As both coaches had predicted, Monday night’s Little Hawkeye Conference baseball doubleheader between Pella High and Pella Christian was as tightly contested as they come, but it was the Eagles that would come away with the sweep; 2-1, 3-2 over the Little Dutch.
Pella out-hit Pella Christian 13-to-7 between the two games, but also left a combined 15 runners stranded on base – which was certainly a deciding factor in the outcome of both games. Eagles Head Coach Brad Rolffs said his team was effective in clutch situations on offense and defense and earned valuable victories on their opponent’s home field.
“We made enough plays tonight to get the job done, and we got enough timely hitting to win by one run twice,” said Rolffs. “When you get two victories on the road, that’s a good night; no matter how you do it.”
Kyle DeRonde earned a complete game victory on the mound in the first game, allowing seven hits and two walks, while striking out four Pella batters. He would go on to supply the Eagles with the firepower they’d need at the plate in the nightcap, going 1-for-2 with a double and batting in all three of Pella Christian’s scores. Tom Bouwkamp also pitched a complete game for the win in the second game, throwing five strikeouts and no walks.
The starting pitching for Pella was equally spectacular, as both Chris Bandstra and Schyler Kane pitched complete games to match that of their cross-town counterparts. Bandstra allowed no walks and seven hits, while striking out five Pella Christian batters in the opener; and Kane baffled the Eagles at the plate in the second game, throwing 11 strikeouts and giving up only two walks and three hits.
Little Dutch Head Coach Aaron Reasland said he was very pleased with the performance by his hurlers, but the team’s bats failed to come through when they needed them to.
“You couldn’t ask for a better outing [from our pitchers]. They gave us an opportunity to win a ballgame, but we’ve got to have playmakers behind them,” said Reasland. “We just didn’t have clutch hitting. Outside of a couple bunts, we didn’t execute hit-and-runs, we didn’t execute any plays, and that’s baseball – if you don’t execute you don’t win.”
Bandstra was the most consistent player for Pella on offense, going 5-for-7 at the plate between the two games.
The sweep moves the Pella Christian baseball team up to 11-4 overall and 6-2 in the Little Hawkeye Conference, while Pella slips to 4-4 in league play and 6-8 overall.
Both teams face non-conference foes Tuesday evening, with the Eagles hosting Carlisle and the Little Dutch traveling to Monroe to take on PCM.