It was four up, four down during the first week of baseball play for the Cougars who, after a pair of doubleheaders, are boasting a perfect record.
In a tight game against Independence, senior Haris Hoffman went seven complete on the mound, giving up just two hits, two walks while striking out nine and maintaining a perfect 0.00 ERA.
But on the other side of the field, Independence pitcher Logan Schmitt also threw a gem of his own, going five complete with seven strikeouts, seven walks and just one recorded hit.
The Cougars’ sole run in the 1-0 victory came from a Reid Rausch RBI in the fifth when he drove in Wil Roling.
In the other game against Independence, the bats sang a different tune.
The Cougars put up 11 runs in the third inning, with sophomores Eli Green and Ted Weber contributing two RBIs apiece.
Green also put in a good day’s work on the mound, throwing four complete with 10 strikeouts, three walks and zero earned runs. Logan Otting came in the fifth to deliver the closing blow, striking out two and walking three before the game was ended by the mercy rule with the Cougars coming out on top 13-0.
Hosting rival Northeast at home May 23, Rausch threw a textbook game from the mound, only briefly getting into a spot of trouble when the bases were loaded in the sixth. However, Rausch recorded all three outs on his own to get out of the inning.
Rausch finished the day throwing six complete, giving up two hits, two walks while fanning 12 and giving up zero runs. Otting once again came in to finish the game in the seventh, striking out two and eliciting a groundout in the 5-0 win.
Otting kicked off the scoring effort in a big way in the first, hitting a two-run dinger over the left field fence to give the Cougars the lead. Weber scored off an error in the second and in the third, Kaleb Topping was driven in on a hit off the bat of Tanner Simon.
In the second game, Hoffman, Otting, Weber and Riley Reed all recorded RBIs in the 7-2 win.
On the mound, the Cougars did a little shuffling around between two of their younger pitchers. Kaleb Topping got the start, going 3 2/3 while giving up two runs on four hits, striking out eight while walking two. Topping was relieved by junior Caden Reinke, who finished the day throwing 2 1/3, giving up one hit, one walk and zero runs. Senior Tom Knepper came in for the close in the seventh, recording three strikeouts on just 11 pitches to end the game.