Jun. 26—COLFAX — Getting out of the gates has been an issue for Colfax-Mingo's baseball team this summer.
Heading into its South Iowa Cedar League home matchup with English Valleys, the Tigerhawks had played 10 games in the month of June. They trailed in the first few innings in eight of the 10 games.
Starting slow has played a factor in the end results for Colfax-Mingo and the Tigerhawks fell behind again against English Valleys on Monday night.
The Bears plated a run in the first inning and added two more in the third and the early advantage held up during a 3-2 road win.
"We are playing well late in games. But almost every game we are down 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 after the first inning," C-M baseball coach Brian Warrick said. "We are not prepared for the first inning defensively mostly."
Aside from the slow start, the Tigerhawks were limited to two hits at the plate and committed four errors in the field. Two of the three runs scored by English Valleys (5-11 overall, 5-8 in the SICL) were unearned.
The Tigerhawks had a base runner in each of the first four innings but couldn't muster any production. Zach Steenhoek reached on an error in the first, Jake Nichols walked in the second and singled in the fourth and Cole Bracewell walked in the third.
C-M (5-11, 3-9) went down in order in the fifth but got back into the game with a two-run sixth.
Bracewell was hit by a pitch, Cael Bracewell reached on a fielder's choice and Joe Earles singled to load the bases. Cole Bracewell scored on an RBI fielder's choice by Hunter Stevens and Cael Bracewell scored on a wild pitch.
The inning and threat ended with three straight outs, two of which came by strikeout. The Tigerhawks went down in order in the seventh.
"We wake up every once in a while. We woke up the other night and got some runs," Warrick said. "Tonight, we had weak contact or when we did hit it hard it was right at someone.
"We've got to hit the ball. We practice it both individually and as a team. We just struggle with it."
English Valleys scored an earned run in the first off two hits and one hit by pitch against C-M starting pitcher Cole Bracewell.
In the third, Bracewell allowed a lead-off infield single and issued a walk on back-to-back hitters. He got three ground ball outs but two errors helped push across two more runs and gave the Bears a 3-0 lead.
"We had four errors and they scored three runs," Warrick said. "I have no problems with our pitching. We are just not supporting them with our bats or in the field."
Cole Bracewell pitched well enough to win. He allowed three runs — one earned — on four hits with six strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter in 5 1/3 innings.
Earles pitched the final 1 2/3 innings and allowed no runs on no hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
Cole Bracewell also led the offense with one walk, one hit by pitch and one run scored. Nichols tallied one hit and one walk.
Earles finished with one hit, Stevens tallied an RBI and Cael Bracewell drew a walk.
But the bottom third of the Tigerhawks' lineup went 0-for-9 with seven strikeouts.
"We'll keep working at it and continue trying to figure out why we aren't hitting," Warrick said. "Those two pitchers are decent pitchers but they both threw fastballs. The curve balls hung. We just didn't hit the ball."
North Mahaska 10, Colfax-Mingo 4
COLFAX — Cole Bracewell homered and Cael Bracewell drew two walks but the Tigerhawks couldn't overcome a seven-run fourth during a 10-4 home loss to North Mahaska on Wednesday.
Cole Bracewell's first career home run was a three-run shot that was part of a four-run fifth for C-M. It was 8-0 Warhawks after four.
The Tigerhawks were held to two hits in the SICL contest. Steenhoek had the other hit, scored one run and had one RBI and Earles and Konner Dalton walked once and scored one run.
Stevens, Kaden Dalton and Nathan Sloan all walked once.
North Mahaska (12-5, 9-4) scored single runs in the second, sixth and seventh.
The first run by the Warhawks was scored against Cael Bracewell, who started on the mound and threw 2 1/3 innings but stayed under 40 pitches.
He allowed one earned runs on three hits with three strikeouts but took the loss.
Earles was the first reliever to come into the game and he surrendered seven earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings.
Nichols pitched the final three innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts.
Montezuma 4, Colfax-Mingo 2
MONTEZUMA — The Tigerhawks lost two separate leads against Montezuma on Friday and five errors in the field allowed the Braves to pull away for a 4-2 home win during SICL action.
Eddie Burgess fanned 11 on the mound and had two hits at the plate to lead Montezuma to the win.
The Tigerhawks led 1-0 after two innings and 2-1 after four. But the Braves (9-4, 8-4) scored twice in the fifth and once in the sixth to complete the rally.
"Part of the lineup struggled with hitting, but the big disappointment were the five errors," Warrick said.
Colfax-Mingo cranked out eight hits. Steenhoek and Cole Bracewell each had two hits and Cael Bracewell, Nichols, Stevens and Sloan each finished with one hit.
Steenhoek's two hits were both doubles and he scored a run, Cole Bracewell stole one base and Sloan chipped in one RBI, one hit by pitch and one steal.
Nichols added one run and one steal, Cael Bracewell drew a walk and Stevens stole one base. Earles also reached base on a walk.
None of the four runs Montezuma scored were earned as Cael Bracewell pitched all six innings, allowing four unearned runs on five hits with eight strikeouts, one walk and two hit batters.
Cole Watts had two hits, two runs and two steals for the Braves.