BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Bloodhounds have had some problems at the plate this year, but Wednesday’s matchup with North Scott proved to be something a bit different.
The Hounds dropped two 11-0 games to the Lancers whose pitchers allowed just four hits on the night and kept most of the Hound hits on the ground.
In game one, Tyler O’Tool, Dayne Cordray, and Parker Denning all had singles for the Hounds. Ryan Steffensmeier took the loss for the Hounds.
In game two the Hounds kept the game within reach through the first four innings behind some pretty stellar pitching by freshman Brandon Reichelt.
Reichelt gave up two runs in the top of the first with a lead-off single to left by Sam Stonskas. Reichelt walked the next batter and they both stole second and third. Brooks Sunny then grounded out to short scoring Stonskas. Adam Sacia then flied to shallow right and the Hounds second baseman Aaron Steffensmeier made a nice running catch going back but couldn’t turn and make the throw to home in time. Reichelt struck out the next batter to end the inning.
The Hounds then went three straight innings with two strikeouts and a ground out and couldn’t get anything going against the Lancers’ Luke Wilder who had good control mixing in a fastball and some off speed stuff to keep the Hounds hitters guessing.
The Lancers put up another run in the top of the second when Reichelt walked Griffin Wilder and then Ben Steidler laced a double to center scoring Wilder. Reichelt whiffed the next hitter and got a fly out to right to end the inning with North Scott up 3-0. The Lancers didn’t get a run across in the third or fourth inning. Fort Madison got their first baserunner of the game in the fourth inning when Cordray walked, but he was caught trying to swipe second. Denning struck out and Jordyn Gerdes flew out to center to end the inning.
The Lancers got another run in the 5th to go up 4-0 when Sacia singled to left scoring Tony Barreca from third. O’Tool got the first hit of the game for Fort Madison in the bottom of the 5th when he singled to center. Jace Burger fanned and Ryan Steffensmeier walked and head coach Ken Steeples had an inning going, until Reichelt grounded to second where North Scott’s Jared Russ put a tag on Steffensmeier and threw to first for the double play ending the inning.
Steeples pulled Reichelt in favor of Brady Reynolds to start the 6th and the Lancers hit for the cycle and added another home run put the game out of reach 11-0.
Head Coach Ken Steeples said the North Scott pitchers had good control all night.
“They were pretty solid kids. Probably two of the best pitchers we’ve seen all year,” Steeples said. “And they hit really well.”
Steeples said he was impressed with Reichelt’s effort on the mound.
“He did great. It was his best outing of the year,” Steeples said. “I talked to him before the game and I told to just go out there and throw it. And he seemed to have more confidence tonight.”
The Hounds fall to 0-18 on the season and Steeples said aside from the lopsided record he’s still proud of how his team goes out and gives their best each night.
“We talk about staying positive and working hard,” he said. “They’re stepping up and doing a pretty good job. Their attitudes are really pretty good and I’m very proud of them.”
The Hounds are on the road for the next four games, two at Davenport North Thursday night and two at Fairfield Monday, before returning home to face Muscatine Tuesday.