C-M baseball rallies, still eliminated in extras by North Mahaska

·9 min read

Jul. 5—SULLY — Colfax-Mingo's baseball team trailed 3-1, 5-2 and 6-4 during its Class 1A District 10 quarterfinal matchup against rival North Mahaska on Saturday.

The Tigerhawks stayed close thanks to Cole Bracewell on the mound and a top of the lineup that produced five of the team's six hits.

Colfax-Mingo eventually came all the way back to tie the score and force extra innings, but a few key errors in the final frame were too much to overcome during a 7-6 loss at Lynnville-Sully High School.

"Getting it to 6-6 felt like a win for us. That was awesome," Colfax-Mingo baseball coach Drew Otto said. "It would have been great to finish it off, but I'm super proud of the kids."

The Tigerhawks and Warhawks split their two regular season games. And C-M played the latest matchup without one of its best players.

Joe Earles was not in attendance because of an injury he suffered earlier in the day during batting practice.

"Not having him is huge. He's one of our top sticks," Otto said. "To not have him, we have no idea what happens. He hits home runs, doubles, triples. We will never know, but we definitely look forward to next year with him."

Both teams scored one run in the first inning off the other team's aces.

In the top of the first, C-M took an early lead after Colton Edwards singled, moved to second on a ground out, took third on a wild pitch and then scored on a North Mahaska error.

Bracewell started on the mound for the Tigerhawks and pitched into the eighth inning before running out of pitches.

In the bottom of the first, he allowed a lead-off infield single and walked two batters. The run scored on a sacrifice fly to right field.

Neither team scored again until North Mahaska (15-7) plated two in the bottom of the second.

The Warhawks scored both runs with two outs as Dodge Duke came through with a two-run double.

"He executed the pitches perfectly tonight," Otto said about Cole Bracewell. "I think there were only a handful of times when he missed his spot."

Colfax-Mingo got a little closer in the fourth when Cael Bracewell reached on an error and Nathan Sloan singled. Cael Bracewell made it 3-2 when he scored on a passed ball.

North Mahaska added two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and one in the eighth to win it.

Before that, the Tigerhawks scored twice in the sixth and seventh.

In the sixth, Cael Bracewell reached on another error with one out and then stole second base.

Sloan's RBI single cut the deficit to 5-3 and then Colton Lind walked. Will Zook, an eighth-grader who struck out in his two previous at-bats, came through with an RBI single that got it to 5-4.

"The hitting came around tonight. The at-bats, the hits, I couldn't be prouder," Otto said. "We also did much better with runners in scoring position. That's something we've struggled with all year. I wish we had that extra week because it feels like we are hitting our stride."

After the Warhawks pushed the margin back to two runs, C-M tied it with two in the seventh.

Edwards hit a one-out single and then went to second on a balk. After a ground out, Cael Bracewell laced an RBI double that dropped the deficit to 6-5.

Bracewell then stole third and eventually scored on a wild pitch, tying the game at 6-all.

"He's been doing that all season. He's one of the guys you want up there in that spot," Otto said about Cael Bracewell. "We have four of our top hitters in our lineup coming back.

"Sloan and Edwards have come so far this year. It's been great to watch them grow and develop, too."

Unfortunately for C-M, it couldn't score in the eighth. North Mahaska reached on back-to-back errors with one out and then Drake Hall won the game with a two-out RBI single.

Bracewell was pulled in the eighth after two batters because he hit a season-high 110 pitches. He allowed five earned runs on six hits with eight strikeouts, five walks and one hit batter in 7 1/3 innings.

Cael Bracewell was out there for the game-winning run. He got one out on a pop fly to first, but Hall won it on the next at-bat.

"Cole did everything right and gave us all he had with the 110 pitches. He pitched one heck of a game," Otto said. "I couldn't ask for anything more out of him."

The Tigerhawks committed four errors in the game and they all came in the final three innings. They also made some key defensive plays.

Zook threw out a base runner trying to steal second for the final out in the fifth and then erased another Warhawk on the bases when he threw him out at third after a strikeout for a double play in the sixth.

Zook was 1-for-4 at the plate with three strikeouts but had a key RBI single with two strikes in the sixth.

"He's in 8th grade and he's throwing guys out on the bases and getting hits when the pressure is on," Otto said. "How huge is that and how exciting is his future the next four years? It's something I'm looking forward to."

C-M loses just three seniors, one of which is multi-year starter Cole Bracewell. But the Tigerhawks welcome back a plethora of talent, including Cael Bracewell, Edwards and Sloan, who combined for five hits and five runs against North Mahaska.

