Pitching struggles lead to War Eagle loss

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By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


The Clayton Ridge/Central baseball season did not get off to the start coach Zach Mueller hoped for, as the War Eagles lost 11-1 to Waukon. 


The troubles started early for the War Eagles, surrendering two runs in the first inning and another six in the third, chasing starting pitcher Brandon Thiese early. 


Thiese surrendered four runs on three hits, and also had three walks and one hit batsman. The relief pitchers fared no better against the Indians lineup, as Caden Helle gave up three hits, three walks and four earned runs in one inning, while CJ Polkinghorn finished the last two innings with another three runs on three hits and two walks. 


The CR/C offense also struggled to find its swing. In 22 at bats, the War Eagles had just three hits and one run, and struck out 14 times. Caden Helle provided the lone run after hitting a home run, while Caleb Helle had two hits, both singles.


One bright spot was the War Eagles’ defense, which didn’t commit an error, and had six assists and 15 putouts. 


“We expected a competitive game going in and knew Waukon would have a strong top half to their lineup. We came out flat-footed and never really got things going at the plate or on the mound. Our hitters took way too many pitches and fell behind in counts. On the mound, our three pitchers gave up nine free passes in just five innings of work and really didn’t give us a chance to compete,” said Mueller. “Our guys know they have their work cut out for them, but there’s a lot of season left and we look forward to making adjustments to find more success.”


The War Eagles will look to improve this week with a grueling six-game schedule, starting with a varsity tournament at Waterloo Riverfront Stadium on May 31. On June 1, the team has a double-header against Turkey Valley, then heads to Dike-New Hartford on June 2. CR/C ends the week with a trip to Postville on June 3.

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