Baseball moves to third in UIC

Kale Rodgers gets solid contact as he smashes this pitch into left field for a hit in recent action. The TigerHawk sophomore is not only a proficient hitter, but he is also proficient at getting hit, leading the team by getting struck by a pitch seven times this season. (Jerry Wadian photo)


Baseball moves to third in UIC



By Jerry Wadian


With a sweep of MFL/MM Monday, July 1, in Monona, NFV baseball leapfrogged the Bulldogs into third place in the conference standings. 

Both games were slugfests as the TigerHawks won, 10-8 and 15-10.

Despite MFL/MM’s 6-0 lead at the end of five, game one went to extra innings. NFV rallied for seven runs in the sixth for a 7-6 lead. However, the ‘Dogs regained a one-run lead after plating two run in the sixth. 

The TigerHawks staved off defeat by squeezing across a run in the seventh and won the opener with a two-run eighth.

The NFV offense unleashed a 16-hit attack with every batter managing at least one hit. Brooks Hovden clubbed the only extra-base hit, a double to go with a pair of singles and two RBI. Ty Stee singled three times and drove in three runs. 

Hovden started, going the first 4 1/3 innings; he walked three, allowed two hits and six runs, only two of which were earned. Dylan Muggler went three innings in relief for the W. Kale Rodgers worked the final 2/3 of an inning.

Hits- Hovden, 3; Stee, 3; Darnall, 2; Muggler, 2; Butikofer, 2; McIntyre, Rodgers, Moore, White. Double- Hovden. RBI- Stee, 3; Hovden, 2; Moore, 2; Muggler, Rodgers, White.

Game two saw three lead changes in the first two innings. NFV opened the game with a pair, but the ‘Dogs answered with three in the bottom of the first. The TigerHawks answered with three of their own in the second.

By the end of three, the game was tied at 5-5. NFV went up 7-5 in its half of the fourth only to have the home team plate four in the bottom of the inning.

By the sixth, the TigerHawks were trailing, 10-7. Four runs in the sixth and seventh proved to be the perfect cure as NFV completed the sweep.

The offense rapped out 12 more hits. Trey Darnall and Hovden had three hits apiece, with Darnall smashing a pair of doubles and driving in two runs. Butikofer had three RBI and Everitt Cole added two more.

Butikofer had a 36-pitch first inning. Nolan Hoey earned his first win of the season with 3 1/3 innings in relief; the sophomore surrendered just one hit, walked two and gave up one run.

Rodgers worked the final 2 2/3 innings.

Hits- Darnall, 3; Hovden, 3; Muggler, 2; White, 2; Butikofer, Rodgers, Moore, Cole. Doubles- Darnall, 2; Rodgers. RBI- Butikofer, 3; Darnall, 2; Cole, 2; Hovden, Stee, McIntyre.

Wednesday, the TigerHawks made it a six-game win streak Wednesday in Sumner, taking down the Cougars, 8-0.

Butikofer tossed a four-hit shutout, but had to vacate the mound with an out to go due to the pitch count rule; he walked four and rang up 10 K’s. Blake Reichter came in

to record the final out.

The NFV offense was very efficient, using10 singles and Hovden’s double to go with three walks and three stolen bases to score its eight runs.

Hovden went 4-4 with an RBI, Darnall had another three-hit contest, and Muggler stroked two singles and drove in a pair of runs.

Hits- Hovden, 4; Darnall, 3; Muggler, 2; McIntyre, Moore. Double- Hovden. RBI- Muggler, 2; Hovden.

Friday, NFV was in   Osage. The Green Devils came in sporting a 15-6 record and had been ranked in the top 10 much of the season.

Hovden threw a one-hit gem in losing, 2-0. The senior walked five, fanned five and allowed just one earned run.

The TigerHawk offense was equally stifled, managing only singles by Muggler, Hovden, and McIntyre. 

The nightcap was cancelled due to storms that moved into the area.

After the week’s action, NFV is 12-17 overall and 8-4 in the UIC with just one game to go; that occurred Monday, July 8 in Calmar. Wednesday they host Jesup and begin playoff action against Starmont at 5 p.m. in Waukon.



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