A break in the weather gave Van-Far’s baseball team an opportunity to get on the field last Thursday night. In a rare doubleheader, the Indians first traveled to Laddonia to take on Community R-VI before going to North Callaway for a battle with the Thunderbirds.
The road trip resulted in two big EMO Conference victories to start the season 2-0.
Their first game against the rival Trojans ended in an 11-5 victory after the offense had a 13-hit attack.
The Indians were led by the middle of the order as three players combined to drive in eight runs. They include Nathan Beatty, Caden Wilburn, and Cody James.
After the Trojans took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Van-Far tied the game in the second on James’ double that scored Treyson Culwell.
Van-Far added four more runs in the following inning. Colten Jensen scored one run on Treyson Culwell’s sacrifice fly.
Logan Wilson scored on a passed ball before Caden Wilburn’s double plated both Josh Hodde and Beatty.
Wilson added an RBI single in the fifth inning to score Beatty.
In the top of the sixth inning, Beatty had an RBI triple to score Hodde. He then scored on Caden Wilburn’s RBI double.
James’ RBI single put Caden Wilburn across the plate for a 9-1 edge.
Beatty added a sacrifice fly for an RBI and Caden Wilburn’s RBI single scored Treyson Culwell for the 11th run.
Hodde had three hits and three runs scored; Caden Wilburn added three hits, four RBIs, and one run scored; James had two hits and two RBIs; Wilson had two hits and one run scored; Beatty tallied two RBIs and three runs scored; Treyson Culwell added one RBI and two runs scored; and Jensen scored one run.
“I was especially proud of Cody James for a couple of the at bats he put together,” said Van-Far head coach Dan Friedel.
Wilson earned the win on the mound after tossing five innings and allowing two earned runs on four hits with nine strikeouts.
“He settled into the game nicely after giving up one in the first and our defense did a pretty good job behind him for five innings,” Friedel said.
Beatty closed the door with 1 2/3 innings allowing one earned run with three strikeouts and five walks.
For many years, the Indians have struggled to find a way to pick up a win on the baseball diamond against North Callaway.
They broke through last Thursday with a 7-6 win over the Thunderbirds after scoring two runs in the top of the seventh inning.
“This was an outstanding high school baseball game,” Friedel said.
“Back and forth the whole way. We were able to get a huge hit from Treyson Culwell in the top of the 7th to retake the lead 7-6. We were able to follow that up with a huge defensive play in the bottom of the 7th to hang on.”
In the final inning down 6-5, Treyson Culwell picked up a one-out single that scored Wilson and Hodde to take the lead.
The Indians’ defense turned a double play in the bottom half of the inning before Treyson Culwell struck out a Thunderbird to seal the win.
Treyson Culwell picked up the win on the mound after tossing two shutout innings in relief and allowed three runs, not earned runs, and two hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
Hodde tossed the first five innings and allowed three earned runs on four hits with 13 strikeouts and four walks.
“I was proud of the way our starter (Josh Hodde) competed on the mound,” Friedel noted. “I don’t think he had his best stuff but was able to bear down and get some really big outs when he needed too. North Callaway has a good lineup and he was able to give us five good innings. Treyson Culwell worked hard for us in the sixth and seventh and we were happy to come out of it with a win.”
The game was tied 2-2 at the end of the first inning before the Indians took a 4-2 lead in the third. Up 5-3, North Callaway took the lead with a three-run sixth before the Indians’ seventh inning heroics.
Wilson led the Indians with a 4-for-4 game with four runs scored.
Treyson Culwell had three RBIs; Riley Culwell added one RBI and one run scored; while Jensen scored one run.