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Comets end winless drought with DH baseball split against Cadets

Comets end winless drought with DH baseball split against Cadets
Press photo by John Burbridge
It appears that Charles City pitcher Jordan Foster, background, and first baseman Mathias O’Brien have erased Crestwood’s Ethan Bergan from the bases with a successful pick-off attempt after Bergan singled in the first inning of the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. But Bergan was ruled safe only to get thrown out trying to steal by Comet catcher Deontae Roe. The Cadets won the first game (9-2) before the Comets salvaged the split by winning the nightcap (13-9).

By John Burbridge

CRESCO — A pitcher’s best friend … the good ‘ol 6-5-but-you’ve-got-to-tag-him-out double play.

It came in handy for the Charles City Comets, who were able to contain a final at-bat rally by the Crestwood Cadets in the second game of Wednesday’s rescheduled Northeast Iowa Conference baseball doubleheader before things got really scary and held on to win 13-9.

For the Comets, it broke a 13-game winless streak with a 2-2 weather-provoked tie against Turkey Valley mixed with the 12 losses.

After the Cadets won the first game 9-2, Charles City rallied for 6 runs in the top of the first in the second game before taking a 9-0 lead through three-and-a-half innings.

The Comets eventually went up by 10 (11-1) through five-and-a-half innings and had a 13-3 lead going into the bottom of the seventh. That’s when Crestwood took advantage of several Comet errors to score 6 runs and had the tying runner at the plate with the bases loaded and one out.

Charles City freshman shortstop Carter Cajthaml was able to start that aforementioned 6-5 DP when he fielded a grounder and stepped on second for the force out. But with the Cadet hitter hustling down the line, Cajthaml’s best bet was to try to erase the runner going from second to third — but “force-outs” are no longer at your disposal when there’s a FO behind the runner. Thus, Comet third baseman Colton Anderegg had to tag the runner out, which he alertly did to seal the belated victory.

Cajthaml had an RBI-double during the 6-run first-inning rally, Jack Hanson chased 2 runners home with a double deep to left-center field to give the Comets their 13-3 lead, and Luke Jacobs got on base four times — the first three times by getting hit by pitches; the fourth time by hitting back with a single — in the second game to improve Charles City’s record to 3-19-1 and 3-17 in the NEIC.

Comet sophomore Holden McInroy had two hits including an RBI single in the first game.

Cadet freshman Ethan Bergen had two hits and a sacrifice fly in the first game for Crestwood (4-22, 4-16).

Charles City is due to host South Winneshiek on Friday one week ahead of its Class 3A-Substate 3 quarterfinal game against Western Dubuque.

* Decorah junior Kaden Alstad hit a walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Vikings over Charles City 7-6 to end the first game of Monday’s Northeast Iowa Conference baseball doubleheader.

The visiting Comets, trying to shed a late-season losing streak, took a 6-0 lead through five-and-half innings with Charles City senior Jack Hanson driving in 3 of those runs on way to going 2 for 3 for the game.

Charles City also got a game performance from freshman starting pitcher Noah White, who helped hold the Vikings scoreless through five innings while scattering three hits in four-and-a-third innings pitched.

But Decorah, led in part by Caleb Meyer (3 for 4, 2 runs scored, RBI), rallied for 3 runs in both the sixth and seventh innings off reliever Hanson to send the game into extra innings.

Alstad’s homer came off Jordan Foster, who suffered the loss.

Landon Kuennan earned the pitching win after yielding one hit and 1 earned run in a long relief stint of five-and-two-thirds innings.

In the second game, Comet freshman Carter Cajthaml provided a quality start of his own and scored the tying run in the top of the fourth (1-1) while being chased home by Mathias O’Brien’s RBI-single.

But in the latter half of the fourth, the Comets gave the Vikings too many outs leading to a 5-run rally ahead of the final score (6-1).

Only 2 of the 6 runs scored against the Comets were earned before the game ended early after five-and-a-half innings due to the weather.

Brady Bohner earned the win on the mound after yielding two hits and 1 earned run in four-and-two-thirds innings pitched, improving Decorah’s records to 18-12 overall and 13-5 in the NEIC.

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