Spalding edges North Union

BANCROFT, Iowa – Spalding Catholic junior Erik Willman hit an RBI double to drive in the go-ahead run in the top of the fifth inning as the Spartans edged the North Union Warriors 3-1 in nonconference baseball action on Tuesday night in Bancroft.

The Warriors’ hurler Sawyer Doocy held the Spartans to three hits, but Spalding still managed to manufacture three runs to claim the victory.

Lucas Hunt reached on an error in the fifth inning before wheeling around the diamond on Willman’s double to score to make it 2-1.

Ryan Stoll then walked for the Spartans in the sixth inning and motored to second on a throwing error before scoring on Morgan Kellen’s RBI single to left.

After the Spartans took a 1-0 lead in the first when Willman scored on a wild pitch, the Warriors were able to counter in the third.

North Union junior Cody Runksmeier pounded a double to center field and slid into the bag just ahead of the throw.

Cody Runksmeier then advanced to third on Colin Runksmeier’s groundout to shortstop.

Doocy’s grounder to the shortstop scored Cody Runksmeier to even the game at 1-1.

The Warriors’ Jake Govern, Garrett Johnson and Alex Deitering each got on for the Warriors in the third, but the home team was unable to get the go-ahead run across.

“We had our chances to score, where we got guys on and couldn’t bunt them over,” North Union head coach Chag Slagle said in reference to the Warriors’ eight runners left on base. “We had chances to score but just didn’t get the hit we needed to score the run. We didn’t do the little things today, and those are what make the difference.”

Spartans’ starting pitcher Brady Heying went the distance, allowing six hits, striking out three and walking two to earn the win.

Doocy battled against his fellow right-hander, allowing three runs – one earned – on three hits, striking out nine and walking three in 6 1/3 innings to take the loss.

Colin Runksmeier pitched to the final two batters, getting two outs in the top of the seventh in relief.

“Sawyer did a great job pitching for us tonight, but when a player pitches that well, you should be able to get a win for him,” said Slagle. “Defensively, we just didn’t make the plays we needed to behind him to get him the win.”

Colin Runksmeier went 2-for-4 to lead the Warriors at the plate.

Willman went 1-for-4 for the Spartans, while Jarod Steffes and Kellen added the other Spalding Catholic hits.

North Union (6-5) plays host to Clarion-Goldfield in a nonconference game at 5:30 p.m. today in Bancroft, Iowa.

Spalding Catholic (9-5) travels to play Gehlen Catholic at 5:30 p.m. Friday in LeMars, Iowa.

SC 100 011 0 – 3 3 2

NU 001 000 0 – 1 6 3

Brady Heying (WP) and Tommy Stoll. Sawyer Doocy (LP), Colin Runksmeier (7) and Jacob Adams.

LOB-North Union 8; Spalding Catholic 5. 2B-Erik Willman (SC) and Cody Runksmeier (NU).