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Redhawks steal win on the road at Union 8-5

July 5, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

A rivalry matchup pitted between North Tama and Union on Thursday, June 27 saw the Redhawk offense came alive for a 8-5 in La Porte City.

"I expected good defense and pitching from Union going into tonight," coach Dan Kopriva said. "We just wanted to put the ball into play and make things happen against that defense."

After a 10-1 loss to Janesville the day before and a 9-8 loss to the Knights last season in Traer, the Redhawks came hungry for a win as the regular season winds down. North Tama drew first blood with a run in the second inning with a run by Skyler Staker before the Knights shot back with three runs to take a lead after three innings.

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Skyler Staker scored two runs and batted in a runner for the Redhawks against area rival Union on Thursday, June 27.

"We had a mental mistake where our first baseman laid off a ground ball when he should have went after it," Kopriva said. "That was the theme of the night with some mental mistakes that cost us some runs."

The fifth inning proved to be the catalyst for a three-run stretch as Cael Even, Parker Hulme and Hale Hulme each scored to regain the lead. New pitching for the Knights did not stop the red-hot Redhawks from sliding across four more runs in the seventh inning before two runs by Union in the final inning proved not enough to overcome the visiting area rivals.

"Union's first pitcher kept us off balance with a good curveball and we couldn't get much going," Kopriva said. "As they changed pitchers, our bats started to light up. It was nice to see those base hits turn to doubles, triples from multiple guys. [Izach Henson] pitched excellent, had the defense playing behind him."

North Tama hosted Iowa Star rival Janesville on Wednesday, June 26, falling to the Wildcats 10-1 behind a lack of hitting and a defense allowing little to get through all evening.

"It was an ugly game for us," Kopriva said. "Janesville played some really good defense against us. Their pitcher had a decent fastball to also keep us off balance. When we did hit, we'd hit fly ball outs to make it easy for the defense. We were disappointed in the loss. It's going to be a tough stretch from now to District play. We'll have to be ready every game out or find ourselves in a skid."

The Redhawks will host Central City for the first round of Districts on Saturday, July 13 at 7:00 p.m. The winner will face off against either GMG or Belle Plaine at Alburnett on Tuesday, July 16. By then, Kopriva hopes to have Hale Hulme healthy to pitch in the first game.

"They have a decent ace on their team to be a good matchup and we'll have ours on the mound for us," Kopriva said. "We'll take this game one at a time, survive and hope to move on."

A home rematch against BGM was cancelled on Saturday and the Redhawks traveled to Grundy Center on Monday. The Redhawks hosted a doubleheader against Roland-Story on Wednesday, July 3, Iowa Valley on Friday, July 5 and Jesup on Monday, July 8. North Tama will face West Fork at Duane Banks Baseball Stadium on the University of Iowa campus on Tuesday, July 9 before closing out their season hosting Lynnville-Sully on Wednesday, July 10. The Redhawks are 15-6 as of publication.



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