TIFFIN- The Spartans swept a baseball doubleheader from the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers Tuesday, July 3, in a game previously scheduled for June 29. Sophomores Nathan Hawkins and Dalton Ferguson each pitched complete games.
Hawkins recorded six strikeouts as the Spartans cruised to an early finish with the 10-run rule win, 13-3. Hawkins gave up two runs in the first to give the Clippers the lead, but Solon stormed back for seven runs in the second and four more in the third to take a 11-2 lead.
Elijah Kane was 3-4 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored. Tim Lance led the team with three RBIs. Nine different Spartans scored during the game.
In the second game, Ferguson held the Clippers hitless for three innings and scoreless for the game.
Spartan Chris McNutt hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning, scoring Tommy Hamiel for the early lead, 1-0.
In the top half of the second inning, Ferguson faced four CCA batters, striking out the side but allowing one walk.
In the third, Solon bats came alive when leadoff hitter Tim Lance hit a single to right field. Colton Dall followed with a single to left and Hamiel then hit a two-RBI double and Austin Holub cracked another double driving in Hamiel for a 4-0 lead.
Dall scored again in the fifth after a stolen base, and in the sixth inning, Todd Oberthien led off with a single, then scored on a double by Kane. Kane later scored, making the final score 7-0.
On the previous day (July 2), the Spartans hosted Anamosa and swept the doubleheader, 3-0 and 13-2.
Oberthien struck out 11 and allowed only two hits in the opener.
Solon made the most of six hits, scoring in the opening frame and then tacking on two more in the sixth for the 3-0 win. Austin Holub had a double, an RBI and a run scored. Colton Dall hit a triple.
Colton was 2-3 in the nightcap with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. McNutt collected three RBIs in the 13-2 victory.
Tim Lance, Elijah Kane and Mitch Silberstein each pitched two innings.
The sweeps of Anamosa and CCA gave the Spartans four wins in a row, their longest winning streak of the season.
“It was good to win those four games,” said head coach Keith McSweeney. “We hoped to take some steps in a positive direction and I believe we accomplished that.
“The key for our team is to continue moving forward,” he continued. “Our issues this year center around consistency in our defensive play and approach at the plate, and we excelled in those areas during that stretch. We still have a ways to go and will need some leadership from our upperclassmen to get there, but our coaching staff is optimistic that our best baseball is still ahead of us.”
Solon went on to lose two games to a strong Williamsburg team from the WaMaC West July 5, but came back Saturday to defeat Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 10-4.
Oberthien struck out five and allowed five hits for the win.
The Spartans exploded for five runs in the fifth to take a 7-4 lead and added three more insurance runs in the fifth. Oberthien was 3-4 at the plate, scoring twice. Lance was 3-4 with three RBIs and a double.
After a final home game against Washington Tuesday, July 10, Solon enters postseason play, hosting a substate semifinal against Center Point-Urbana Friday, July 13, at 7 p.m.