Cyclones open season with doubleheader sweep of Stars

The HCHS Cyclones baseball team won both games of their doubleheader against the Sioux City Stars by scores of 13-4 and 19-5, a far cry from last year’s doubleheader loss to the Stars to open the season.

“The boys came out ready to go,” said Cyclone Head Coach Heath Stein. “The first pitch of the game, Cade [Sears] hit the gap for a triple, and that kind of started the tone of the night, and we continued to put really good swings on balls and battle when we were down in counts. It was a fun night offensively for sure. It was good to see it out of the fellas.”

In game one, the Cyclones dropped three runs in both the top of the 1st and 2nd innings, followed by a 4-spot in the top of the fourth inning. Sears, Hayden Soma, Quinn Koesters, and Brett Heese all had multi-hit games, along with Colton Schneider and Landen Kaufman each getting a hit. Sears, Soma, and Heese also drove in multiple runs.

On the mound, Caleb Schleis pitched three innings for the Cyclones, giving up one run on two hits and striking out one batter. Brock Lemrick threw four innings, gave up three runs on six hits, striking out three on 84 pitches.

“They both threw the ball well,” Stein said. “I think we worked six guys in that first game, so that’s something we would like to clean up. Try to limit free bases and make other teams put it in play.”

In game two, the Cyclones erupted for 19 runs with Koesters and Soma getting multiple hits once again, along with Sears, Koesters, and Heese driving in multiple runs.

“It was good at bats, top to bottom,” Stein added. “Brett Heese was absolutely awesome every at bat. He was locked in. He had great approaches all night, and he executed very well. Cade was very good, Soma was very good. Other guys scrapped a little bit, put together good at bats, found ways to get on base, and it translated to a lot of runs.

Braydon Ernst came away with the win in game two going five innings, striking out four batters with five runs allowed on four hits, while throwing 94 pitches. Schneider also pitched one inning and struck out two batters while throwing just 16 pitches.

“Braydon Ernst was pretty sharp in game two,” Stein said. “That’s the best he’s been in a while. Colton Schneider came in and finished it off throwing the ball well too.”

The Cyclones open the season 2-0. They return home Friday at 7p.m. to play the LeMars Bulldogs, who beat them last season 11-10 May 19 at their ballfield. Last season, the Bulldogs finished 17-17. They were led by Teagen Kasel with 39 hits and Evan Jalas with 26 runs batted in. On the mound, Ayden Hoag led them in wins with four and strikeouts with 59, while Jacob McGill had the lowest earned run average with 1.91.

“They’re always a good team to play and are well coached,” Stein added. “Coach [Trent] Eckstaine has been there for a long time. It’s always fun to play them. They’re always a quality opponent. It’ll be fun in our home opener. The boys are excited. We have our new pinstripe jerseys and they’ll be displayed that night, so they’re all excited about that. It’ll be fun to be at home playing in front of the home crowd.”



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