NT Baseball Win Season Opener
The tenth ranked Redhawk baseball team won their season opener on the road
at Green Mountain Monday, May 23 against GMG by the score of 10-2. The score was 3-2 heading into the top of the sixth inning when the Redhawks scored seven runs to break the game wide open. North Tama had five hits including three doubles and took advantage of nine walks. Cael Kopriva ripped a double off the fence to score Caden Stuart for the first run of the season. Kopriva scored two runs and had two RBI's. Cameron Hoeg hit a towering fly ball that went off the top of the fence in the sixth inning to knock in a couple of runs. Joe Earley hit a double to drive in two runs. Tyler Morrison had a sacrifice bunt and hit a single to collect a RBI. Cameron Hoeg was the pitcher of record earning the win. Hoeg allowed to runs, on four hits and six free passes. Hoeg fanned eight batters. Caden Stuart threw two innings of relief and did not allow a run. Stuart walked three and struck out five.
The Redhawks will play new Iowa Star opponent Riceville on Thursday, May 26 for the home opener and will play Clarksville at home on Friday, May 27. The JV games will start at 5:00PM followed by the Varsity games at 7:00PM.
Redhawk Season Outlook
The Redhawks hope to make another run at the Iowa Star conference title. North Tama will miss four starters, including two key players, Brody Hulme and Riley Rohach from the 2015 team. Hulme was the Redhawks team leader and the Iowa Star conference best pitcher. Hulme earned second team All-state Iowa High School Coaches Association in 2015. Rohach batted leadoff and was arguably the top defensive outfielder in conference. Rohach led the team in stolen bases last year and was a first team all-conference outfielder. The Redhawks also miss speedy left fielder Tristian Johanningmeier and right fielder Lane Wauters. The Redhawks outfield will feature three new players.
The Redhawks 2016 strength will be pitching and infield defense. The Hawks have a great one-two punch in pitchers Cameron Hoeg and Caden Stuart. Hoeg was 9-1 with a 1.06 ERA and Stuart was 7-2 with a 1.24 ERA. The Hawks need other hurlers to step up if they want to repeat a 20-win season. Will Earley, Joe Earley, Cael Kopriva and Lance Zobel have some varsity pitching experience. Will Earley is the front-runner to be the Redhawks third pitcher in the rotation. Earley had some nice spring outings on the mound. The Redhawks have many experienced and successful defensive infielders returning. The Redhawks will need to replace Brody Hulme at second base. North Tama returns the Earley twins at the corners, Stuart at utility infield and Hoeg at shortstop. Cael Kopriva will once again be the team's backstop. Hale Hulme, Tyler Morrison, and Conway Feisel are proving they are capable for the open outfield positions. Lance Zobel will be the Redhawks second baseman.
Cameron Hoeg, Caden Stuart, Cael Kopriva, Joe Earley, and Will Earley are the top hitters returning to the line-up. Hoeg led the team in most of the offense categories and hit .424. Stuart led the team in runs scored and had a batting average of .378. Kopriva led the team in on-base percentage and had a batting average of .391. Joe Earley had a great second half of the season raising his batting average to .272. Will Earley hit .192. The Redhawk bats need to improve in the lower line-up and must find a consistent lead off man other than Hoeg, Stuart or Kopriva to create a good line-up. The Redhawk baseball team pledges another exciting season. Come out and support the Big Red Machine!