Baseball: Rams open district play vs. ADM
By BRANDON HURLEY
A treacherous route awaits Greene County as they embark on their journey to the state baseball tournament Friday.
The defending state champion lingers in the second round and a trip to Harlan is the first step.
The Rams square off against ADM (18-12 overall, 8-6 in the Raccoon River Conference) at 5 p.m. July 14 in the first round of 3A substate 8, district 15.
The Tigers are 1-3 in their last four games. They’ve scored 199 runs, boasting a team average of .291 to go with five home runs and 153 runs batted in.
ADM has struggled on the mound this year, trotting out a team ERA of 4.31, a full two points lower than Greene County’s top 10 mark.
Kade Overton leads the team in batting with an average of .404 with 40 hits, 32 runs scored and an on-base percentage of .500. Nick Lindgren leads the team in runs batted in (27), home runs (3) and doubles (10) to go with a .385 average. He’s drawn 24 walks, including getting hit by a pitch 10 teams. As a team, ADM has drawn 119 walks and boasts a team OBP of .399. The Tigers have four batters over .300 with six hitters with double-digit RBI totals.
The Tigers don’t run often, having only stolen 52 bases in 30 games.
Dalton Hews is the Tigers’ top pitcher, compiling a 3-2 record with a 2.08 ERA in seven starts. He’s struck out 47 batters in 40 and one-third innings, allowing just 12 earned runs.
Overton (5-3) has struck out 48 batters in 39 and one-third innings, but maintains an astronomical 5.34 ERA.
ADM split with Perry, swept Carroll, was swept by Boone and split with Bondurant-Farrar, all common opponents with Greene County.
The winner between ADM and Greene County will face off against either Harlan or Carroll Monday, July 17 back in Harlan for the district 15 title.
Harlan (29-2) is the top-ranked squad in 3A and squares off against. The Cyclones have driven in the second most runs in the state (259) and maintain a team batting average of .344. They’ve blasted 13 home runs to go with 52 doubles and 16 triples and 297 runs scored.
Harlan dismantled Carlisle, 12-4 in last year’s 3A state championship game in Des Moines, and has lost just two games since.
The 2017 Hawkeye Ten Conference champion won its first 18 games this summer, suffering their first loss at the hands of Council Bluffs-St. Albert, 5-2 on June 27.
Harlan is a terror on the base paths as well, collecting 143 steals, the third best mark in the state. The Cyclone’s 2.20 ERA is the eighth lowest mark in 3A.
Dillion Sears leads the defending-champions in batting with a .455 average and 40 hits to go with 39 stolen bases and a .573 on base percentage.
Three Cyclone batters have tallied more than 30 runs batted in, led by Jared Moser’s 48 RBI. Seven players have collected more than 20 RBI. Ryan Doran leads the team in home runs with five while Kyle Schmitz and Nick Foss each have three.
Schmitz is 7-0 on the mound with a 1.20 ERA. Three Cyclone pitchers have earned six or more wins. Brett Sears (6-0, 1.62 ERA) has struck out 52 batters in 39 innings of work.
The Cyclones host Carroll (1-25) in the night cap at 7 p.m.
Harlan beat the Tigers 14-0 back in the season opener on May 22. Sears went two-for-four with four runs batted in.
Jacob Croghan pitched five innings, allowing one hit while striking out five, needing just 51 pitches to earn the victory.
Monday’s winner will advance to the substate eight championship Wednesday, July 19 in Harlan.
The 2017 3A state tournament is scheduled for July 25-29 at Principal Park in downtown Des Moines.