DARLINGTON – After scoring 17 runs on 17 hits in a win over Southwestern a week ago, the Darlington baseball team found runs and hits a little harder to come by over their next three games as they managed just three runs on 10 hits in a trio of SWAL losses.
The Redbirds (3-5 overall, 2-3 in SWAL) were shutout on just one hit in a 5-0 loss at Cuba City on Wednesday, April 24. The Cubans scored a pair of runs in the first to put the ‘Birds in an early hole, and then added single insurance runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings to back Nathan Wallenhorst’s gem on the mound.
Darlington returned to the diamond at home against Mineral Point on Friday, April 26, and gave the Pointers all they could handle. The Redbirds grabbed a 2-1 lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning, but the Pointers charged back with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to pull out a 4-2 victory.
Cole McDonald went 2-for-3 with a run driven in and Jason Singer went 2-for-4 for the ‘Birds.
Finally, at home on Monday, April 29, the Iowa-Grant Panthers picked up their first win of the season as Brent Coppernoll and TJ Anderson combined on a three-hitter en route to a 5-1 decision over Darlington.
The game was deadlocked at 0-0 through four innings until the Panthers struck for three runs in the top of the fifth off Redbird starter Griffin Heinberg.
Singer broke up Coppernoll’s no-hit bid with a one-out double in the bottom of the fifth and he came in to score on Cody Hardyman’s RBI-single to cut the deficit to 3-1.
I-G tacked on two huge insurance runs in the top of the seventh and Anderson retired seven of the eight batters he faced in relief to earn the save.
Coppernoll earned the win after allowing just two hits. He walked five batters over the first three innings, but the Redbirds couldn’t take advantage as none of those runners came in to score.
Heinberg took the tough loss after yielding five runs (three earned) on nine hits with seven strikeouts and just one walk.
Tanner Naeger was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored for I-G. Ben Muhlstein added a double for the hosts.
Darlington has upcoming games SWAL games at Southwestern on Friday, May 3; at Fennimore on Monday, May 6; and at Iowa-Grant on Tuesday, May 7. All three are set to start at 4:30 p.m.
Iowa-Grant… 000 030 2 – 5 9 1
Darlington…. 000 010 0 – 1 3 2
Leading hitters: 2B- Jason Singer, Ben Muhlstein.
WP- Coppernoll. LP- Griffin Heinberg.
Mineral Point… 001 001 2 – 4 7 1
Darlington……. 001 010 0 – 2 6 1
Leading hitters: Jason Singer 2x4, Cole McDonald 2x3.
WP- Ames. LP- Ben Muhlstein.
Darlington… 000 000 0 – 0 1 4
Cuba City…. 210 101 x – 5 11 1
Leading hitters: None.
WP- Wallenhorst. LP- Jason Singer.