Jul. 4—COLFAX — So many times this season, Colfax-Mingo's baseball team has played from behind after giving up runs in the first few innings.
On Friday, the Tigerhawks got ahead and stayed ahead against BGM during a South Iowa Cedar League contest at Terry Fox Field.
Cole Bracewell, Cael Bracewell and Joe Earles all had three hits, Zach Steenhoek reached base three times and the early lead against the Bears held up during a 9-3 home victory.
"The guys played well, were having fun and it was nice to get a win on Senior Night," Colfax-Mingo baseball coach Brian Warrick said. "Getting an early lead was super important. It shows that if we get ahead, we can do stuff to maintain a lead."
Cole Bracewell pitched into the seventh inning but was pulled at 90 pitches so he can start again on Tuesday. He earned the win against the Bears after allowing three runs — one earned — on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
He was relieved by his younger brother Cael Bracewell, who had to get three outs because a dropped third strike kept the frame alive. He did surrendered one hit but struck out two.
While the Bracewell brothers did the job on the mound, they were more impressive at the plate.
Cole Bracewell's RBI double in the first inning put the Tigerhawks (6-13 overall, 4-11 in the SICL) in front for good. He also singled in the third and sixth, reached on a fielder's choice in the fourth and scored four runs.
"I was attacking the first pitch," Cole Bracewell said. "If we don't usually score early, it's a struggle for us in the game. It was good to get some early runs. It keeps us more confident."
Cael Bracewell had the biggest hit of the night as he smashed a three-run homer just over the fence in right field in the sixth to make it 9-1. It was the first career varsity home run for the Tigerhawk freshman.
"I was kind of in shock. I thought it was a ground-rule double," Cael Bracewell said. "I was thinking triple off the fence so I was booking it out of the box. I guess it just made it over."
The fast start for the Tigerhawks was key against a BGM squad which has only five wins this season.
Steenhoek started the bottom of the first with a single. After stealing second, he scored on Cole Bracewell's RBI double. Jake Nichols then made it 2-0 with an RBI double of his own.
Steenhoek, Nichols and Hunter Stevens all were recognized before the game for their Senior Night.
"I was so happy to get an early lead," Cael Bracewell said. "We haven't had a good year, but the seniors deserve this one. I'm glad we got a win on Senior Night."
The Tigerhawks went back to work in the third. Cole and Cael Bracewell led off with back-to-back singles and Stevens loaded the bases with his one-out single.
Earles made it 4-0 with a two-run single and Nathan Sloan tacked on one more run with an RBI fielder's choice.
Earles finished with three hits and two RBIs. Cael Bracewell cranked out three hits, scored two runs and had four RBIs.
The Tigerhawks chased BGM starting pitcher Jake Moel in the fourth after he hit Steenhoek near the helmet with a pitch. Cole Bracewell then reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second on an error.
Cael Bracewell improved the lead to 6-1 with his two-out RBI single.
In the sixth, Steenhoek walked and Cole Bracewell singled in front of Cael Bracewell's three-run blast to right.
Cole Bracewell had just one 1-2-3 inning on the mound. He pitched around a pair of two-out singles in the second, gave up an unearned run in the third and stranded one runner on base in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
In the seventh, he surrendered a lead-off single and then a one-out RBI double before being pulled at 90 pitches.
"Cole pitched like he always pitches but had runs and defense to back him up this time," Warrick said. "He pitches great every time out. It's nice to see him get some run support. This was probably our best hitting night of the season."
Cael Bracewell opened his night on the mound with a strikeout of lead-off hitter Jacob Maurer. He then struck out Mason Maschmann for what should have ended the inning. But Maschmann reached on a dropped third strike on a pitch that was in the dirt and well in front of the plate.
A run scored on the dropped third strike and Moel followed with a single but Cael Bracewell got the final out on a ground ball back to the mound.
"The curve ball was working today, but I still need to work on that slider," Cole Bracewell said. "It's going well since I picked up that pitch, but it needs a little bit more work."
Notes: The Tigerhawks had 13 hits in the game and committed two errors. Nichols finished with one hit, one walk and one RBI and Stevens tallied one hit and one run in the second-to-last home game of their careers. Sloan had the other hit and added one RBI. ... The win snapped a five-game skid for the Tigerhawks. ... BGM dropped its fourth straight game and has been defeated 12-2, 12-1, 10-1 and 9-3 in those contests. ... BGM finished with eight hits. Freshmen Kieran Sacora and Dominic Coleman, the No. 6 and No. 7 batters in the lineup, had two hits apiece to lead the way. ... Maurer, who pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief for Moel, finished with one hit, one walk and one run for the Bears.