"We are mostly a sophomore based team. It's exciting to have most of these kids back and have the experience they got this year," Otto said. "We also know what we need to do from March to May to prepare for the season."

Cael Bracewell led the offense with one hit, two runs, one RBI and two steals. Sloan had two hits, one run, one RBI, one walk and one steal and Edwards registered two hits and two runs from the lead-off spot.

Lind and Trey Hockemeier also walked once and Zook had the RBI single.

Both teams had six hits and there were a combined five errors.

The bottom of the lineup for both teams mostly struggled. C-M's bottom five hitters were 1-for-17 with one walk and 13 strikeouts. North Mahaska's bottom four batters were 1-for-16 with two runs and seven strikeouts.

The Warhawks take a four-game win streak into the district semifinals against Lynnville-Sully at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Sully.

North Mahaska's Nash Smith struck out 12 and allowed two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings on the mound. Jaydyn Steil got the win, tossing the final 1 2/3 innings and surrendering two earned runs on two hits.

Duke had two hits and five RBIs to lead the Warhawks and Nate Sampson finished with two hits and two runs.

BGM 12, Colfax-Mingo 4

BROOKLYN — Colfax-Mingo was just trying to get to the finish line.

The Tigerhawk coaching staff minimized pitch counts to keep their best pitchers available for the postseason and the limitations hurt Colfax-Mingo in the final two games of the regular season.

BGM downed the Tigerhawks 12-4 on June 29 after breaking open a close game with a six-run fourth and a four-run third during a South Iowa Cedar League contest.

Both teams scored two runs in the first and BGM led 3-2 after three. Colfax-Mingo scored two more in the fifth, but it wasn't enough.

Sloan and Konner Dalton had two hits each and the other three hits came from Cole Bracewell, Donavan Baucom and Earles. The Bears' pitching staff walked 10 Tigerhawks.

Sloan doubled and had two RBIs, Dalton walked once and had one RBI and Earles walked twice and scored one run.

Baucom had one RBI, Cole Bracewell doubled and Cael Bracewell added one walk, one hit by a pitch and two runs and Edwards, Lind and Zook all walked twice.

Lind also stole one base and Edwards scored one run.

Three Tigerhawks (4-15 overall, 3-12 in the SICL) pitched the six innings. Zook went four and took the loss after allowing 11 runs — five earned — on 11 hits. He struck out one and walked two in 89 pitches.

Cole Bracewell and Kaden Dalton each pitched one inning and stayed under 25 pitches.

Cole Bracewell allowed one earned run and two hits with one strikeout and one walk and Kaden Dalton struck out three.

The Tigerhawks were plagued by four errors.

BGM (8-13, 7-8) registered 16 hits and stole eight bases. Seven players had two hits, led by Dominic Coleman's two hits and three runs.

Coleman also got the win on the mound after striking out four in 4 2/3 innings.

Colo-NESCO 10, Colfax-Mingo 3

COLFAX — A seven-run inning helped Colo-NESCO pull away from Colfax-Mingo during a non-conference game on June 28.

The Tigerhawks and Royals were tied at 2-all after three, but Colo-NESCO scored seven in the fourth and won 10-3 on the road.

C-M led 1-0 after one inning, and the Tigerhawks tied it at 2-all with another run in the third. The seven-run fourth for the Royals was too much to overcome, but the Tigerhawks plated their final run in the bottom of the seventh.

Cael Bracewell had three hits to lead the offense, while Earles had two hits, doubled and scored one run.

Cole Bracewell, Edwards, Sloan and Hockemeier all had one hit.

Cole Bracewell and Sloan both doubled, Cole Bracewell and Edwards each scored one run and Shane Aikin, Konner Dalton and Lind all walked once.

Five Tigerhawks pitched and none of them tossed more than 40 pitches.

Cole Bracewell pitched one inning and allowed one hit and had one strikeout, Cael Bracewell tossed 1 2/3 innings and surrendered two earned runs on two hits and two walks and he struck out one and Zook pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed no runs and two hits and struck out two.

Konner Dalton allowed one earned run and one hit while striking out one and walking four in two innings.

Edwards took the loss after surrendering seven runs — five earned — on five hits with two walks in 2/3 of an inning.

Kenny Cutler led Colo-NESCO (13-11) with three hits, one walk, one hit by pitch and one run and Ben Rouse tallied three hits and two runs.