In a battle of top teams in Class B High School baseball, Dell Rapids and Lennox put on a great show early in the 2018 season on Thursday, March 29th in Lennox. Lennox came into the game with three wins already in the 2018 season, while this was the first game for Dell Rapids. Dell Rapids, however, is the defending State B champions and had won 14 straight games, going back to 2017, and 18 straight games over Class B opponents.
Starting pitchers Jake Steineke (Dell Rapids) and Brock Anderson (Lennox) were locked in a pitcher’s dual in the first four innings of the game. Neither team got a hit in those first four innings.
Despite being hitless, both teams threatened to score in the fourth inning. In the top of the fourth, the first three hitters for Dell Rapids drew walks loading the bases with no outs. Anderson manged to get out of the jam by striking out Elijah Story and getting Jeffrey Schuch to hit into an inning-ending double play. Lennox then put together their own threat in the bottom of the fourth inning. Zach Leisinger reached second on an error to start the inning. Leisinger, however, was thrown out at second trying to retreat after a bunt attempt. A walk of the next batter put runners on first and second with only one out. Steineke struck out Camden Wulf for the second out and then got some defensive help by Schuch who made a diving catch in left field on a line drive from Zach Wipf to end the inning.
Dell Rapids went down in order in the top of the fifth inning, and then Lennox finally got to Steineke in the bottom of the inning. Anderson starting the inning with a double, the first hit of the game for either team. Steineke got the next two batters out on strikeouts, but Quincy Ihnen ripped a double to the left-center field gap to drive home Anderson for the first run of the game. Lennox held a 1-0 lead after five innings of play.
Jay Holm got the first hit for Dell Rapids in the top of the first inning on a shallow fly ball to left field. Matt Gillogly walked with one out, and then Story walked with two outs to load the bases for Dell Rapids. Schuch then grounded out to the pitcher, who made a nice play, to end the threat.
Gillogly took over pitching duties in the bottom of the sixth inning and retired the Lennox hitters in order. Dell Rapids had one more inning to mount the comeback, and come back they would. Eddie Price led off the inning with a line drive single to left. After Tate Kolbeck was retired on a strike out, Carter Gullickson hit a line drive single to left field. Holm followed that with a shallow fly ball single to center to load the bases with one out. On an 0-1 count, Steineke ripped a line drive to left-center field that drove home Price and Gullickson to give Dell Rapids a 2-1 lead.
Gillogly took the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning. He made a great catch on a live-drive up the middle for the first out. He got a strike out of the second batter, and then Gullickson caught a pop-up at second base for the final out of the game to give Dell Rapids the come-from-behind win.
Holm went 2-4 in the game with two singles. Steineke was 1-3 with a single and two RBIs. Price and Gullickson collected the other two hits in the game. Steineke got the no-decision in the game on the mound. He pitched five innings giving up one earned run on two hits while walking three batters and striking out six. Gillogly got the win pitching the final two innings. Gillogly did not allow a base runner and struck out one batter.
The Dell Rapids JV team also earned a five-inning, come-from-behind win over Lennox. Dell Rapids scored four times in the top of the fifth inning for a 4-2 win to start their season.
Dell Rapids (1-0) is scheduled to host Tea on Tuesday, April 3rd at Rickeman Field starting with the varsity game at 5:30 p.m. and the JV to follow.