Wildcats hammer Des Lacs-Burlington

MAKOTI – Some days, it seems like you just can’t go wrong.

Lewis & Clark-Parshall can attest.

The Wildcats were clicking on all cylinders during Friday’s Region 7 contest against Des Lacs-Burlington, and they were subsequently rewarded with a convincing 17-3 victory at Lampert and Karna Field.

The Lakers didn’t do themselves any favors, as they fell victim to five errors, including two in the third inning alone that sparked an eight-run frame for LC-P.

“They hit and we didn’t,” DL-B coach B.J. Karhoff said. “They made plays and we didn’t. We didn’t do a lot of things right today.”

The Lakers, who defeated the Wildcats on April 7 in Burlington, opened the scoring in the first inning. Junior Noah Zietz, who singled to open the game, scored on an errant throw by LC-P catcher Dawson Brown.

But from there, the Wildcats’ bats went to work.

In the first, senior Clay Hornberger was hit by a pitch and was eventually brought in to score by Alex Nelson’s RBI double. A junior, Nelson later scored alongside senior Albert Sween on a single by senior Dawson Brown to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.

“We hit the ball really well,” LC-P coach Brian Nelson said.

After a scoreless a scoreless second inning, the Wildcats took firm control of the game with an eight-run third that brought 13 batters to the plate.

Three errors led to three Wildcat runs to start the frame.

From there, LC-P’s bats did the rest. Hornberger added a triple and a run-scoring single, while Nelson and Sween both followed with RBI doubles to break the game open.

“It was very nice,” said Sween, LC-P’s pitcher. “It was nice to be able to go out there and throw strikes and not have to worry about the defense. All in all, it was a good win.”

Sween also added a two-run single as part of a six-run sixth inning.

“We’ve been hitting a lot in the past week,” Sween said, “and it came through for us.”

In addition to going 2-for-2 at the plate, Sween – who drove in three runs and scored three others – pitched a complete game for the Wildcats (9-2). He limited the Lakers to three runs on three hits, and finished with four walks and one strikeout.

Sween’s only troubling inning came in the fourth, when he surrendered three walks while allowing two runs.

He eventually escaped the jam with an unconventional double play. DL-B juniot Gage Slavik hit a ball back to Sween, who appeared to catch it near the ground, but was ruled a trap. Sween threw to first to record the out. Then, Lautenschlager put out DL-B senior Jayden Gunville at third.

“He did really well,” Nelson said of Sween’s performance. “Except for that inning that he lost his confidence, but he picked it up.”

Nelson finished 2-for-3 at the plate for the Wildcats with four runs and two RBIs. Hornberger was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored.

“We went to DL-B and played a bad game and lost by two,” Sween said. “We had to come back and play our game, and that’s what we did.”

Sophomore John Koronka pitched 2 2/3 innings, and was tagged with the loss. He gave up nine runs on four hits for the Lakers (10-2-1).

The Wildcats travel for an 11 a.m. non-region game tomorrow at Max-Garrison, while the Lakers welcome Surrey-Our Redeemer’s for a 4 p.m. contest Monday.

Mark Jones covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @hoopsfan27_MDN.