday night, falling in both games of the NEIC doubleheader, 13-8 and 9-4.

“We are continuing to grow in many areas as teammates and baseball players. This game was, and will be, a growing experience for us,” said Coach Adam Riley. “While we have shown flashes of the kind of team we can be, more hustle and pride in paying attention to details is needed from everyone in our dugout to be able to continue to grow as baseball players and as young men.”  

Giving up two first-inning runs to the Chickasaws in game one, Decorah responded with a solid effort with Keenan Tyler receiving a walk, leading to a two-run homer by Drake Shelton in the first inning. New Hampton quickly responded with three tallies in the second to regain the advantage, but it was short-lived as the Vikings pushed two runs home in the bottom half of the frame.

Decorah gained a one-run lead in the fourth with runs scored by Kyle Renken and Briggs Duwe. It was the sixth inning when NH went on a hitting spree, collecting eight runs for the win.

Decorah had nine hits. Shelton was 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI. Duwe was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI, while Kyle Renken was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a stolen base.

On the mound, Caleb Keck took the loss. 

In game two, the Chickasaws spread the offensive onslaught among five of the seven innings.

Hit by the first pitch, Tyler went directly to first base to lead-off Decorah’s lineup. Stealing second and taking advantage of two errors, Tyler eventually scored. The Vikings would add a Nicholas Einck run in the second and two tallies in the seventh, but would come up short.

It was a five-hit game for the Vikings with singles coming from Keenan Tyler, Caleb Keck, Andy Murphy, Drew Snyder and Tyler Thompson.

Keenan Tyler suffered the loss on the hill, giving up seven earned runs on four walks and striking out one. Cai Brevig and James Marx also climbed the hill in relief.

“In the 14 innings of baseball that were played, the team that showed the most hustle and determination as a team was able to prevail in both games,” noted Coach Riley.

At Charles City

After a difficult night against New Hampton, the Vikings responded well and played much better team baseball through hustle and extra effort Tuesday night at Charles City (6-3, 5-1 NEIC). Despite the better play, Decorah fell in NEIC action, 5-3.

The host Comets opened the game with two runs in the first inning, holding the Vikings off the board. Shelton opened the fourth frame with a single and a stolen base to put himself in scoring position as Luzum ripped a single to notch Decorah’s first run. Advancing to second on a Ryan Schneberger sac bunt, Luzum stole third and managed to reach home to tie the game. Charles City regained control of the contest in the fifth and sixth innings with three more runs, holding Decorah to one in the seventh.

Climbing the hill for six innings, Jace Johnson shouldered the loss with four strikeouts.

At the plate, Shelton and Luzum each went 2-for-4 with a double and single. Luzum had two RBI and two stolen bases as well. Four other Vikings added to the hits including Keenan Tyler, Schneberger, Shindelar and Duwe.

“Jace Johnson threw an excellent game and deserved a better fate.  We had great opportunities to score runs and change the complexion of the game, but struggled to come up with a timely hit to break the game open.  With more hustle and determination, the breaks will start going our way in the coming weeks,” said Coach Riley.


Coming up

Wednesday, June 5, the Vikings hosted Waterloo East and end the week they at home versus Waukon in a NEIC doubleheader Friday, June 7, at 5 p.m.