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Redhawks best Wolverines in rivalry matchup

June 14, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

The North Tama baseball team hosted rivals GMG for an Iowa Star matchup with conference implications on the line on Thursday, June 6, striking down the Wolverines 6-2.

"This was a huge game for us tonight for our conference standings," coach Dan Kopriva said. "It's a two-game swing. If they drop a game, we add a game. By winning, we're in three-way tie for first."

The first two innings saw Hale Hulme back on the mound for the Redhawks after being separating himself as the number one pitcher last season. However, the senior has battled injury and only pitched two innings for North Tama, allowing two hits and a run. A run by Morrison put the score tied at 1-1.

Article Photos

Luke Pennell at bat for the Redhawks. The junior has moved from first base to catcher this season.

"Hale is a little tender and we've had him out for short runs," Kopriva said. "He felt a bit uncomfortable tonight, so we shut him down and we'll give him more time to recover."

The Redhawks managed to separate themselves with runs by Gabe Kopriva and Ryan McLean in the bottom of the third. While the Wolverines would fight back with a run off their own in the top of the fourth, another two-run inning courtesy of Cael Even and Skyler Staker extended the lead, topped off by a sixth run from Parker Hulme in the fifth.

"Our big key tonight was our two-out scoring," Kopriva said. "I think we scored almost all of our runs with two runs. If we had popped one up, this could have been a completely different game."

As the Redhawks continue to rest Hale Hulme, McLean, Izach Henson and Parker Hulme will be taking pitching on the season, yet one constant remains for the team in Luke Pennell's catching this season. The junior is catching for the Redhawks for the first time in his varsity career and have gradually improved in his new role this season.

"Luke has a tough job, a job no one wants to do," Kopriva said. "He's improving and knows he has to keep improving in areas of the game. Each game, he's picking up on the instincts and is getting better each game."

After a busy week, the Redhawks are current 8-2 overall and back in the race for the conference title after suffering a season-opening loss to Colo-Nesco.

""Our goal to win the conference title is a dogfight against Colo-Nesco and GMG," Kopriva said. "In this next week or two, we hope to establish ourselves as the leader."

The Redhawks next travelled to Tripoli on Wednesday, June 12 before hosting Baxter on Friday, June 14 and Columbus Catholic on Saturday, June 15. North Tama and GMG will square off again at Green Mountain on Monday, June 17 and the Redhawks will face Clayton Ridge at the Waterloo Riverfront Stadium on Tuesday, June 18.



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