Monday evening, Van Buren and Cardinal baseball played in Keosauqua with the host skipper Chad Scott getting the best of his brother Rick with a 9-4 victory for the Warriors over the Comets.
“My dad was a big time player and loved to play baseball, so every chance he’d get we’d be out in the yard playing catch and swinging a bat,” explained Rick. “It was always his dream to have his sons’ get in to coaching baseball. Chad got into it a little earlier than I did due to me working for UPS, but now that I’m coach here, everybody puts an emphasis on the Cardinal/Van Buren rivalry and it’s exciting. Chad and I have fun with it and we don’t really talk about each others teams. I kind of look at his program as the right way to do it and that’s what I want to do, too. I want them to bring their best game when they play Cardinal and I’m sure he feels the same way.”
In the first meeting of the season for the two squads, Van Buren started the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first before adding six more in the second. By the time Cardinal got on the board with two in the top of the third, it was too little, too late with the Warriors adding more scores in the fourth and sixth innings for good measure to extend their advantage to 9-2 headed into the final frame. The Comets did plate two additional runs in the seventh, however, that still left the visitors with a five-run deficit as they suffered their fifth loss of the season.
Van Buren Collected 10 total hits and drew an additional three walks with senior Jacob Plecker going 3-3 with a walk drawn, a home run, four runs scored, two RBI and a stolen base in four at-bats. The other Warrior to reach safely multiple times was sophomore Ryan Wolf who was 2-3 with a walk drawn, a run scored and two RBI. While juniors Jonah Heckenberg and Tony Davison each went 1-4, they both drove in two runs for Van Buren with senior Caleb Stoltz collecting a RBI, as well.
Jaxon Thomas collected the win after tossing 107 pitches over seven innings and allowing four runs on 10 hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Comets offense was led by junior Colby Aschenbrenner who was 3-4 with a home run, a run scored and three RBI. Also reaching multiple times for Cardinal was Cameron Honomichl who was 2-4 and Dawson Lewis who went 1-3 with a walk drawn and a run scored.
Jentry Arbogast took the loss after throwing 108 pitches over the full seven frames, allowing nine runs on 10 hits with three walks issued and six strikeouts.
The victory propelled the Warriors to an 8-3 overall record, although the Warriors did fall to Central Lee 13-8 on Wednesday and now stand 8-4 on the year. Van Buren was rained out Wednesday when they were supposed to host Highland, but they will try again tonight with Danville traveling to Keosauqua.
Since suffering the 9-4 loss Monday night, the Comets defeated West Burlington 7-2 on Tuesday to improve their record to 9-5 while also stopping a mini two-game skid. With a game at Moravia rained-out Wednesday, Cardinal will return to action tonight at home against Sigourney in a non-conference clash near Eldon.