It didn’t take long for the Iola-Scandinavia baseball to put 25 runs on the scoreboard.
Actually, it took less than two games.
After opening the season April 8 with a 12-3 victory over Wittenberg-Birnamwood, the Thunderbirds improved to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in Central Wisconsin 8 Conference play April 10 with a 16-3 win over Manawa.
“We’ve been getting some good pitching and we’re hitting the ball really well,” coach Pete Timdal said. “It’s nice to get two wins early in the season. We only had one in the conference last year.”
The T-Birds already have almost as many wins as they did last year – three – and Timdal isn’t surprised.
“We kind of let ourselves down last year with some mental errors,” he said. “It was my first year coaching, so that probably had a little to do with it. I was pretty confident that we’d be a lot better.”
I-S 16, Manawa 3
MANAWA – Nick Wavruk had three hits and drove in four runs in a win over the Wolves, while Cam Gruenwald, Connor Lodewegen and Hunter Gruenwald added two hits and two RBIs each.
Cam Gruenwald, Brady Snyder and Hunter Gruenwald teamed up to hold Manawa to one hit and struck out 13 batters.
I-S 12, W-B 3
IOLA – Kal Fischer and Hunter Gruenwald had three hits and a pair of RBIs in the season opener, while Wavruk and Lodewegen chipped in with two hits and two RBIs each.
Returning players include seniors John Prahl, Wavruk and Lodewegen.
“He’s our leadoff hitter and he makes things go,” Timdal said of Prahl. “He’s not really hitting that well yet, but eventually he’ll get going and we’ll be even more dangerous.”
Wavruk has moved from shortstop to center field.
“He’s accepted the move and he’s hitting the ball really well to start the season,” Timdal said. “We have three guys that are going to pitch the majority of our innings. Connor is our ace and he was last year. He’s by far our best pitcher and it’s exciting to get him on the mound. Hunter Gruenwald pitched for us last year and he’s throwing hard as usual. Someone we didn’t use last year as much as we probably should have is Nate Korb and he’s going to be our second starter.
“We lost three seniors,” he added. “Two of them started for us, but we have all of our pitching back. That’s helpful because you’re not constantly searching for pitching. Our pitching depth is going to be helpful. We have four or five guys that can throw for us, especially if we start getting rainouts and have to play three games a week. Our hitting is really good. Right now, our 3-7 hitters are all hitting over .500. I know it’s only two games into the season, but once our No. 1 and No. 2 hitters get going, we’ll be even better off.”
The weather has affected the start of the season, just like it did last year, according to Timdal.
“We were in the gym for so long and then we played some of the tougher teams right away and lost to them,” he said. “I think we just got frustrated and everything spiraled out of control. There you are at the end of the year and it’s over. That’s why it’s nice to get two wins right away.”
Iola-Scandinavia 2014 Baseball Schedule
Monday, April 7 – vs. Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 10 – at Manawa, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 17 – vs. Shiocton, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, April 21 – at Weyauwega-Fremont, 4:30 p.m. (rescheduled from April 14)
Tuesday, April 22 – vs. Bonduel, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 24 – at Stevens Point Pacelli, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, April 28 – vs. Amherst, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 29 – at Wild Rose, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 1 –at Wittenberg-Birnamwood, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 3 – at Auburndale Invitational, 10 a.m.
Monday, May 5 – vs. Manawa, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 8 – vs. Weyauwega-Fremont, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, May 12 – at Shiocton, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 15 – at Bonduel, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, May 19 – vs. Stevens Point Pacelli, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 22 – at Amherst, 4:30 p.m.